Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Best in full sun. Tolerant of a wide range of soils. Tolerant of drought. Generally tolerant of many urban pollutants. Shallow root system. Does not perform well in the southeastern U. S. south of USDA Zone 7.
Acer platanoides commonly called Norway maple is native to Europe. It has been widely planted in urban areas throughout much of the U. S. It is a medium-sized deciduous shade tree typically growing 40-50’ tall with a dense, symmetrical, rounded crown. Leaves (to 7” across) have five sharply pointed lobes and resemble those of sugar maple. Leaf stems exude a milky sap when cut. Fall color is usually an unremarkable yellow. Small yellow flowers in erect clusters (corymbs) appear in spring before the foliage. Flowers give way to paired seeds with horizontally spreading wings (samaras to 2” long).
Species name means resembling platanus (sycamore), which is somewhat curious since the leaves of Norway maple do not really bear that much resemblance to sycamores.
‘Crimson King’ is a red-leaved cultivar which is noted for its rich maroon leaves that last throughout the summer and its purple fruits. Fall color is unremarkable. It is more compact and tends to grow slower than the species. Maroon-yellow flowers appear in clusters before the foliage in spring. Although small, the flowers have interesting ornamental value. Flowers give way to purple samaras (to 2” long) with horizontally spreading wings. ‘Crimson King’ was introduced in the U. S. in 1947 as a seedling of A. platanoides ‘Schwedleri’.
No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to verticillium wilt which can be fatal. Anthracnose can be a problem in cool, wet springs. Watch for leaf hoppers. Shallow root system can crack or heave nearby driveways or sidewalks. Shallow surface roots can interfere with turf. Bark is susceptible to sunscald and cracking (frost cracks) in winter, particularly on younger trees. Leaf scorch may occur.
Specimen tree for the landscape. Shade tree. May be used as a street tree as long as spread is not a problem.