Monitoring a young Norway Maple stand in Point Pleasant Park (HRM 2007)
Norway Maple Removal Project
Norway Maple (Acer platanoides) is an invasive tree species within the Point Pleasant Park forest. This type of tree is crowding out favoured Acadian forest trees and seedlings and lowering the biodiversity of the park's habitat. Norway Maples also cast deep shade on the ground, preventing native plant groundcovers from growing over the forest floor.
As part of the Federal Government's commitment to the renewal of Point Pleasant Park, in October/November 2007 HRM will be working with Asplundh Tree Company to target areas in the park with high concentrations of Norway Maple for sapling/seedling removal, planting with desired Acadian tree seedlings, and regrowth monitoring.
Note the size of the Norway Maple leaf (large) compared to the native Red Maple leaf (smaller) (HRM 2007).
Native to Continental Europe, the Norway Maple was imported into the United States in 1756 and into Canada in 1778. The tree gained popularity as an urban street tree in the wake of Dutch Elm disease because of its vigor and resistance to pollution.
In recent decades the tree has become considered invasive as it displaces indigenous trees species in urban parks and open spaces. In a residential setting the tree becomes a nuisance along fence lines and in hedgerows.
A typical lifespan of a Norway Maple is 60 years, making it a short-lived tree. With a habit of weak wood and root girdling problems at around 35 years of age, the tree has created maintenance issues for the city. HRM discontinued the practice of planting Norway Maple in 1996, and does not recommend planting the tree, or any of its varieties.
Across Halifax Regional Muncipality, the Urban Forest Master Plan will address managing invasive tree species like the Norway Maple.
In Point Pleasant Park, along with the Urban Forest Master Plan, the Point Pleasant Park Master Plan specifically targets the gradual removal and replacement of the Norway Maple with the appropriate Acadian forest tree species.