Sycamore Tree: Comprehensive Guide

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Also known as Platanus occidentalis, the sycamore is a stately tree characterized by large leaves that are light green in color. The shape of the leaves is similar to that of maple leaves. Sycamores also have distinctive bark that may be white or gray. Older trees tend to have bark that varies from dark gray to red.

Sycamores are fast-growing trees that are surprisingly strong even when they are young. This means that they are able to withstand high winds and deep snows. Accordingly, sycamores tend to have long life spans. Relatively easy to grow, it is possible to start new trees from hard wood cuttings.

Sycamores may reach heights of 100 feet or greater. Mature trees may have trunks that measure move than seven feet in diameter. Woodland areas and places that are close to streams are likely to have sycamore trees, and these trees are considered hardy between zones four and nine.

Care Guide

Because sycamores get massive, they are not always a good choice for residential yards. People who have a larger piece of land may want to plant one or more of these trees as a specimen or as a windbreak.

Sycamores have massive root systems, which means that they can wreak havoc on patios, sidewalks and plumbing systems. It’s wise to consider that mature sycamores drop a great deal of twigs, seeds and leaves each year, which may provide more work than many people want to invest.

It’s best to plant a hardwood cutting or a sapling sycamore during the spring in soil that is moist and rich. Give them full sun to ensure the best chances of success. Try to maintain an even amount of moisture throughout the length of the growing season as this will help the tree to establish strong roots. Sycamores naturally prefer moister soil, but they can adapt to drier conditions.

Fertilize the sycamore every other year if it does not seem to be growing fast or if its leaves are pale. A general purpose 10-10-10 fertilizer is appropriate and may not be necessary if the soil is sufficiently rich.

Sycamores may be pruned late in the winter if it is required.

Companion Plants

Sycamore trees provide a lot of shade and may consume vast amounts of water, which makes vital the careful choice of companion plants. Some favorites include blood sage, American beautyberry, fuchsia, coral bells and Douglas iris.

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The Green Pinky

About the author: Jeffrey Douglas is a horticultural hobbyist that loves everything related to plants and gardening. He specializes in gardens and houseplants.

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