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Tree Browser

With these characteristics: None

Sycamore, American or Amer. Planetree

Platanus occidentalis

Platanaceae - Sycamore

Description

Leaves: Alternate; simple; 3" to 8" wide; deciduous; more or less deeply 3 to 5 lobed; margin of lobes coarsely serrate; bright green and glabrous above; paler and hairy along veins beneath; petioles 2" to 3" long, hollow at the base.

Twigs/buds: Twigs moderately slender; orange-brown; zigzag.  No terminal bud; lateral buds conical, resinous, covered by a single cap-like scale and hidden under hollow petiole base.

Flowers/fruit: Monoecious.  Flowers small in small round heads, appearing in spring.  Fruit a round, yellow-brown head or ball about 1" in diameter that hangs from slender, 3" to 6" long stem; heads usually occur singly; often persists through the winter.

Bark: Brown on younger branches; soon becomes mottled (brown and white) as brown outer bark peels off, showing the creamy-white, smooth inner bark; bark on lower trunk of older trees brown and scaly; very distinctive.

Wood: Somewhat important; sapwood light yellow; heartwood light to dark brown; growth rings distinct; diffuse-porous; rays conspicuous to naked eye; used for boxes, furniture, railroad ties.

General: Native to most of the eastern U.S. and as far west as the eastern Great Plains.  Usually found naturally along streams.  Can get very large.  Very shade intolerant.  Fruit and/or plant part can be nuisances; use fruitless varieties if possible.

Landscape Use: This is a large tree that is planted in Utah but is easily confused with the London planetree, which is more common.  Has a strong, pyramidal canopy when young with beautiful bark.  Zones 4-9.

Cultivar: 'Howard'.

Characteristics

General

Family:
Platanaceae - Sycamore
Cultivar Availability:
Yes
Hardiness Zone:
4-9
Type:
Broadleaf
Utah Native:
No

Growth

Growth Rate:
High
Mature Height:
High
Longevity:
High
Is Good Under Power Lines:
No
Crown Shape:
Oval

Ornamental

Bark:
Yes
Fall Color:
No
Flowers:
No
Foliage:
Yes
Fruit:
Yes

Tolerence

Shade:
Medium
Salt:
Medium
Drought:
High
Poor Drainage:
High
Alkalinity:
High
Transplanting:
High