1. Education
Send to a Friend via Email

Consider Planting American Sycamore in Your Yard


Consider Planting American Sycamore in Your Yard

Sycamore in Landscape

Photo by Steve Nix, Licensed to About.com

American Sycamore or Platanus Occidentalis:

American sycamore is readily adaptable to the urban environment and the Nation's most massive broadleaf tree. Being large, along with the fact that sycamore is rot and damage prone, nearly eliminated the tree from this list. But I stick with the tree and it's significant shortcomings.

Sycamore is by far the most popular tree on my site with hundreds of daily visits to several sites I've devoted to the tree. People love its winter brilliance, it's creamy, shedding bark and growth potential. The people have spoken.

Habit and Range:

American sycamore is one of the simplest trees to grow and transplants like a dream. In North America, sycamore attains large tree status and grows 75' to 100' tall. Be forewarned - the sycamore should only be planted as a single yard specimen or in places where space is not a premium. Sycamore occupies one of the largest north-south ranges in North America - from Canada to Florida. The tree is very site tolerant and can grow under nearly any condition but is best adapted to creek banks.

Strong Cultivars:

The best know is called London planetree and actually a hybrid (Platanus xacerifolia).

Identification of American Sycamore:

Sycamore Plant Hardiness Zones:

Sycamore hardy through zone 4...

See Plant Hardiness Zones

Expert Comments:

"For four to six months of our winter dormancy period each year, the huge, white speckled boles and limbs of this tree make it the most conspicuous living organism along every river within its range." - Guy Sternberg, Native Trees for North American Landscapes

"Happiest in natural moist bottomlands, where it can grow or rot or split to its heart's content, the American sycamore struggles in cities."- Arthur Plotnik, The Urban Tree Book

"A great and noble tree."- Michael Dirr, Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.