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.
|Latin Name||Platanus occidentalis|
|Color of Leaf||Medium to dark green – yellow to brown in the fall|
|Shape of Leaf||4″ to 10″ wide with coarse marginal teeth|
|Color of Flower||Female flower reddish / male flower yellowish|
|Shape of Flower||Small rounded clusters|
|Fruit Characteristics||Spherical balls 1 3/8″ diameter ripen to brown in the fall and persist into winter|
|Bark Characteristics||Brown bark which exfoliates in irregular pieces to reveal creamy white inner bark|
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.