To cut or not to cut a Norway Maple

curiousburkeMay 16, 2014

Hello All,
This is my first post. I just bought a house and I am in desperate need of advice on whether to cut down a Norway maple in my very small back yard. The back is only 20' deep, and so is my rear neighbors. The tree is about 10' from the back of my house. It's less than a foot across at the base and maybe 40' tall.

I does provide nice shade and seclusion from the neighbors. We would like to plant grass in the back, will we be able to?

Thank you,
Mark

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
greenthumbzdude

grass?....no way if its a Norway

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 10:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

if you want grass.. goodbye norway ...

no alternative ... period

ken

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 12:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
curiousburke

Okay, so we have to decide if we are okay with no grass. If we are, is it a major problem keeping this tree? It touches the house and I guess the root would grow toward the foundation?

Another benefit of the tree is that the back of our house is five stories and a bit of an eyesore. At least the tree hides that.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 10:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Here they get aphids and drip stickiness in summer. And it is typical for the area beneath them to be bare. Elsewhere in North America the tree is a major weed, there are a few places I have seen here also where thousands of them have come up.

Big maples are for big spaces. Your tree wants to grow at least double the size it is now.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 10:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
akamainegrower

Norway maple is the worst weed tree in the eastern US. By all means get rid of it while it's still small enough to do without too much trouble.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 6:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
huggorm

"Norway maple is the worst weed tree in the eastern US."
Worse than tree of heaven? Empress tree? White mulberry? Bradford pear?

This post was edited by Huggorm on Sat, May 17, 14 at 8:34

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 8:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
akamainegrower

Huggorm: Yes. It's rampant reproduction plus its ability to produce allelopathic chemicals gives it the prize. The ones you mention are pest trees, but not as bad as the maple. There are New England towns where it has crowded out 90% of the native species and more desireable ornamentals. It's not even good for firewood.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 8:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
huggorm

Strange. I live in its native range and it is strong at good soil but not that strong. It is also quite good for firewood, but hard to split. Not my favorit maple, but a nice component of a broadleaf forest

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 9:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

OP, I would start planning on removal this winter. Really it seems like a bit of a tight spot for the tree but that way YOU have a whole summer to decide if you like the tree or not.

Besides the cost of removal, I find nothing wrong with planting a bush or tree for a decade or two if usefullness then replacing it as it grows past size.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 9:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Mackel-in-DFW

Hey Huggorm,

In your native range, if I'm not mistaken, the women grow taller, and are known for blonde foliage, no? JK

Hell, I just found out that the t.o.h. was used for silk production. Amazing how such a stinkin' tree can produce such a fine material, stronger than silk produced form mulberry.

And according to a botanist from Harvard, "Ailanthus has a different appearance in its homeland, China. As far as I know, there ailanthus appears neither bushy nor weedy. It rarely occurs within the city limits, but grows in villages or in the suburbs as isolated trees with straight, tall boles and rather flat crowns".

Who'd 'ave known? It's also known there as an excellent firewood, on par with oak (but hard to split....hmmm...maybe climate does matter....).

M

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 11:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

please understand.. that trees will not attack and destroy.. a fully intact foundation.. basement.. nor pipes ..

but they will take advantage of pre-exisiting problems... like foundations/basements that are already cracked... or pipes that are already leaking ...

one option ... would be to plant some other things right now... to hide the sight lines ... and once they get going.. planning on taking down this one in the next few years ... but as noted.. the replacements will have to be as far from the canopy as possible ...

what do you need grass for?? .. the kids to frolic in??? .. if so.. go with kids as a high point variable ... they need grass ...

i cant go any further than any of the above peeps.. in my hatred for this tree ... so i would be repetitive ...

a pic might help us understand a 20 foot deep backyard.. and what you are dealing with.. right now.. we are kinda guessing about all that ...

ken

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 12:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

I have burned a lot of Norway Maple over the years for firewood. It burns nice and splits 'OK'. Not as easy as some, but not near as hard, either.
I've done my part in getting rid of them.
Mike

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 12:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
akamainegrower

Norway maple contains about 20 million btus per cord, slightly less than elm, for example. The native sugar maple contains 25 MBTUs. The sugar maple is one of the native species that is most vulnerable to competition from the introduced Norway maple. The former is by far a more valuable tree both economically and horticulturally. Some states have listed Norway maple as an invasive species, but it continues to be widely sold.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 6:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
curiousburke

Wow, thank you everybody for all the suggestions. I didn't know this tree was so despised. It certainly likes to reproduce; I have another 3 small maples at the lot boundary that are coming out.

I don't even think I could take much of a pic of this tree in my yard without getting a much wider lens. I'll give it a try later.

"what do you need grass for?? .. the kids to frolic in??? .. if so.. go with kids as a high point variable ... they need grass ..."

yes, we have kids so I just assumed we need grass. Of course a swing on a big maple would be nice for them too :) However, I already plan to remove the only major branch since it reaches out to my neighbors yard.

Will this tree really mess up the side of my house with sap and such?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 10:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
famartin(z5 NE NV)

Norway is invasive, absolutely, and I cringe when I run into them in the wilds of NJ (which is common). But... as a yard tree... in the right place... they are decent. Your backyard sounds pretty small though, arguing against it being "the right place".

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 1:55PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Two trees start blooming in milder climate ...
I know the first is Hong Kong orchid. I forget the...
jujujojo_gw
What's the prognosis for this poor magnolia and apple tree?
I've lived in this house for a year. The previous owners...
nonconformist_nymphette
Grafting trees - shower tree + mango + avocado
Hi, The house Im about to buy has a shower tree right...
Daniela Andrade
2015 Midatlantic/SE/New England winter damage thread
I don't mean to exclude the midwest but I think for...
davidrt28 (zone 7)
500 ft Privacy Fence/Screen trees advise
I have a very large property line that I would like...
zrodimel
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™