WSU Clark County Extension

PNW Plants Searchable, categorized images

Planetree Maple

Scientific name: Acer pseudoplatanus

Type:Deciduous tree
Plant Requirements
Zone:5 to 8
Sun:Full to partial sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:60 ft
Width:60 ft
Bloom:Spring flowers
Bloom Time:April
Bloom Color:Yellow
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description As native to the east Coast, Planetree Maple is an alternative to the more popular Norway Maple. Also known as a Sycamore Maple.

This fast growing deciduous tree grows to 40’-60’ in height with an equal width. A mature tree has an oval crown with spreading branches.

Leaves have 5 shallow lobes with short points and wavy saw-toothed margins. The are typically 3.5” to 6” long and as wide. Leaves are arranged in an opposite fashion. They are thick in texture and dull, dark green in color on the upper surface and pale on the lower surface. There are 5 main veins which radiate out from the notched leaf base. In the fall the leaves may turn a yellow color, but can also stay dingy brown before being shed.
During the dormant season the buds of Planetree Maple are green while those of Norway Maple are purple in color.

Flowers are small and yellow-green in color forming in April after the leaves emerge. Flowers give rise to winged, paired fruit know as samaras. Each wing is 1.5” long. Large clusters of samaras hang from the branches during the late summer and early fall.

The bark of this tree is gray and smooth with older trees forming broad flaky scales. As the bark is shed the inner orange bark is revealed.

This species does best in full sun. It is known for its ability to do well under harsh conditions, including those near the ocean with salty spray or those with alkaline soils.

It is considered an invasive species in New England and other areas of the northeast.

No pests of major concern.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
Computing and Web Resources, PO Box 6234, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6234