Originating in Europe and Western Asia, Norway Maple found its way to America due to ornamental value as a landscape plant. A deciduous tree that can grow up to 90 feet, it is often confused with the native Sugar Maple. The easiest way to determine the difference is that Norway Maples leaves are generally wider than Sugar Maples and it has a white milky sap that can be seen by breaking the veins on leaves. The fruits become “samaras” – looking like small wings that will spin to the ground.
The way that this plant out-competes native species is by creating a large dense canopy that will shade out understory and shrub vegetation beneath it while hindering the growth of new tree sprouts in its vicinity. Small seedlings can be uprooted by hand, while larger trees can simply be cut down. Native alternatives to the Norway Maple are both the Sugar and Red Maple trees.