Norway maple

Acer platanoides

Norway maple, photo: Teemu Saloriutta

Norway maples are common both in city parks and near old manors. Forests which primarily consist of maples are called maple forests. There are not a lot of maple forests in Europe; there is a mere 20 hectares of them in Estonia. Maples are common in Estonia and are not protected. They endure cold and in young age, shade as well. In terms of soil, however, they are demanding: they prefer fertile, moist, and humus-rich loamy soils. They are unicameral broad-leaved trees. They grow up to 30 metres tall. Their sprouts and young stems are smooth, even slightly shiny and reddish-brown. Later, the stem is covered in a dark grey rough bark. The crown is large and vast, with rising branches. Norway maples are compared to oaks in terms of roots and the strength of the wood. However, because of recurring bifurcation and the fact that the wood is easily split, stem branches are easily broken in old trees. In autumn, from September to October, its leaves turn from green to multi-coloured. Its flowers contain a lot of honey. A lot of insects feed on them.