In spring, when most of the trees are still stretching their bare branches towards the sky, the Norway maple is already showing its yellow umbels of flowers. These catch the eye because they appear before the palm-sized leaves of the tree. Of the more than 100 maple species, the Norway maple is the most common in Germany. If you would like to plant the representative deciduous tree in your garden or park, you will find out everything you need to know in the following with the help of its profile and the care instructions.


  • Family: Soapberry family
  • Genus: maples
  • Botanischer Name: Acer platanoides
  • Origin: Germany
  • Growth height after 10 years: 4 meters
  • Final growth height: 20 to 30 meters
  • Leaf position: opposite
  • Leaf shape: 5-7 lobed, tapering, toothed
  • leaf shoots: pink to reddish-brown, later green or red
  • Flowering time: April to May
  • Flower color: yellow-colored corymbs
  • Twigs: light brown, later dark brown
  • Bark: smooth and light brown at first, later dark or grey
  • Trunk: 60 cm to 100 cm in diameter
  • Fruits: small, paired split fruits with small wings
  • Fruit ripening: October
  • Foliage: deciduous, different colors in autumn
  • Cut compatibility: good
  • Root system: heart roots
  • Winter hardiness: down to -32° Celsius
  • Location: sunny to semi-shady
  • Soil quality: deep, nutritious, slightly acidic, permeable
  • Age: 150 to 200 years
  • Suitability for the garden: excellent, beautiful ornamental tree

Due to its attractive habit and its pronounced resistance to environmental influences, the Norway maple is a popular park and garden tree, lines numerous avenues and also makes a beautiful picture as a container plant. Thanks to its pruning tolerance, the Norway maple is often cultivated as a bonsai.


Once the ideal location for the Norway maple has been found in the garden, it is planted at this point in a hole that is about twice as large as the root ball. A support post gives the young tree sufficient support. The excavation is enriched with a part of rhododendron soil, a few handfuls of horn shavings and sand, so that the desired slightly acidic and permeable soil quality is produced. After the earth has been trampled and the young deciduous tree has been watered generously, it can acclimate well if the following care instructions are observed:

  • Water plenty in the first year, but avoid waterlogging
  • Rainwater is sufficient for well-established trees
  • Only water thoroughly in dry summer periods
  • If perennials are planted underneath, water them all year round
  • Mulching protects against dehydration
  • Fertilize once or twice a year with garden compost
  • Protect young Norway maple from dog urine
  • Thin out a bit in the fall from time to time
  • Cut while growing causes him to ‘bleed out’
  • Do not leave the foliage where there is a risk of powdery mildew
  • Treat wounds with clay or wound sealant
  • In principle, pruning is not necessary

Due to its heart root system, in which the roots develop over a wide area and relatively close to the surface, underplanting with other plants is quite difficult. If you still want to plant some flowers or other small plants there, first use a spade to find several larger holes between the roots and mark them with a stick or stone. The entire area is then filled with a 5 cm thick layer of leaf compost or potting soil. Perennials, grasses or ferns can now be planted at the marked locations. Top soil is not suitable for this, because the roots of the Norway maple do not tolerate it as a covering. After everything has been well poured, another layer of bark mulch follows and the empty area under the Norway maple is filled with an imaginative,

Caring for Norway maple in the bucket

In the first few years, the Norway maple often delights gardeners as a decorative container plant. Since this deciduous tree is hardy, an equally frost-resistant planter is ideal. A water drainage hole should definitely be present, which is ideally protected with a drainage from clogging by the substrate. Practical materials for drainage are pumice, expanded clay or pottery shards. A common substrate for Norway maple is equal parts garden soil, potting soil, rhododendron soil, and sand for permeability. If you observe the following care recommendations, the Norway maple will decorate your balcony and terrace for many years:

  • Keep the substrate permanently slightly moist.
  • Do not let the root ball dry out.
  • Apply liquid fertilizer monthly from April to September.
  • Alternatively use fertilizer sticks in April and July.
  • In winter, water only on frost-free days.
  • Shape or pruning only in late autumn.

Although the Norway maple is pleasantly hardy by nature, there is a risk in the bucket that the root ball will freeze completely. This can – but does not have to – lead to damage to the roots. Experienced hobby gardeners therefore place the bucket on a polystyrene block in winter and wrap the container with bubble wrap. A layer of brushwood or straw also protects the roots from the frost.

diseases and pests

As resistant as the Norway maple is to environmental pollution from road traffic and industry, the deciduous tree can still be afflicted by various diseases and pests.

powdery mildew

  • fungal disease
  • mars the leaves of the Norway maple with a milky-white coating
  • does no basic damage to the tree
  • environmentally conscious hobby gardeners do not use pesticides such as fungicides
  • only remove and burn the collected leaves in autumn to prevent re-infestation next year
  • proven biological control agent is a mixture of one part fresh milk and nine parts rainwater
    • Spray on affected leaves every 2 to 3 days
  • a mixture of half a liter of garden compost and two and a half liters of water is more complex and effective
    • leave for a week, stir well, then strain and then spray on the infected leaves and soil
    • Repeat the process at intervals of 4 to 5 days

Verticillium – Which (Verticillium alboatrum)

If the leaves wither and fall off in the middle of the growth phase despite sufficient watering, the cause is usually the harmful fungus Verticillium, which clogs the water channels of the tree. So far there is no effective means of combating this. In the event of an infestation, the entire tree including its root system and the surrounding soil must be removed. Balanced cultivation conditions, regular fertilization and root aeration every 3 to 4 years have a preventive effect.

Tar spot disease – maple wrinkle scab

With this fungal disease, many black spots with a yellow border appear on the leaves of the Norway maple. In the early stages, these are dense fungal networks. The following year, domed black elevations called maple wrinkle scab develop. If the leaves are thoroughly removed and burned in autumn, a renewed infection, i.e. the formation of the harmful scab, can be prevented.


  • can be caused by fungi or bacteria
  • Remove and burn affected branches and twigs
  • If there are growths on the trunk, consult a specialist

Popular varieties of Norway maple

The multiple benefits of Norway maple have encouraged breeders to keep developing new varieties, some of the most popular of which are presented below:


  • round, dense crown
  • grows up to 6 m wide and 15 m high
  • Shoots bright red, later deep green
  • extremely heat tolerant
  • location tolerant and adaptable

Globosum – Kugelahorn

  • densely branched, spherical crown
  • is cultivated with standard
  • Growth height up to 600 cm
  • ideal for the entrance or driveway


  • leaves edged in white
  • yellow, fragrant flowers in April and May
  • medium sized with a short trunk
  • pyramidal crown


  • columnar, narrow growth habit
  • Red shoots, later dark green
  • Growth height up to 10 m
  • Width up to 4 m
  • ideal for inner courtyard greening

Faassen’s black

  • famous Belgian variety
  • large, almost black, glossy leaves
  • purple flowers in April
  • Growth height up to 20 m

Crimson King – Blood Maple

  • bright crimson leaves
  • Growth height up to 15 m
  • beautiful red-leaved tree

Crimson Sentry

  • pointed, dense crown
  • weak-growing
  • Height up to 10 m
  • Width up to 4 m
  • black to purple leaves
  • well suited for the smaller garden


  • slim, narrow habit
  • Growth height up to 10 m
  • Flowers light yellow and light green
  • leaves deciduous
  • bright orange-yellow foliage in autumn

Laciniatum Wieri – Slotted Silver Maple

  • green leaves silvery-white on the underside
  • green-yellow to red flowers in April and May
  • wide spreading crown
  • Growth height up to 20 m when old


  • vigorous Norway maple
  • deeply incised leaves
  • twisting branches
  • Growth height 15 m to 20 m


  • medium sized variety
  • up to 10 m wide crown
  • growth height 15 m
  • reddish-yellow and fragrant flowers
  • copper-golden later olive-green leaves
  • orange autumn colour


  • broad, pyramidal crown
  • medium-sized up to 15 m
  • yellow-green corymbs
  • Shoots deep red, later dark green
  • Autumn color yellow-orange

Emerald Queen

  • oval, very dense crown
  • Growth height 10 m to 15 m
  • remarkably straight stem
  • yellow flowers in April and May
  • Leaf shoots pink, later deep green
  • particularly fast-growing variety


  • bushy compact oval crown
  • medium-sized up to 15 m
  • reddish leaf shoots, later bronze-colored
  • very nice orange-yellow autumn colour
  • Leaves unusually large up to 20 cm
  • narrow, elegant habit

The dwarf Norway maple varieties are ideal for cultivation in tubs


  • Maximum growth height of 2 m
  • Width about 1 m
  • weak-growing
  • dark green, slightly wavy leaves
  • real rarity


  • very rare variety
  • Leaves not 5-7 lobed but round
  • slow-growing, therefore ideal for tubs
  • unusual autumn colour


The most promising method of propagating a Norway maple is using cuttings. To do this, young, slightly woody shoots are cut off the tree to a length of 10 cm to 15 cm with a sharp knife just above one eye. Each individual cutting should have at least 3 eyes. These are easy to recognize by the small bulges under the bark. The best time for this type of propagation is early spring or late fall when the tree is not in sap. The cutting is placed in a nutrient-poor substrate that supports rapid root formation as they go in search of food. Treating the cut with a rooting powder based on seaweed extract can be helpful.

Alternatively, the cuttings can also be placed in a glass of water until the first roots and leaves appear. Then the cutting moves to a pot with growing medium, which consists half of sand and one quarter of peat and potting soil. Here the young plant can then develop in peace and quiet until it is strong enough to be planted in the bed.

Conclusion When
 young, it does need additional watering, whereas the natural amount of rain is sufficient for older specimens. Only the underplanting with perennials and other suitable plants is somewhat problematic, because the Norway maple roots its surroundings densely, as is usual for a heart root. Attractive varieties of Norway maple can be discovered in abundance, which also attract everyone’s attention in the bucket. Especially if they already show their bright yellow flowers in early spring, when the majority of the plants are still in hibernation.

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