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Platanus occidentalis L.
American sycamore, Buttonwood, Plane-tree, Sycamore
USDA Symbol: ploc
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
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.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Yellow , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr
AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MO , MS , NC , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV 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:
Seeds which over-winter on tree
and are planted in spring will germinate promptly. Stored seeds must be stratified. Seedlings are susceptible to damping-off. Sycamores are also grown from cuttings, usually to select for the whitest bark. Seed Collection: Fruit
is most easily collected after leaf drop. Dry heads, then place in bags and crush to separate achene. Store over winter in cool, well-ventilated area in mesh bags. Seed Treatment:
Stratified stored seeds for 30 days at 41 degrees before planting. Commercially Avail:
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Trees that are non-toxic for horses
May 02, 2008
I live in Ponder, Tx. We have some acreage and horses and wish to plant trees to afford some shade for the horses. Can you tell me what trees are toxic to horses.
view the full question and answer
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
- Austin, TXPineywoods Native Plant Center
- Nacogdoches, TXDelaware Nature Society
- Hockessin, DEBrackenridge Field Laboratory
- Austin, TXNueces River Authority
- Uvalde, TXStengl Biological Research Station
- Smithville, TXTexas Parks and Wildlife Department
- Austin, TXGeorgia Native Plant Society
- Atlanta, GANPSOT - Austin Chapter
- Austin, TXJacob's Well Natural Area
- Wimberley, TX
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-716
Collected 2010-01-16 in Hays County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
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Record Modified: 2007-09-28
Research By: NPC