Emerald Queen Norway MapleAcer platanoides 'Emerald Queen'
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Acer platanoides 'Emerald Queen'
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Emerald Queen Norway Maple is the perfect choice when you need a large tree for an urban location. It is incredibly tough and it can be relied on to handle that really tough place, with air and traffic pollution, drought and poor soil. It has a rounded crown and grows very quickly, soon reaching an attractive size and ultimately growing to 60 feet tall and 40 feet wide. Allow room for this when planting. The dark green leaves turn bold golden yellow in fall, and the yellow blooms on bare twigs in spring make a bright show.
Full sun or partial shade is best for your Emerald Queen Norway Maple. It grows in cold areas through zone 4, and survives in exposed and difficult locations. It grows in almost all soils, from occasionally flooded to dry, and from sand to clay and acid to alkaline. Once established it is drought resistant and although there can be leaf spots, these are not harmful. Generally free of pests. Some formative pruning of young trees is recommended.
There are many situations, especially in urban areas, where you simply need a tough, reliable tree that will withstand harsh conditions. Those are the situations when we turn to our toughest trees, and when the Norway maple steps into the spotlight. Although sometimes criticized, if planted with thought it can be the ideal choice, especially where the going gets tough. Of course, though, we still want the best, and for bold, dark-green foliage; bright autumn tones of golden yellow; fast growth and an attractive, rounded crown; for all these things and more, the Emerald Queen Norway Maple is unbeatable. The standard against which all other green-leaf varieties are measured, this is the tree when you want to get the job done. This is a large tree, though, so it isn’t suitable for a small town garden or courtyard. Reaching 60 feet in a few decades it shouldn’t be planted beneath overhead wires, closer than 20 feet to a building, or closer than 6 feet to a driveway or sidewalk, either. But given room it will soon be a striking tree that will hold its own against cold, heat, poor soil and drought. A queen among trees indeed.
The Emerald Queen Norway Maple is a large deciduous tree growing 2 feet or more a year when young, reaching 15 to 20 feet within a decade, and ultimately growing to 60 feet tall. When young it has a rounded, relatively narrow crown, which spreads with age until mature trees can be 40 feet across. The bark is mid-gray to dark gray with age, relatively smooth, especially when young. Older bark develops narrow vertical ridges and cracks. The leaves are large, up to 7 inches across, deeply divided into 5 lobes, with coarse serrations around the edges. The leaf closely resembles the native sugar maple. In summer the leaves are dark green, and in fall they are bright golden yellow – much better coloring than the dirty browns seen in many other varieties of Norway maple.
In spring, before the leaves emerge, trees put on an attractive display of golden-yellow flowers. These are small but profuse, in clusters along the stems. They disappear as the leaves come out, but by fall they have developed into maple ‘keys’ – a pair of seeds, each one supported by a thin wing. These are green turning brown when they mature. Seed clusters hang on the bare trees into the winter months.
When you need a large tree for an urban location, the Emerald Queen Norway Maple is a popular choice. It is often planted as a street tree in tough areas, dealing with urban pollution, traffic fumes, and poor soils typical or heavily-built areas. There is a good reason for Norway maples being common in our cities – they survive. Always allow enough room when planting – at least 20 feet from buildings, walls and property lines, and not beneath overhead wires. Allow at least 6 feet from driveways and walkways, as the root of mature trees can lift and crack them. When planting along a property line, space trees at least 20 feet apart. This tree casts a heavy shadow, and it may be difficult to grow a good lawn beneath it. In rural and suburban areas we suggest choosing a form of native maple, such as sugar maple or red maple.
The Emerald Queen Norway Maple is totally hardy in zone 4, and thrives in all zones into zone 7.
A young tree will grow in partial shade, but it should be able to reach into full sun as it matures. Don’t plant directly beneath already-existing mature trees. This tree grows in almost all kinds of soil, including very acidic soils, clays, sands, alkaline soils and soils that are sometimes wet, or often dry. Once established it tolerates drought well, and survives hot summer weather.
If you want a tall trunk for clearance, remove lower branches while still young, to avoid persistent scars on the trunk. After a couple of years of growth, remove over-crowded branches inside the crown to leave a few major branches with wide angles between them. Later in life trimming is not usually necessary. Prune in late winter or summer – trees pruned in spring may bleed sap, which isn’t serious, but can weaken the tree. Although you may see some leaf diseases, these are not serious and are often worse in some years and absent in others. This tree has few serious pests.
The Norway maple, Acer platanoides, is native not just to Norway, but all of Europe, from Spain to Turkey and Russia. It was first offered in America in 1756, after the Scottish botanist Phillip Miller sent seeds to John and William Bartram, a father and son ‘team’ of naturalists from Philadelphia, famous for studying American birds and plants, and founding America’s first botanical garden. The variety called Emerald Queen was selected from a batch of seedlings in 1959, at the nursery of A. McGill and Son, Canby, Oregon, in 1959, and released in their catalogue in 1963.
When the going gets tough, the Emerald Queen Norway Maple gets going. A superb choice for difficult urban locations, this tree remains the go-to variety of this tough tree. It is always in strong demand, so order now and be sure you receive a tree that is going to work in that tough spot you have in mind.