Acer Platanoides

Acer Platanoides

Norway Maple

Acer platanoides is a deciduous tree, growing to 20–30 m (65–100 ft) tall with a trunk up to 1.5 m (5 ft) in diameter, and a broad, rounded crown. The bark is grey-brown and shallowly grooved. Unlike many other maples, mature trees do not tend to develop a shaggy bark. The shoots are green at first, soon becoming pale brown. The winter buds are shiny red-brown.

The leaves are opposite, palmately lobed with five lobes, 7–14 cm (2 345 12 in) long and 8–20 cm or 3 147 34 in (rarely 25 cm or 9 34 in) across; the lobes each bear one to three side teeth, and an otherwise smooth margin. The leaf petiole is 8–20 cm (3 147 34 in) long, and secretes a milky juice when broken. The autumn colour is usually yellow, occasionally orange-red.

The flowers are in corymbs of 15–30 together, yellow to yellow-green with five sepals and five petals 3–4 mm (0–14 in) long; flowering occurs in early spring before the new leaves emerge. The fruit is a double samara with two winged seeds. the seeds are disc-shaped, strongly flattened, 10–15 mm (3858 in) across and 3 mm (18 in) thick. The wings are 3–5 cm (1 14–2 in) long, widely spread, approaching a 180° angle. It typically produces a large quantity of viable seeds.

Under ideal conditions in its native range, Norway maple may live up to 250 years, but often has a much shorter life expectancy; in North America, for example, sometimes only 60 years. Especially when used on streets, it can have insufficient space for its root network and is prone to the roots wrapping around themselves, girdling and killing the tree. In addition, their roots tend to be quite shallow and thereby they easily out-compete nearby plants for nutrient uptake. Norway maples often cause significant damage and cleanup costs for municipalities and homeowners when branches break off in storms as it does not have strong wood.

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