Acer platanoides - L.
Norway Maple
Other Common Names: Norway maple
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Acer platanoides L. (TSN 28755)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.140646
Element Code: PDACE010D0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Maple Family
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Sapindales Aceraceae Acer
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Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Acer platanoides
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (27Sep2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), District of Columbia (SNA), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Louisiana (SNA), Maine (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNA), Minnesota (SNA), Montana (SNA), Nebraska (SNA), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New York (SNA), North Carolina (SNA), Ohio (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), Tennessee (SNA), Vermont (SNA), Virginia (SNA), West Virginia (SNA), Wisconsin (SNA)
Canada British Columbia (SNA), New Brunswick (SNA), Nova Scotia (SNA), Ontario (SNA), Prince Edward Island (SNA), Quebec (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CTexotic, DCexotic, DEexotic, ILexotic, INexotic, KYexotic, LAexotic, MA, MDexotic, MEexotic, MIexotic, MNexotic, MTexotic, NCexotic, NEexotic, NHexotic, NJexotic, NYexotic, OHexotic, PAexotic, RIexotic, TNexotic, VAexotic, VTexotic, WIexotic, WVexotic
Canada BCexotic, NBexotic, NSexotic, ONexotic, PEexotic, QCexotic

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: High/Medium
Rounded I-Rank: High
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Acer platanoides, a commonly planted shade and street tree, has been escaping and increasing its presence in natural areas for several years. Reproducing vigorously by seed, and resprouting after cutting make it difficult to eliminate any escaped plants. Many states have since banned the use of A. platanoides as a street tree, although the species has already become widespread.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Medium
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: High/Medium
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: High/Medium
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Medium/Low
I-Rank Review Date: 19Feb2004
Evaluator: Fellows, M.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Europe and Western Asia (Swearingen et al. 2002)

Download "An Invasive Species Assessment Protocol: Evaluating Non-Native Plants for their Impact on Biodiversity". (PDF, 1.03MB)
Provide feedback on the information presented in this assessment

Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: (Kartesz 1999)

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: (Swearingen et al. 2002)

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Medium

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Insignificant
Comments: No significant alterations (Randall and Marinelli 1996).

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:High significance
Comments: Casts heavy shade that excludes native vegetation (Swearingen et al. 2002; Weber 2003).

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:High significance
Comments: Can form a monotypic stand (Swearingen et al. 2002; Weber 2003). May transforms native woodlands into species poor stands (Wycoff and Webb 1996; Weber 2003).

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Host to numerous pest species - could act as reservoirs of pests that damage native vegetation (Gilman and Watson 1993). Outcompetes Acer saccharum (Eckel 1990). Fails to provide habitat for Epifagus virginiana (a Fagus root parasite) and Lindera benzoin (Wyckoff and Webb 1996).

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Moderate significance
Comments: Found in second growth forests (Breen 2003).

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: High/Medium

6. Current Range Size in Nation:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Distributed around New England, Mid West, Mid-Atlantic and Northwest (Kartesz 1999).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:High/Moderate significance
Comments: This tree is commonly planted and naturalized in New England (Breen 2003), Pennsylvania (Rhoads and Block 2002), mid-Atlantic & points North (Love 2003). It does not appear to have become invasive in CT, yet (Mehrhoff 1999).

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:Moderate significance
Comments: Potential in a maximum of 25 ecoregions - inferred from Kartesz (1999) and TNC (2001).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Low significance
Comments: Forests and woodlands (Weber 2003).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: High/Medium

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Inferred from increase in number of reports, increase in number of states (from just New England to whole Northeast) since first reports.

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Low significance
Comments: Maximum potential range inferred from hardiness zones (4-7) (Gilman and Watson 1993) and (Kartesz 1999).

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:High significance
Comments: Sold in horticultural trade (Swearingen et al. 2002; Dosmann and Del Tredici 2003)and wind dispersed seeds (Weber 2003).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:High/Low significance
Comments: Inferred from large seed production and tendency to form monocultures if left unchecked.

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:High significance
Comments: Often establish in shade beneath intact forest canopy (Rhoads and Block 2002).

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Low significance
Comments: Also present in similar habitats in the British Isles and Canada (Weber 2003).

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Low significance
Comments: Known to resprout from roots after cutting (Swearingen et al. 2002; Weber 2003). Reproduces vigourously by seed (Weber 2003). Fast growing (Gilman and Watson 1993). Seeds germinate readily (Gilman and Watson 1993).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Medium/Low

17. General Management Difficulty:Moderate significance
Comments: Chemical and mechanical methods of control are available (Swearingen et al. 2002) but roots as well as above-ground parts must be removed (Weber 2003). However management is "a monumental task" - abundance and continuing sale of new trees (Love 2003).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Girdled trees take several growing seasons to kill (Love 2003).

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Low significance
Comments: Monotypic stands won't have a native understory, but adult trees could harm nearby natives if not treated properly (Love 2003).

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:High significance
Comments: Commonly sold tree (Love 2003), which may make it difficult to remove from private property near conservation areas.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 17Oct1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): LEM

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

  • Breen, P. 2003. Landscape Plants. Images, Identification, and Information. Volume 1 Copyright, Oregon State University, 1999-2003. ONLINE. Accessed 2004, January.

  • Dodge, C.K. 1914. The Flowering Plants, Ferns and Fern Allies Growing Without Cultivation in Lambton County, Ontario. Sixteenth Report, Michigan Academy of Science, Lansing, Michigan. Pp. 132-200.

  • Dosmann, M. and P. Del Tredici. 2003. Plant introduction, distribution and survival: A case study of the 1980 Sino-American botanical expedition. BioScience 53(6):588-597.

  • Douglas, G.W., G.D. Straley, and D. Meidinger, eds. 1998b. Illustrated Flora of British Columbia, Vol. 1, Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons (Aceraceae through Asteraceae). B.C. Minist. Environ., Lands and Parks, Wildl. Branch, and B.C. Minist. For. Res. Program. 436pp.

  • Eckel, P. M. 1990 (& 2002). Botanical Evaluation of the Goat Island Complex, Niagara Falls, New York. Numerical Assessment of Floral Changes on Goat Island, Exclusive of the Adjacent Islands. Accessed 2004, January.

  • Gilman, E. F. and D. G. Watson. 1993. Acer platanoides Norway Maple. Fact Sheet ST-28, adapted from a series by the Environmental Horticulture Department, University of Florida for the United States Forest Service.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, December, 1996.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Love, R. 2003. Introduced Species Summary Project Norway Maple Acer platanoides. Invasion Biology Introduced Species Summary Project - Columbia University. ONLINE Accessed 2004, January.

  • Mehrhoff, L. J. 1999. Draft List of non-native invasive vascular plants in Connecticut. George Safford Torrey Herbarium, University of Connecticut. ONLINE. Available: (Accessed 2004).

  • Montgomery, F.H. 1948. Introduced plants of Waterloo and adjacent counties, Ontario.  Canadian Field-Naturalist 62(2): 79-95.

  • Randall, J.M. and J. Marinelli (eds.) 1996. Invasive plants: weeds of the global garden. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, New York.

  • Rehder, A. 1927. Manual of Cultivated Trees and Shrubs Hardy in North America: Exclusive of the Subtropical and Warmer Temperate Regions. MacMillan Company, New York, New York. 930 p.

  • Rhoads, A.F. and T.A. Block. 2002. Invasive species fact sheet. Norway Maple Acer platanoides L. Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Swearingen, J., K. Reshetiloff, B. Slattery, and S. Zwicker. 2002. Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas. National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 82 pp.

  • Swink, F., and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region. Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.

  • The Nature Conservancy. 2001. Map: TNC Ecoregions of the United States. Modification of Bailey Ecoregions. Online . Accessed May 2003.

  • Webb, S.L., M. Dwyer, C.K. Kaunzinger, and P.H. Wyckoff. 2000. The myth of the resilient forest: a case study of the invasive Norway Maple (Acer platanoides). Rhodora 102(911): 332-354.

  • Weber, E. 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. CABI Publishing, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 548 pp.

  • Wyckoff, P. H., and S. L. Webb. 1996. Understory influence of the invasive Norway maple (Acer platanoides). Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Society 123(3):197-205.

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