Norway Maple (Acer platanoides) - leaves close up - October 2017
A Norway Maple within the Hill Barton industrial park of Exeter, UK. ==== Norway maple is a deciduous broadleaf tree native to northern Europe and was introduced to the UK in the 17th century. Norway maple was introduced to North America in the early 20th century and is now considered an invasive species. Because it is so tolerant to shade, it out-competes the North American native sugar maple. However, its canopy is denser than that of sugar maple, so fewer wildflowers are able to grow beneath, reducing biodiversity. Mature Norway maple trees can grow to 25m. The bark is grey with fine ridges, and the twigs are slender and brown with tiny white spots. The leaves are palmate and have five lobes with a few pointed teeth. They are dark green in colour, fading to yellow and occasionally red before falling in autumn. All Norway maple flowers grow in clusters of up to 30. Once pollinated by insects, female flowers develop into winged seeds, or samaras, which fall in autumn and are distributed by wind. Native to eastern and central Europe, from France east to Russia, Norway maple can be found in the UK as a street tree and is widely planted as an ornamental tree in parks and gardens due to its tall trunk and tolerance of compacted soils, shade and pollution. Norway maple timber is similar to that of sycamore, being hard, strong and pale cream in colour. It may be used for a variety of situations, including furniture and turnery. However it is not often grown commercially due to problems associated with grey squirrels, which strip the bark. Trees are also planted widely in towns and cities, thanks to their ornamental value, and tolerance of shade and pollution. The leaf of the maple tree is incorporated in the flag of Canada. Maple tree can survive more than 300 years under appropriate climate conditions. People in Japan like to watch delicate changes in the colour of the foliage during the autumn. Collective watching of maples in the autumn is known as “momijigari” in Japan. Maple tree is also used in the paper industry. Paper made of maple tree has excellent printing properties. Dried wood of maple tree can be used for smoking of food, while charcoal made of maple tree plays significant role in the manufacture of Tennessee Whiskey. === Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae (unranked): Angiosperms (unranked): Eudicots (unranked): Rosids Order: Sapindales Family: Sapindaceae Genus: Acer Species: A. platanoides Binomial name Acer platanoides
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