Deborah Norway Maple

Acer Platanoides

Human Interaction
Ecological Importance
Biogeographic Status
General Information
Taxonomic Hierarchy

The Deborah Norway Maple is an invasive species of Norway Maple patented within the U.S. Plant Patent PP4944. It was discovered by John Mathies in Vancouver, British Columbia. He developed the species in a nursery in British Columbia and in a nursery in Gresham, Oregon.

Human Interaction

This plant is a species that has been bred into the general tree populace with human encouragement after Mathies's original nursery prototypes. The sapling is available for planting from many nurseries and tree farms.

The Deborah Norway Maple is viewed as a decorative shade tree, while its close relative, the Norway Maple, is viewed as a very desirable street tree or decorative tree because of its clean appearance, despite that the Norway Maple is an invasive pest that should be discouraged from growth. Both compete with natural species, such as the Sugar Maple or the Hard Maple.

Ecological Importance

While this tree does provide shelter for organisms and decorative shade for yards, it is also viewed as an invasive species, or a non-native species that disrupts and replaces native species, since it is closely related to the invasive Norway Maple.

It's symbiotic relationships usually take the forms of pests to the maple, such as Verticillium wilt (see Verticillium wilt, below) and aphids. These organisms subsist on the tree itself, with the Verticillium wilt working within the tree as a disease and the aphids eating away at the leaves.

Other creatures such as birds or rodents, like squirrels, use these trees as shelter as well.

Biogeographic Status

The Deborah Norway Maple is generally found in the USDA Hardiness Zone of 3 to 7, but is found outside of that as well (the blue and green areas of the map below are an average hardiness range of this plant). There are even some in Scotland, despite that it was breeded on the West Coast of the United States. This species might qualify as an alien species since the Norway Maple, its close relative, is invasive and spread across the US, squeezing out many native species, and they have similar characteristics.

General Information

The following is the species information from Mathies within his Plant Patent information.

Deborah Norway Maple
Parentage: Acer platanoides.
Classification: Botanic-- Acer platanoides. Commercial-- Norway Maple.
At maturity.--50 to 60 feet high.

Leaves: The leaves are opposite each other on the branch. They are 4" to 7" across, 4" to 6" high. The leaves have five lobes, which are the five seperate half circles coming out of the leaf, similar to petals on a flower. These lobes have 5 to 10 pointed teeth on them. The leaves are fairly crinkly, as a characteristic of this breed.

Ruby-red on new growth.

Ruby Red

Deep maroon on newly matured leaves.


Dark green on older leaves.

The color changes occur as the leaves mature; the time of each color change is dependent on climatic conditions; the cooler the weather the longer the red or maroon stages persist; the average time from the ruby-red tothe dark green stage is 4 to 6 weeks.

Fall color usually not significant but under excellent conditions will develop a golden yellow.


Each flower is 1/3" in diameter and flowers into greenish yellow at the start, tinged with reddish purple; flowers appear before the leaves in late April to early May in Gresham, Oreg., and areeffective for 12 to 18 days.

Insect and disease resistance: The Deborah Norway Maple is excellent at insect and disease resistance such as to leaf hoppers (similar to in the same order as aphids) and Verticillium wilt. The are two common problems of the Norway maple, but in comparison to the Norway Maple, the Deborah Norway Maple is much more resillient. Leafhoppers feed on the juice of leaves and directly damage the leaf by doing this.

(Verticillium wilt is a soil-borne fungus deriving from Verticillium albo-atrum and Verticillium dahliae. This disease is regarded as serious and many trees and shrubs are affected by this, with maples seen as a common victim. Symptoms include: leaves turning brown, slow growth, wilting and overabundance of seeds. In a lethal form, the wilting disables the tree and kills it.)

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Taxonomic Rank Scientific Name Common Name
Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tacheaobionta Vascular Plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed Plants
Division Magnoliaphyta Flowering Plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae  
Order Sapindales  
Family Aceraceae Maple Family
Genus Acer L. Maple
Species Acer Platanoides L. Norway Maple


I chose to focus on this organism because there is an abundance of maples on the Western Oregon University Campus and I wanted to see what species we had found while gathering specimens on our visual intersect trail.

I found it interesting that some of the maples are considered invasive and are actually hazardous to native forests, despite being used by humans as attractive shade cover. This makes me wonder how many people have researched this species before planting it.


Ash, C. L. (2010). Verticillium Wilt of Trees and Shrubs. Retrieved November 29,
2010, from Regents of the University of Minnesota website:

Brewer, M. J., & Stuttman, J. M. (n.d.). Leafhoppers (Version B-1013.17) [Data
file]. Retrieved from

Glimn-Lacy, J., & Kaufman, P. B. (2006). Botany illustrated (2nd ed.). New York,
New York: Springer Science and Business Media.

Kohli, R. K., Jose, S., Singh, H. P., & Batish, D. R. (Eds.). (2009).
Invasive plants and forest ecosystems. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Mathies, J. (1982). U.S. Patent No. PP4944. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office.

Thone. (1931). Norway maple. Science Newsletter, 20(548), 239.

United States Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). Classification. Retrieved from