American Sycamore

Arbor walk #60, Treekeeper ID #5449

The Sycamore is regarded as the largest tree native to eastern North America, and was historically prized by Native Americans for the construction of dugout canoes.

The American Sycamore typically reaches heights of 75-100 feet but are known to reach 150 feet plus in their ideal environmental conditions, which include flood plains and stream banks. The Sycamore is easily identified at a distance from its brown outer bark which exfoliates irregularly to reveal a distinctive white inner bark. It is easy to mistake the Sycamore for the Red Maple, so much so that although the Red Maple is the symbol of Canada, depicted on their penny is actually a Sycamore leaf by accident. Crucially, Sycamore’s have alternate leaf arrangement, while the Maple’s leaves are opposite.

Common NameAmerican Sycamore
Latin NamePlatanus occidentalis
Indigenous Name(s) 
Commercial Name 

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More about Tree #60:

Where to find Arbor Walk #60

Data on the space around this tree

Data on this tree over time

More about the American Sycamore in general:

How to identify American Sycamore

Relationship of Platanus occidentalis to other species in the Arboretum

Global Distribution of American Sycamore

Additional Resources on the American Sycamore