Acer platanoides

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Acer platanoides L.


Life form: tree
Usage: ornamental plant

Exposure: sun - Exposure: half shade   4

Moisture: moderately moist bis Moisture: moist

Soil: sand - Soil: gritty-sandy - Soil: loam - Soil: sandy loam - Soil: gritty loam - Soil: clay - Soil: sandy clay - Soil: loamy clay

Arrangement: opposite
Leaves: decidious

Shape: palmately lobed

Division: simple


Shape: five-stellate
Fruit: schizocarp


6C / ffd73d 

Inflorescence: corymb

Petals: single
Habit: erect

Canopy: rounded to broadly spreading



Acer platanoides is a tree.


Acer platanoides was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.


Acer platanoides is a species in the genus Acer which contains approximately 230 to 296 species and belongs to the family of the Aceraceae (Maple Family). The type species of the genus is Acer pseudoplatanus.


Acer platanoides - habitus
Acer platanoides - leaves
Acer platanoides - flowers
Acer platanoides - branches
Acer platanoides - stems


The trees reach heights of 20 to 25 metres, the main growing season is in spring and summer. They have a rounded to broadly spreading canopy and are comparatively fast-growing. The plants reach a width of to more than 15 metres.

Wood and Bark

The bark is longitudinally fissured or flaky and brown.


Acer platanoides is deciduous. The green, simple leaves are opposite. They are palmately lobed and petiolate with dentate margins and palmate venation. The surface of the leaves is glabrous. The foliage is dense and turns an attractive orange to bright orange in autumn.

Flowers and Fruits

Acer platanoides produces corymbs of erect, yellow five-stellate flowers in April. The plants flower on older shoots. They are dioecious, pollination takes places by allogamy through animals.

The trees produce an abundance of ornamental brown schizocarps from summer to autumn.

Root System

The plants form shallow roots.


Acer platanoides is native to Europe.


The trees prefer a sunny to half-shady situation on fresh to moist soil. They prefer sandy, gritty-sandy, loamy, sandy-loamy, gritty-loamy, clay, sandy clay or loamy clay soil with a pH between 4,8 and 7,2. The plants need a soil depth of at least 1.02 metres for good growth. They tolerate temperatures down to -35°C (USDA zone 4) and need a frost-free period of at least 19 weeks.

Classification after Prof. Dr. Sieber

  • open areas

Tolerance of special soil conditions

  • none: anaerobic soil
  • low: drought
  • medium: soil salinity, calcareous soil
  • high: city climate


The ornamental value of Acer platanoides lies especially in the attractive autumn aspect. The recommended planting distance is 2,5 metres. Suited for windbreaks and soil protection and for noise and dust protection, as well as suited as avenue tree, specimen plant, greenery along roads, bee pasture, bird pasture and as plant providing shelter for birds. From a commercial point of view the trees can be used to produce veneer. The plants have moderate potential for fuelwood production.

Maintenance and Propagation

The plants usually need very little maintenance.

  • Plants can be cut back down to the trunk (coppicing) as necessary.

Propagate by sowing. The seeds require vernalization.


Pests and Diseases

Spots on leaves and withering shoots indicate an infection with anthracnose. This is a fungus that may cause the plants to die. Destroy affected parts and improve ventilation and hygiene.


  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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