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Platanus occidentalis

American sycamore

American sycamore can attain the largest trunk diameter of any of the Eastern U.S. hardwoods. The native sycamore has a grand branch display and its bark is unique among all trees - you can always identify a sycamore just by looking at the bark. The outer bark peels off in thin flakes leaving a cream colored inner bark. The alternate maple-looking leaves are large and also unique to those familiar with sycamore.

Sycamore - bark and leaf Sycamore bark Sycamore plate
Photos by Steve Nix

Start with the Tree Finder if you are not sure what kind of tree you have!

Sycamore - Not Just a Planetree
Feature from your About Forestry Guide

Sycamore Habitat and Culture
(silvics courtesy of USFS)

From Virginia Tech w/Photos
(Big List courtesy of VT Dendrology)

North American Timber Types
(courtesy About Forestry)

The Great American Hardwood Forest
(courtesy About Forestry)

Wood Tech Sheet
(fact sheet courtesy of USFS in pdf)

Sycamore Images
(courtesy of ForestryImages.org)

Historic Sycamore Images
(courtesy of University of Chicago and the Library of Congress)

Range Map
{Native Range of Platanus occidentalis}
-The native range of sycamore, USFS.

Quick Stats
Common Names: American planetree, buttonwood, American sycamore, buttonball, and buttonball-tree

Habitat: America's largest broadleaf tree. It is a fast-growing and long-lived tree of lowlands and old fields

Description: Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) is a common tree and one of the largest in the eastern deciduous forest

Uses: Sycamore is valuable for timber and is also widely planted as a shade tree

(images courtesy of Kim Nix and Forestry About.com)

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