Unbeknownst to many Canadians I’m sure, not all Maple trees are native to Canada. In fact of the 150 Maple species, only ten are native: Sugar Maple; Red Maple; Silver Maple; Black Maple; Big Leaf Maple; Douglas Maple; Manitoba Maple; Mountain Maple; Striped Maple and Vine Maple. Yet, the Norway Maple tree dominates almost every home and green space throughout North America.
The Norway Maple tree is regularly confused with the native Sugar Maple tree. Similar to the Sugar Maple, some cultivars of the Norway Maple also have green leaves in some species, five to seven tapering and pointed lobes. Also, in some species, the leaves change colour in autumn while others remain green. Unlike the Sugar Maple tree though, the leaves on the Norway Maple have a sticky white substance when bent. The Crimson King Norway Maple has attractive burgundy foliage that lasts throughout the season until the leaves fall in autumn.
As in other communities, the Norway Maple led by the popular Crimson King Norway Maple is the dominate tree within in my southwestern Ontario community. The dominance of Norway Maples is due to the trees resistance to urban pollution, salt and other stress. Hence, Norway Maples are the tree planted by choice. Unfortunately, these non-native trees are invading our natural ecosystems. Fortunately, many communities are taking steps to prevent further decline of our ecosystems and to bring back and save wildlife. The importance of planting native plants is four-fold:
- To maintain the natural diversity of plant life in our region;
- To support the insects, birds and animals that depend on native plants;
- To learn about and appreciate the beauty of our region’s flora, our natural heritage;
To reduce our use of water, fertilizers and pesticides as native plants are usually better adapted to our climate and soil than horticultural plants. (Source)