Facts about Norway Maple

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Norway maple Quick Facts
Name: Norway maple
Scientific Name: Acer platanoides
Origin Continental Europe and western Asia
Colors Initially green turning to brown as they mature
Shapes Pair of winged keys or samaras; each key is 3.5 – 5.5 cm long.
Taste Astringent and slightly bitter taste (Bark)
Acer platanoides, commonly known as the Norway maple, is a species of maple belonging to Aceraceae (Maple family). The plant is native to continental Europe and western Asia. It occurs naturally from central France in the east into central Asia Minor and northern Iran in the west, and from southern Norway and Sweden to northern Spain, Italy, and the Balkans. It is the most widely distributed maple in Europe. It has naturalized in Great Britain, the northeastern United States, and southeastern Canada. It was introduced to North America in the mid-1700s as a shade tree. It has been widely planted in urban areas throughout much of the U.S. Genus name is the Latin name for a maple tree. Specific epithet means resembling platanus (sycamore), which is somewhat curious since the leaves of Norway maple do not really bear that much resemblance to sycamores.

Norway maple, Harlequin Maple, Plane, Norway Maple variety and plane maple are some of the popular common names of the plant. Norway maple is widely planted as a shade tree in urban areas because it can tolerate drought, deicing salt, compacted soils, and air pollution. Norway maple has many cultivars with distinct forms including columnar and weeping varieties.  Another distinct characteristic is the green to burgundy range in leaf color.

Norway Maple Facts

Name Norway maple
Scientific Name Acer platanoides
Native Continental Europe and western Asia. It occurs naturally from central France in the east into central Asia Minor and northern Iran in the west, and from southern Norway and Sweden to northern Spain, Italy, and the Balkans. It is the most widely distributed maple in Europe
Common Names Norway Maple, Harlequin Maple, Plane, Norway Maple variety, plane maple
Name in Other Languages Afrikaans:  Noorse esdoring
Albanian: Panjë
Arabic:  Shanar, qiqib dilabiy (قيقب دلبي)
Aragonese: Aciron, arce real      
Armenian: T’khki sraterev (թխկի սրատերև)
Azerbaijani: Sivriyarpaq ağcaqayın
Basque: Astigar zorrotz
Belarusian: Klion vastralisty (Клён вастралісты)
Bulgarian: Shestil (шестил), mlechen yavor (млечен явор)
Catalan: Erable, plàtan fals          
Chinese: Nuówēi fēng (挪威枫)
Croatian: Javor mliječ
Czech:  Javor mléč, mléč
Danish:  Spidsløn , Spids-Løn, Spidsbladet løn
Dutch:  Noorse esdoorn, Plataan esdoorn, gewone esdoorn      
English:  Norway maple, Plane, Norway Maple variety, plane maple
Estonian: Harilik vaher
Finnish:  Metsävaahtera, Vaahtera
French:  Érable plane, Érable platane, Faux sycamore, Érable de Norvège, Érable platanoïde, faux érable, iseron, main découpée, plaine, plane, érable blanc                   
Galician: Pradairo real
Georgian: Lek’a (ლეკა)
German:  Norwegischer Ahorn, Spitzahorn, Spitz-Ahorn, europaeischer Spitzahorn; Leinbaum; Spitzahorn; spitzblättriger Ahorn, europäischer Spitzahorn, Fladerbaum, Leinahorn, Lenne Greek: Sfendámi platanoeidés (Σφενδάμι πλατανοειδές                 )
Hebrew: אדר נורווגיה
Hungarian:  Korai juhar
Icelandic: Broddhlynur
Iran: Karkaf
Italian: Acero riccio, Acero platanoide, acero platano, amillacero, falso sicomoro, oppio riccio                     
Japanese: Noruwee kaede (ノルウェーカエデ)
Kashubian: Zwëczajny klón
Lithuanian: Paprastasis klevas
Latvian: Parastä klava, platanu kļava       
Macedonian: Mleč (млеч)
Meadow Mari: Tıglay vaştar (Тыглай ваштар)
Netherlands: Europese esdoorn, Noorse esdoorn
Northern Frisian: Spasahorn
Northern Sami: Váđir, Lievdnja
Norwegian:  Spisslønn, Løn
Occitan: Pladu, plainé, plàume
Persian: افرای نروژی
Polish:  Klon pospolity, Klon zwyczajny, klon pospolitz   
Portuguese:  Platano bastardo , Sicômoro-bastardo, Sicômoro-falso, Bordo-da-noruega, Ácer-da-noruega
Romanian: Arţar, paltin de câmp              
Romansh: Ischi giz
Russian: Klen ostrolistnyj (Клен остролистный), Klen platanovidnyj (Клен платановидный), Klen platanolistnyj (Клен платанолистный)
Serbian: Mlec (Млеч)
Slovak: Javor mliečny
Slovenian:  Ostrolistni javor
Spanish:  Arce aplatanado ,  Arce real, Ostrolistni javor, arce noruego, arce platanoides, acirón
Swedish:  Skogslönn, (Metsä)vaahtera, Lönn, Løn
Turkish:  Çınar yapraklı akçaağaç, Sivri akçaağaç, çınar akçaağacı 
Ukrainian: Klen zvychaynyy (Клен звичайний), klen hostrolystyy (клен гостролистий)
Upper Sorbian: Kónčkaty klon
Vietnamese: Phong Na Uy
Walloon: Plaene
Welsh: Masarn Norwy, Masarnen Norwy
Plant Growth Habit Medium- to large-sized fast-growing, deciduous tree
Growing Climates Common in parks, large gardens, town suburbs, in shelterbelts, near chalk lands, colonized hedgerows, thickets, woods, successional forest, forest wetland, along roadsides, wasteland, disturbed ground, nearby woodlots, forest edges  and fragmented forests
Soil Grows best on moist, adequately drained, deep, fertile soils. It is intolerant of low soil nitrogen conditions and is rare on acidic (pH near 4) soils
Plant Size Grows to 40-60 ft. (12-18 m) in height, but can reach heights of 100 ft. (30 m).
Root Shallow and roots are typically visible at the soil line
Crown Tall-domed, sometimes very broad on a short stem; open in winter with rather short perpendicular shoots and often thin bunches of persistent fruits, and with very dense foliage in summer
Bark Bark of young trees is smooth and grey-brown; on older trees the bark becomes darker and shallowly furrowed with long narrow ridges in a network.
Wood Dark reddish-brown
Stem Straight cylindrical stem and erect, glabrous, green to brown branches
Shoot Pinkish-brown or olive-brown, buds ovoid; terminals dark red or red-brown, laterals green appressed
Branchlets Glabrous, purplish-red or greenish, turning darker and woody by the end of the first year
Buds Ovoid, with 5 to 8 pairs of imbricate scales.
Leaf Simple and oppositely arranged with five to seven palmate lobes. Lobes and teeth are sharply pointed. The upper surface of the leaf is dark green, and the undersurface is lustrous green and smooth, except for occasional tufts of hairs in vein angles
Flowering season Mid April – May
Flower Small male and female flowers may be on separate trees or the same tree. For both, the flowers open broadly, are  10 mm across, greenish yellow with 5 oval-lance sepals up to 1/8 inch long and 5 spatula shaped petals nearly twice as long as the sepals
Fruit Shape & Size Pair of winged keys or samaras; each key is 3.5 – 5.5 cm long.
Fruit Color Initially green turning to brown as they mature
Taste Astringent and slightly bitter taste (Bark)
Plant Parts Used Whole plant and Wood
Propagation By seed and by grafting
Lifespan About 150 years
Season Mid May (immature) – October (mature)

Plant Description

Norway maple is a medium- to large-sized fast-growing, deciduous tree that normally grows to 40-60 ft. (12-18 m) in height, but can reach heights of 100 ft. (30 m), with a trunk up to 1.5 m (5 ft.) in diameter and can live to 150 years.  The plant has straight trunk, widely spreading symmetrical crown and rounded appearance. The plant is common in parks, large gardens, and town suburbs, in shelterbelts, near chalk lands, colonized hedgerows, thickets, woods, successional forest, and forest wetland, along roadsides, wasteland, and disturbed ground, nearby woodlots, forest edges and fragmented forests. The plant grows best on moist, adequately drained, deep, fertile soils. It is intolerant of low soil nitrogen conditions and is rare on acidic (pH near 4) soils. It makes suboptimum growth on sandy soils or soils high in lime or clay content, and does not tolerate high evapotranspiration or prolonged drought.

Stem and Bark

Twigs are stout, smooth, and hairless. Branch tips are often forked the result of a terminal flower cluster and opposite arrangement. The shoots are green at first, soon becoming pale brown. The winter buds are shiny red-brown. The terminal bud is purplish-green or reddish-purple, plump, and blunt with three to four pairs of fleshy scales. Young bark is grey and smooth, with ridges beginning to develop as the tree matures. Older bark is dark grey with regular shallow intersecting ridges (crisscrossing pattern, furrowed) and not scaly.

Leaves

Leaves are simple and oppositely arranged with five to seven palmate lobes. Lobes and teeth are sharply pointed. The upper surface of the leaf is dark green, and the undersurface is lustrous green and smooth, except for occasional tufts of hairs in vein angles. The leaves are slightly wider and are 7–14 cm long and 8–25 cm wide. The leaf petiole is 8–20 cm long. The leaf petiole, bud scales, and twigs exude a milky white sap when broken, which can be used to easily distinguish it from most other maple species. This milky sap is best seen at the base of a broken petiole. The normal green form turns a showy yellow in the fall, often as one of the very last trees to turn color in the season.

Leaf arrangement Opposite/sub opposite
Leaf type Simple
Leaf margin Lobed, dentate, incised
Leaf shape Star-shaped
Leaf venation Palmate
Leaf type and persistence Deciduous
Leaf blade length 4 to 8 inches
Leaf color Green
Fall color Yellow
Fall characteristic Showy

 

Flower

Round, branching, upright clusters about 2 inches across appear just prior to or at the same time leaves emerge in spring. Small male and female flowers may be on separate trees or the same tree. For both, the flowers open broadly, are  10 mm across, greenish yellow with 5 oval-lance sepals up to 1/8 inch long and 5 spatula shaped petals nearly twice as long as the sepals. In the center is a brownish green disk. Male flowers have 8 spreading stamens around the disk, females a 2-part, curled style in the center. Flower stalks are long, slender and hairless or glandular-hairy. Flowering normally takes place in between Mid-April and May. The flowers are not known to self-pollinate (self-incompatible).

Flower color Green
Flower characteristics Not showy

 

Fruits

Fertile flowers are followed by a pair of winged keys or samaras; each key is 3.5 – 5.5 cm long. They are initially green turning to brown as they mature. The winged samaras ripen in the fall (September and October) and are dispersed by wind and occasionally water. Both halves of the seed usually contain fertile seeds. The seeds are disc-shaped, strongly flattened, 10–15 mm across and 3 mm thick. The wings are 3–5 cm long, widely spread, approaching a 180° angle. It typically produces a large quantity of viable seeds.

Fruit shape Elongated
Fruit length 1 to 3 inches
Fruit covering Dry or hard
Fruit color Brown, green
Fruit characteristics Attracts birds; showy; fruit/leaves not a litter problem

 

Culinary Uses

  • Sap consists of a certain amount of sugar and can either be used as a drink, or can be concentrated into syrup by boiling off the water.
  • The syrup is used as a sweetener on many foods.

Other Facts

  • Leaves are packed around apples, root crops etc. to help preserve them.
  • Trees are fairly wind tolerant and are often used in to give protection from the wind in mixed shelterbelts.
  • They are fast-growing and rapidly produce a screen.
  • Rose coloured dye is obtained from the bark.
  • Wood is hard, heavy, and fine grained and used for small domestic items.
  • Norway maple wood has been used for making musical instruments, furniture, marquetry, tool handles and turned objects.
  • In urban environments, the shallow roots of Norway maple can destroy infrastructure such as pavement, requiring ongoing repairs.

Prevention and Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product’s label.

Cultural Control

Munger (2003) discusses the potential effects of fire on this species, noting that while a fire that removed all seed sources would be thought to reduce or remove the species, there is concern that a disturbance event of this type could lead to higher seedling recruitment and resprouting. Use of fire may also be an inappropriate management tool where A. platanoides grows in association with native assemblages that are not fire tolerant.

Mechanical Control

Digging up or other manual removal is suitable for A. platanoides seedlings and saplings as long as the roots are completely removed, or adult trees felled close to ground level. Girdling, by removing the bark and phloem layer from 10 cm around the trunk is also suggested. Removal of trees/saplings reduced subsequent A. platanoides recruitment and enhanced native A. saccharum regeneration, whereas removal of seedlings encouraged new A. platanoides seedlings to emerge; this is attributed to the soil disturbance associated with the pulling of seedlings. An additional cause for concern was that other invasive alien species colonized areas where A. platanoides trees and saplings had been removed.

Chemical Control

Weber (2003) recommends that stumps be treated with herbicide after trees are felled. Combinations of cutting and herbicide in association with monitoring to determine when the treatment should be repeated are recommended by Royal Botanic Garden Canada (2003). Rhoads and Block (2002) propose pasting a triclopyr-oil mixture to the bark of saplings up to 10 cm in diameter at the base of the stem.

Biological Control

Webb et al. (2001) comment on the potential difficulty of locating a suitable biological control agent for A. platanoides because of the need to ensure that the closely related native species, e.g. the sugar maple A. saccharum, with which A. platanoides often grows, would not be affected by such an agent.

References:

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2616254

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=28755#null

https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomydetail?id=1209

https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Acer+platanoides

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=275380&isprofile=0&cv

https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/2883

https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/ACRPL

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acer_platanoides

http://www.columbia.edu/itc/cerc/danoff-burg/invasion_bio/inv_spp_summ/Acer_platanoides.html

http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=979

https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/ST039

https://plants.usda.gov/home/plantProfile?symbol=ACPL

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