Authors as Published

Alex X. Niemiera, Associate Professor, Department of Horticulture

(Acer platanoides)


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

Light: Partial shade to full sun

Moisture: Moist to dry

Soil Type: Sandy, loam, or clay

pH Range: 3.7 to 8.0


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.

Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

Publication Date

May 1, 2009

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