Mop Head Maple Acer platanoides globosum

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Product description



A rounded headed tree which has a distinctive lollipop outline.   It is in many ways a manufactured tree as the effect is achieved by top grafting a shrubby sport of Norway maple that would not make a tree in its own right onto a clear stem of a standard Norway Maple to give this dense crown.  It will not grow larger than 7m tall but will have a crown with a diameter of 6m.

Where to grow

Especially useful in confined urban spaces where greenery and shade are in short supply, but there is not the space for a tree of a full size.  It is drought tolerant and will cope with compaction.

Did you know?

Originating in Belgium in 1870’s this tree become a mainstay of urban planting in Germany in the late 20th century appealing to the regular architecture of the concrete office-retail complex.

Mature height
Small - 5-10 metres
0-5 meters
Round Headed
Growth rate
Very Slow
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Partial shade
Difficulty/hard to grow
Season of interest
Autumn colour
Large Leaves
Good for Windy sites
Small garden Tree
City/Urban Sites
Suitable for Patio


Pruning Acer Platanoides Globosum

The Acer Platanoides Globosum will form a compact and rounded crown with little pruning necessary. If you want to prune to alter the shape slightly, remove the young growth, rather than established stems.

If there are diseased or damaged stems remove these entirely, cutting flush with the main stem.

What time of year should I prune?  Prune in winter (November to January) when the plant is dormant. Acers will ‘bleed’ sap if pruned too early.

For the continued healthy growth of your trees, shrubs or hedging it is vital that you follow the advice below.


The main reason that plants die within 12 months of having been planted is lack of water.  It is essential throughout the spring and summer, to give a heavy enough watering to enable the water to penetrate right down to the deepest root level of the tree.  In hot dry spells give the equivalent of 2 bucketfuls every three days.

Weed Control

One of the most common causes of lack of water is competition from grass.  When trees are first establishing, the grass roots would be at the same level as the tree roots and are far more efficient at taking up water and thus choke the tree.  It is vital for 3 years after planting that your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one  metre wide completely free of grass.  The way to eliminate grass in order of effectiveness is:

  1. Spray off the grass with a glyphosate based weed killer such as Roundup.  Apply each year for the first 3 years.  It is best applied when the tree is dormant as it is absorbed through green leaves and kills the plant off at the roots.
  2. Firmly fit a mulch mat around the base of the tree by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this.  This can be done after the initial spraying with glyphosate and should avoid the need for further spraying.

Mowing or strimming is NOT an answer to the problem.  Each time you mow, the grass will grow back more vigorously and strimming invariably leads to lacerated trunks.


If trees are not correctly secured they will rock in the planting pit. Roots not firmly in contact with the soil are unable to take up moisture and nutrients, resulting in die back or death of the tree.  Check, particularly after windy weather, that stakes are still solidly in the ground keeping the base of the trunk firm.  The purpose of the stakes is to anchor the roots.   Flexing in the wind, higher up the trunk, is not necessarily a problem if the roots are firm.

Bellow is list of the correct system to use to secure your trees.

  • 40/60, 60/80, 80/100 whips - Unless rabbit/deer problem no need to stake.
  • 100/125, 125/150  1.2m Cane and Easi tie.
  • 150/175  1.2m square stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • 175/250, 6/8, 8/10 15L 1.65 Tree stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • All larger trees. 2 x 1.65 Tree stake and cross rail with 38mm cushion spacer and 1m of 38mm strapping.


Always use our recommended tree ties or strapping.  These are designed and manufactured with the correct amount of give to hold the tree firm without strangling it. They should be checked at the end of each growing season for adjustment as the trunk thickens.  Non proprietary materials such as baler twine will cut into the bark and should not be used.

Protection from Animal Damage

Rabbits, deer, sheep, cattle and horses can all potentially damage trees.  Ask us for advice on the most appropriate guards for your trees or hedge.  Squirrels are also a terrible pest when trees get to about 20ft tall but there is no protection available.


By Lorraine Scott on 21/12/2016

I am forward planning my front garden for next year and need to ask a few questions regarding the Acer platanoides globosum, Mop Head Maple. The front garden is about 25ft by 15ft approx, the site where I would like to plant a small tree would be approx 15ft from my bungalow and approx 6ft from sewage pipework.  Several questions I need to ask are. 1. Would the roots of this tree damage the foundations/pipework. 2. Can the tree be pruned to keep it at a height of approx 10-12ft without damaging the tree?  We have recently had some experience of ‘subsidence’.  About 12 years ago, we planted two Wisterias in the rear garden,  approx 6ft from the rear extension, the last few years there appeared some cracking of walls in the extension. On inspection from our insurer and bore holes dug, lab inspections of the findings, it apparently showed the fibres of the wisteria were at fault due to the bungalow being built on clay soil. We were advised to remove the Wisteria, which we reluctantly did. I obviously do not want to go through the same experience in the front garden. I first came to recognise this tree through my place of work at Dysons in Malmesbury several years ago, a whole host of these Acers were planted in the car parks, I always admired them for their shape - always reminded me of an umbrella. I would welcome your advice and expertise in this matter.

By Simon on 23/12/2016

I’m afraid there are too many factors involved for me to be able to comment on whether the roots of mop head maple would affect your building and pipework (soil type, construction and foundations etc). As a general rule of thumb, fast growing, water demanding species such as willow and poplar tend to have the most invasive roots, while small and slow growing trees pose few problems. Subsidence is usually a problem associated with shrinkable clay soils.

You should be able to prune the mop head maple to keep it quite small, if need be. Carry out in winter. Alternatively, you could consider an even smaller tree such as Acer pseudoplatanus Brilliantissimum.

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