The Norway Maple or Acer Plantanoides is known for its hardiness, ability to thrive in different growing zones, soil conditions, height at maturity, and width. A deciduous broadleaf species native to Eastern Europe, parts of southwest Asia, around the Black Sea, and into southern Scandinavia, this beautiful shade tree reaches heights up to 100 feet with a crown that produces fabulous shade. This beautiful tree has been brought to the United States and is one of the wide varieties of maple. It has also been known to grow above the Arctic Circle and has been used as shade in Alaska. Its ability to tolerate unfavorable soil conditions and polluted air also verifies its hardy nature. Although similar invisible characteristics to other types of maple, the Norway Maple differs slightly in its bark, leaf shape, and leaf coloration.
Because this is hardwood, it is a beautiful yellow, pale reddish wood that is used for making furniture and woodturning. Quality furniture demands sturdy wood with tight grains, and this maple provides. Woodturning is a carving method where the carving instrument remains stationary, and the wood is turned as the design is made. These two applications prove this wood's durability, strength, and beauty.
These beautiful trees also are believed to release chemicals that could discourage undergrowth. Bare conditions can result immediately under the tree. Their root system is shallow and could cause other plants to starve for moisture. This species is still widely used in urban settings in many areas, even though lawn grasses and weeds will not usually thrive beneath them. The reason for this urban use could be that because it inhibits grass immediately around it, the option of mulch, straw, or bark spreading around it without the worry of pulling weeds is appealing. It is a somewhat invasive species; therefore, New Hampshire and Massachusetts have banned it. Ironically, other maple trees are the official trees for other New England states.
This maple does have a few natural enemies. The Asian long-horned beetle enjoys eating its way through the trunk of the maple trees, often resulting in its demise. Some moths and butterflies prefer to dine on the foliage, but there seems to be no damage to the tree. Though the Norway Maple is typically disease-free, it sometimes deals with "tar spots" or powdery mildew. Neither of these blights seems to be particularly harmful to the tree.