Acer platanoides

Norway Maple - distinctive early spring clumps of flowers.

In SPRING, the Norway Maple flowers early and has a unique look. The "clumps" you see on the tree are actually clusters of small flowers.The tree was introduced to the United States in the mid 1700s and was touted as a hardy tree well adapted to multiple soil conditions. Unfortunately, it also forms dense stands that crowd out other trees.  It is now considered invasive.


Norway Maple flowers.

Norway Maples typically have male and female flowers on different trees (dioecious), but they sometimes have both and can even switch from year to year.  This maple bears fruit (samaras) each year, and these are female flowers.


Norway maple fruit, also called samaras.

Individual flower (left).  Once fertilized these flowers turn into "helicopters" over the summer and drop in the fall.  The technical term for the seed/fruit is a samara, and all maples have them - although at different times of the year.


Summer foliage of norway maple.

During summer, the leaves create a dense shade underneath the tree.  The leaves are very similar to Sugar Maple, but the samaras and buds are completely different.


Comparison of buds of Norway Maple and Sugar Maple.

One surefire way to tell the difference between Norway and Sugar Maples is to compare the terminal buds.


Winter profile of Norway Maple, Acer platanoides.

Winter is a quiet time for Norway Maples, but you can see the opposing twigs on the branches - a key ID factor for all Maples.