Platanus occidentalis L.
American sycamore, Buttonwood, Plane-tree, Sycamore
Platanaceae (Planetree Family)
The American sycamore is a wide-canopied, deciduous tree,
75-100 ft. tall, with a massive trunk and open crown of huge, crooked branches. The bark
of large, old trunks sloughs off in scales or plates leaving a smooth, whitish inner bark. Leaves broadly ovate
or broader, blade
often wider than long, long pointed. Globular fruits often persist through December. Large, medium- to dark-green, maple-shaped leaves turn brown in fall.
A shade tree,
Sycamore grows to a larger trunk diameter than any other native
hardwood. The present champions trunk is about 11 feet (3.4 m) in diameter; an earlier giants was nearly 15 feet (4.6 m). The hollow trunks of old, giant trees were homes for chimney swifts in earlier times.
Image Gallery: 13 photo(s) available
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Yellow , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr
AL , AR , CT , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , ME , MD , MA , MI , MS , MO , NE , NH , NJ , NY , NC , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VT , VA , WV , WI , DC Canada: ON Native Distribution:
S. ME to s. Ont., c. IA, e. NE & e. KS, s. to FL Panhandle & e. TX Native Habitat:
Low, moist woods; floodplains; rich bottomlands USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Moist, sandy loams or silty clays.
Shade tree Use Food:
of Platanus species makes a pleasant drink. It can be boiled down into syrup, but the sugar content of the sap
is low, and the sap/syrup ratio is higher than for other syrup-producing trees. (Athenic) Use Other:
The wood is used for furniture parts, millwork, flooring, and specialty products such as butcher blocks, as well as pulpwood, particleboard, and fiberboard. Interesting Foliage:
Birds Deer Resistant: