American Sycamore Tree

Botanical name: Platanus occidentalis
Family: Platanaceae (planetree)

Click on images of American Sycamore to enlarge.

American sycamore - Platanus occidentalis - Leaf - Bark - Fruit -Twig

A.K.A. – Buttonwood, Plane-tree and Sycamore

  • Native
  • Deciduous
  • Hardwood
  • Fully mature it is capable of growing into a massive tree
  • Capable of reaching heights over 100- 120′
  • Trunk can be greater than 10′ in diameter
  • Historically, some were measured at over 165′ in height and more than 13′ in diameter
  • When fully grown the American sycamore has large branches that form a large open canopy
  • It is a moderate to fast growing tree
  • Bark lacks the elasticity to maintain it’s darker outer bark so often appears patchwork or white and smooth as it grows and the older bark falls away
  • Flowers in the late spring
  • Monoecious has different stalks growing off the twigs for both the male and female flowers
  • Fruits are little round balls that grow in clusters, each hang off there own stalk and are often still attached well into the winter months
  • Zig-zag twigs with lateral buds
  • Leaves are similar to a maple leaf with 3-5 lobes 4-9″ long
  • Prefers full to partial sun
  • Zones 4-9