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Norway Maple (Acer platanoides)



Authors as Published

Alex X. Niemiera, Professor, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech (first published May 2009, last reviewed March 2024)


Foliage: Deciduous broadleaf Height: 50 feet
Spread: 50 feet Shape: Oval to round
Norway maple is a medium/large shade tree that is tolerant of adverse conditions.
The Virginia Department of Conservation and Resources and the Virginia Native Plant Society have ranked Norway maple as a “moderately invasive species” in the mountain, piedmont, and coastal areas of Virginia.

Plant Needs:

Zone: 3 to 7 Moisture: Moist to dry pH Range: 3.7 to 8.0
Light: Partial shade to full sun Soil Type: Sandy, loam, or clay


Suggested uses for this plant include shade, specimen plant, and street tree.

Planting Notes:

Transplants readily.
Adapts well to wide range of soil conditions, including clay soils. Tolerates air pollution. Salt tolerant.
Tolerates hot, dry conditions better than sugar maple.


Requires little or no maintenance.
Prune diseased or storm-damaged wood as needed.
Because of this tree's dense foliage and shallow root system, mulching around the base of the tree is suggested since it is hard to get anything to grow under it.


Susceptible to Verticillium wilt, anthracnose, and some leaf scorch. Trees produce many surface roots which, in lawn situations, make mowing difficult.


Consult local garden centers, historic or public gardens and arboreta regarding cultivars and related species that grow well in your area.
Cultivars of Acer platanoides:
`Crimson King' has purple leaves that retain their color all summer.
`Columnare' is one of several varieties with a narrow, columnar habit of growth. `Globosum' is a low growing, round-headed tree that can be used under utility wires.


Norway maple tends to naturalize outside of cultivation and is a problem in some northern states. The sale and use of this species has been banned in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

This material was developed by Carol Ness as part of the Interactive Design and Development Project funded by the Kellogg Foundation.

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Publication Date

March 6, 2024

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