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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Acer platanoides - Norway Maple

The Norway maple is a fast growing medium to large deciduous tree growing into a dense rounded tree of about 40 feet tall. Can't say they look like that here, though there are not that many to see. Spring time brings on the yellowish flowers prior to the leaves and fall brings a pretty decent display of yellows. Invasive in many areas of the country.



Foliage is opposite, simple, palmately lobed with 5-7 bristle tipped lobes (7 if you count the  tiny ones at the bottom). Usually 6-7" long and wide, dark green and decent fall color. One of several maples that have a white latex sap coming out of the petiole if you pull off the leaves. Foliage may vary due to cultivars, some dark purple, some variegated.



Stems are pretty stout, with a large terminal bud.



Flowers appear prior to the leaves and light up a city like Spokane which has so many of them. Showy yellowish green flowers in branched clusters shorter and broader than our native flower clusters.



Fruit is a winged samara up to 2" long. Wings are about 180 degrees. In areas up north every single one germinates.



Bark is smooth for many years, finally developing some shallow furrows. 


One of many cultivars, 'Drummondii' with its variegated leaves. The other I have mentioned is 'Crimson King' which is purple.


Misidentification:
Around here you might think its a Platanus, but those have alternate leaves. Since I have yet to see a Sugar Maple in SC County its not likely to be in play.

Location:
Aptos
316 Clubhouse Dr

Capitola
222 Esplanade

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