Norway Maple, Acer platanoides, is native up to Dalälven and along the eastern coast to Ångermanland, and as cultivated in the inner parts of Norrland.In the south there are also small populations of Sycamore Maple, Acer pseudoplstsnus, and Field Maple, Acer campestre. Norway maple has yellow flowers, blossoming just before the leaves open. Maple leaves are known from the Canadian flag. They are large, smooth and lobed. The fruits are 3 – 5cm, have a nutlike seed and are popularly called maple noses. Young trees have smooth grayish brown bark, with age changing to grayish black with fine fissures.
It prefers moist nutrititious soils. Young trees can grow in shadow, but as old it needs a lot of light. In forests it grows straight and tall, or if growing alone in an open place - like in a park - it develops a large, dense crown. It can grow 30 meters high and get 150 years old.
The wood is white, occasionally with dark brown heartwood. It is hard and resilient and used for furniture, turning and carvings, gun stocks, brushes, rake pegs and kitchen utensils. It is highly appreciated as a material for musical instruments. Since the surface is soft and smooth it is a good wood for tool handles and rake shafts.
Did you know that:
- The sap is used for making sugar and syrup.
- It is a common yard tree on old farms.