Invasive Plants Series: Norway Maple

The Norway Maple (Acer plataniodes) is a European and Eurasian tree brought to the US way back in 1756. It looks very much like the native sugar maple and displaces this tree in the forest.


Many cultivars are available on the market, including burgundy-colored and variegated varieties. The straight species has yellow leaves in fall.


Norway maples produce copious amounts of fruits/seeds, which can travel long distances and can sprout even in deep shade. This allows the trees to move deep into a forest. There they reduce the diversity of the understory plants, particularly spring ephemerals, by providing deeper shade than native trees do.


Norway maples can be distinguished from the sugar maple by the milky sap which oozes from cut/torn twigs and leaves. They are invasive in the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, North Central, and Northwest US.


Sources: DCNR, Invasive Plant Atlas

Photo: Nennienszweidrei on Pixabay

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