ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Norway Maple { Study of Trees-7}

Updated on August 1, 2015

Norway Maple

Taken at Marburg Hesse, Germany
Taken at Marburg Hesse, Germany | Source


This is the seventh in the series 'Study of Trees' in which I endeavour to give identification tips on how to recognize trees, for those readers that are not familiar with the various species. Most people begin their recognizing trees by their leaves and their form and colour. This is a good place to start and is fine during the summer months before the leaves fall and leave the branches naked and bare.

All trees have their own characteristic{s} which help the observant to recognise trees even in the depths of winter. Here in this latest article we review the Norway maple and close relations. The text will be descriptive and will be accompanied by images throughout to give the reader a clearer guide to tree identification.

Acer sacchurum { Sugar Maple} North America

This is one of the species whose wood is host to the Birds eye patterning which is much sought after .
This is one of the species whose wood is host to the Birds eye patterning which is much sought after . | Source

Norway maple

The Norway maple belongs to the order of trees known as the Sapindales and the family Saponidaceae within that family. They are placed in the genus Acer and have been allocated the specific name of platanoides.

I have chosen the Norway maple, not only because it is a fine tree, but because it is one of the few introductions of Maple that thrive so well in our climate here in the UK attaining the height of the sycamore in as many years. It has been widely planted in parks and gardens and has found a place in our woodland scenery. The wood being fine grained,firm and takes a fine polish,and frequently exhibits those beautiful appearances in the direction and disposition of the fibre,for which the Bird's eye maples of America is so highly prized and sought after. Birds eye is a type of figure that occurs in several kinds of hard wood most noticeably the hard maples such as the Sugar maple Acer sachurum. It is a distinctive pattern that resembles tiny swirling eyes disrupting the smooth lines of the grain. { In North America there are 13 native species of Maple}

Patterning known as birds eye in the wood of hard maples


Norway maple leaf and green fruit


Norway maple -background information

The Norway maple is a native to Europe and as its common name suggests it is found as far north and west as Norway. It is also met with in France,Switzerland and Germany and eastward to Russia.

The Louden, 'Arboretum Britannium' observed it in 1814 " In all woods bordering the public road from Wilna to Mittau,and from Moscow to Gallica", Louden further adds " Next to the birch and trembling poplar {aspen} it seemed to be the most abundant tree in Russian woods"

The sap of the species,like that of most of its congeners contains a considerable portion of Saccharine matter and sugar was sometimes made from it. In Norway and Sweden it flows in less abundance than that of the Sycamore, but contains more of the saccharine principle in a given quantity of the sap of the Sycamore.

In the USA,the UK,and many other countries landscapers have extensively planted the tree for its shade,as an ornamental and as a street tree. It is very tolerant of city pollution. It often escapes into the wider countryside to become established.

Norway maple


American sycamore platanus occidentalis


Description and basic biology of the Norway maple.

Upon a rich ,free soil it grows with rapidity and luxuriance and they even thrive on soils of an inferior quality providing they are not to wet. It is capable of withstanding the effects of a sea breeze,which it is found to do so on the western coast of Scotland, as well as upon the shores of the Baltic and western coasts of Norway.

The foliage, though not so heavy and massive as that of the sycamore is umbrageous {provides shade}. The leaves which in shape bear a striking resemblance to those of Platanus occidentalis { American Sycamore or Buttonwood} , are large, with long slender stalks,and when fully expanded,of a fine,shining,lightish green. In an early or half expanded state they are of a delicate yellowish green and in autumn , before they fall, become a rich warm yellow colour.

The identification feature that distinguishes this tree from the Acer saccharum of North America is the leaf stalks, or more precisely the sap that exudes from the broken leaf stalk. The sap that exudes from Acer saccharum is clear,while the sap of the Norway maple is white.

The tips of the points on Norway maple leaves are reduced to a fine hair while the tips of the American species are,on close observation, rounded. Although the shape and the angle of leaf lobes tend to vary in Maple species,those of the Norway maple have a tendency to be more of a triangular shape,in contrast to the squarish lobes of Acer saccharum. The nodes of the Norway maple are also U-shaped.

The Norway maple tends to open its foliage much earlier than other maples and they retain their foliage a little longer in the autumn. The leaves are arranged opposite and are palmately lobed. They have five lobes two and three quarters to five and and a half inches long, and between three and a quarter and eight inches wide. The leaf stalk is between three and a quarter and eight inches long.

In common with sycamore foliage they are vulnerable to the fungus commonly known as Tar spot.

Foliage of Norway maple


Buds of Norway maple


The roots bark and branches of the Norway maple

The roots of the Norway maple grow close to the surface which tend to starve other species of flora of moisture,with exception perhaps of the ivy. It is claimed that the roots release chemicals that inhibit other flora growth,however, this is far from being proven.

The bark of the Norway maple is grey to brown and it becomes rough and fissured into narrow ridges on older trees. On young trees the bark is smoother and just faintly striped.

The twigs are at first green becoming light brown with white specks,shiny and producing red brown buds. The buds are opposite on the stem,almost turban shaped grouped in threes with two side buds and a terminal larger one.

Trunk of Norway maple


Foliage of the Norway maple with fruit developing.


Flowers and seeds

The flowers are grouped together in what botanists refer to as corymbs, of between twelve and thirty together. They are yellow-green in colour with five sepals and five petals three to four millimeters long.

The flowers occur in early spring before the new leaves emerge. They are sweetly scented and are sought after bees and other early flying insects.

The seeds of the Norway maple are flattened ,while those of the American sycamore are much more globose. The fruit is a double samara with two winged seeds. The seeds are disc-shaped and also strongly flattened. The wings are three to five centimeters long, widely spread,approaching a 180 degree angle. { other species of maple have wings that tend to droop, Some may remain on the tree over winter}.

It typically produces large quantities of viable seeds. The seeds are fertile when the tree has reached the age of eighteen to twenty years of age.

Flowers of Norway maple


The ripe fruits of Norway maple


Autumn Norway maple

Taken in Poland
Taken in Poland | Source

Norway maple and wildlife

In North America the Norway maple is considered to be an invasive species especially in places such as Vermont's Forest. Unlike American native species they host very few native caterpillars which in turn reduces an important food source for birds. Native mammals do not recognize the tree's seeds as a food source,which germinate easily and hence take up ground which would otherwise host native species of trees /flora.

The Norway maple also provides a breeding habitat for another highly invasive species the Asian Longhorn beetle,Anoplophora glabripeenis, an insect that threatens to significantly reduce North American hard wood forest stands. {Source The National Conservancy, Montpelier Vermont}

It is one of the few non-native species to successfully invade and colonize a virgin forest. In the UK and other countries many species of Lepidoptera feed on the foliage.

Maples are also famous for their autumn coloration, producing a fine displays.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • D.A.L. profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Lancashire north west England


      Hello Deb, thank you for the additional information and I am pleased I have reawakened some memories for you. I love maples and I love Maple syrup.Best wishes to you.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      The hard maple is one of the best trees in the world. I have seen bird's eye maple, and it is beautiful. The maple is hard to give a good finish, and one must first use a vinyl sealer, or it will not evenly stain. This beautiful article brought back a lot of memories about working with maple.

    • D.A.L. profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Lancashire north west England


      Hi Devika, Thank you my friend for being the first to visit and for leaving your kind comments. And thank you too, for your vote up,useful,interesting and beautiful,it means so much. Best wishes to you.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Beautiful photos and a very interesting hub from you. As always you know how to inform us of a new topic. Your idea for a new hub is informative and with great skills applied. Voted up, useful interesting and beautiful.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)