Botanical Name: Acer platanoides
Section: Acer sect. Platanoidea
Species: A. platanoides
Common Names:Harlequin Maple, Emerald Queen Maple, Norway Maple
Habitat: Acer platanoides is native to eastern and central Europe and western Asia, from France east to Russia, north to southern Scandinavia and southeast to northern Iran. It was brought to North America in the mid-1700s as a shade tree. It is a member of the family Sapindaceae. It grows on all but very poor soils in Britain.
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 3?4–5 1?2 in) long and 8–20 cm or 3 1?4–7 3?4 in (rarely 25 cm or 9 3?4 in) across; the lobes each bear one to three side teeth, and an otherwise smooth margin. The leaf petiole is 8–20 cm (3 1?4–7 3?4 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 (0–1?4 in) long; flowering occurs in early spring before the new leaves emerge. The fruit is a double samara Acer platanoides scanned fruit cropped.jpg with two winged seeds. the seeds are disc-shaped, strongly flattened, 10–15 mm (3?8–5?8 in) across and 3 mm (1?8 in) thick. The wings are 3–5 cm (1 1?4–2 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.
Landscape Uses:Firewood, Aggressive surface roots possible, Pollard, Screen. Of easy cultivation, it prefers a good moist well-drained soil but thrives in any soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a sunny position but tolerates some shade. One report says that plants tolerate chalky soils, but another says that plants can develop chlorosis as a result of iron deficiency when they are grown in alkaline soils. Trees are very tolerant of atmospheric pollution. The Norway maple is a quick-growing tree that has been widely planted in Britain and is more or less naturalized. There are many named forms that have been selected for their ornamental value. Norway maple is a bad companion plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants. The leaves are seldom eaten or defaced by insects because the tree contains a sharp milky juice that they dislike. Trees take 30 years to produce seed. Special Features: Not North American native, Invasive, Naturalizing, Attractive flowers or blooms.
The sap contains a certain amount of sugar and can either be used as a drink, or can be concentrated into a syrup by boiling off the water. The syrup is used as a sweetener on many foods. The concentration of sugar is considerably lower than in the sugar maples (A. saccharum). The tree trunk is tapped in the early spring, the sap flowing better on warm sunny days following a frost. The best sap production comes from cold-winter areas with continental climates.
Medicinal Uses: Not known to us.
The leaves are packed around apples, rootcrops etc to help preserve them. The trees are fairly wind tolerant and are often used in to give protection from the wind in mixed shelterbelts. They are fast-growing and rapidly produce a screen. A rose coloured dye is obtained from the bark. Wood – hard, heavy, fine grained. Used for small domestic items.It is used for furniture, flooring and musical instruments. In fact, the Stradivarius violins are said to be made of Norway maple.
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