Beautiful, no? That’s part of the problem in reality. Norway Maples, or Acer platanoides are a stunning tree, especially at this time of year when they’re still holding onto those beautiful yellow leaves that add so much to the Fall foliage show.
So what’s wrong with a pretty maple tree you ask? This tree has been sold primarily as a landscape specimen, and what are it’s strongest attributes – beautiful, tall, fast grower, dense canopy etc. are also it’s deficits. It’s seedy, depositing loads of seed in a short time, it leafs out early and has a dense canopy which effectively blocks out native species that would grow underneath, it grows quickly out competing natives like the Sugar Maple and since it is so pretty, people still plant it and hesitate to cut it down when it’s on their property.
Next time you’re out and about, take note of the yellow foliage, but this time look critically at the trees providing that display. Are they a monoculture (meaning a homogenous community of trees with no diversity) or are there other species mixed into the group and are there mostly younger saplings? My bet is when you start to see how quickly these trees take over a small area, you’ll be willing to remove a few of them. I don’t advocate you cutting down a mature specimen that adds value to your landscape and property, but if their are loads of saplings that can be easily removed, it’s a good thing to do. Invasive species are a real problem in our country and this is one that could be easily managed by diligent landowners.