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Platanus occidentalis

sycamore-tree-1a.jpgThe Sycamore is a grand landscape tree. Its light to white mottled bark makes it feel feminine, yet a femininity with huge strength. Its main branches are massive and spread wide to make a large shady understory. It loves to dominate its portion of the earth yet has such soft fluttering leaves that its dominance is a comforting one.

It is a fast growing and hard wooded tree, superior in carbon sequestration. It trunk is massive, buttressed at the bottom and straight growing. Its bark is not stretchy, so as it grows, the bark pulls at itself and produces conspicuous blotting of darker new bark against light creams and tans; very artistic and beautiful. Its wood is handsome as furniture because its mottled texture runs into the core.

Sycamore has the most mass of any American hardwood and is an important timber tree. Its leaves are palm shaped, wide and shallowly toothed on long leaf stocks. That is why they seem to flutter and their movement against the trees’ strong frame is particularly enchanting.

s2.jpgSaid to whisper “sick-no-more,” tea from its leaves and bark were used by Native Americans to improve general constitution and an enzyme in its scent is said to enhance one’s dreams.

The seeds are small and abundant, blowing or being carried by the wind or streams.

Its natural habitat covers most of the Eastern US from Maine to northern Florida but will grow from Washington as far south as Central Florida. It grows well in most environments and adapts well to most soil conditions. It is a tree that needs room to grow, so should not be planted in a small space, but can be made into a bonsai.

Height: 60-100’ Diameter: 2-4’

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