American sycamore

(Platanus occidentalis)

Conservation Status
American sycamore
Photo by Bryce Boldt
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FAC - Facultative

     
  Midwest

FACW - Facultative wetland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACW - Facultative wetland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

 

 
     
 

Height

 
 

60 to 140

 
     
 

Record

 
 

No records kept for non-native trees.

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Greenish

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Moist. Streambanks, ravines.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
  April and May  
     
 

Pests and Diseases

 
  Sycamore Anthracnose (Apiognomonia veneta)  
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 24, 29, 30.

Distribution maps include locations where the species occurs in natural areas. This includes parks but does not include residential yards.

 
         
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native to the eastern half of United States, including Wisconsin and Iowa, and to Ontario.

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Ubcommon in Minnesota

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (dicots)  
  Subclass Rosidae  
  Superorder Proteanae  
 

Order

Protiales (proteas, lotuses, planes, and allies)  
 

Family

Platanaceae (plane trees)  
 

Genus

Platanus (sycamore)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis var. attenuata)

American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis var. glabrata)

American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis var. occidentalis)

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Platanus glabrata

Platanus occidentalis var. glabrata

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

American planetree

American sycamore

buttonball

buttontree

buttonwood

eastern sycamore

sycamore

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       
Visitor Photos
   

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Bryce Boldt
       

Sycamore Tree in Mountain Lake Minnesota.

Tree Trunk is 15 feet in diameter. Curious to how old this tree is.

  American sycamore    
       
Randy
       

Winter silhouette, American sycamore

  American sycamore    
       

American Sycamore towering 80' in Albert Lea, MN

  American sycamore    
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   
       
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Platanus occidentalis
Blake C. Willson
 
  Platanus occidentalis  
 
About

American Sycamore

 
     
  Platanus occidentalis
Angie Holmberg
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 31, 2014

Description

 
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

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Other Videos
 
  Trees with Don Leopold - American sycamore
ESFTV
 
   
 
About

Published on Oct 21, 2011

   
  American Sycamore Tree Identification - Platanus occidentalis
MiWilderness
 
   
 
About

Published on Feb 16, 2013

How to identify American sycamore tree, Platanus occidentalis. I've heard it's possible to tap the Sycamore and evaporate the sap to make maple syrup, but, I've never done it myself. American sycamore is, in fact, not a maple at all, the seeds and leaf arrangement are a dead giveaway.

American sycamore seeds are round, spiky, warty globes about the size of a golf ball, and look more like miniature Osage oranges than maple seeds, which are smaller and look like wings. American sycamore seeds may be a good late winter tinder for starting fires, there are many tiny fibers that make up the seed pod which may take a spark from a fire steel or could possibly be used to make a tinder nest.

American sycamore leaves appear quite similar to maple leaves, but, it's not a maple and is in it's own family, the plane-tree family or Platanaceae. Maples have opposite branching, sycamore has alternate branching. some folks refer to american sycamore as Big leaved maple.

American sycamore range distribution is across the eastern half of the United States, it seems to prefer lowland habitats near rivers, flood plains, and around lakes and ponds.

American sycamore bark is very distinct, having the pattern of woodland camouflage. The color of the bark ranges from white, to green, beige, brown and grey. The younger bark is smooth and patchy, the older bark is rough and flaky.

The above features make American sycamore stand out like a sore thumb, it's a real pretty tree and hard to mistake for any other.

It seems strange to me how common names are used, even stranger is how some plants are classified by botanists. If a tree has a maple leaf and can be tapped for maple syrup you'd think it would be classified as a maple, and if a tree is commonly referred to as a maple I'd think it would be a maple, but it's not. American sycamore is in a family all it's own.

Here's Craig's channel if you'd like to check it out: http://www.youtube.com/user/leaflifebushcraft The sycamore he has over in the UK is a completely different tree and that's what led to the making of this video. I thought it was pretty neat to see his variety of sycamore. The sycamore over there is actually a maple tree.

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  Platanus occidentalis
VT Dendrology
 
   
 
About

Published on Mar 4, 2016

American sycamore

   
  **Sycamore Tree**++Platanus occidentalis++Street Fast Growing Tree++
Pat Rick
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 2, 2011

http://www.tytyga.com/product/Sycamore+Tree Need more information on Street Shade Trees? Follow the link below - http://www.tytyga.com/Shade-Street-Trees-s/2175.htm The Sycamore tree, Platanus occidentalis, is one of the favorite shade trees to plant along the street in the Southern States, like Georgia, Texas and Louisiana. The sycamore shade comes from one of the best of the fast growing tree list selections that are native to America.

   
  Our American Sycamore Trees We Grow
Great Falls
 
   
 
About

Published on Feb 17, 2015

Description

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   

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Bryce Boldt
7/17/2020

Location: Mountain Lake MN

Tree Trunk is 15 feet in diameter. Curious to how old this tree is.

American sycamore


Randy
12/12/2016

Winter silhouette, American sycamore

American sycamore


Randy
8/3/2016

Location: Albert Lea, MN

American Sycamore towering 80' in Albert Lea, MN

American sycamore


     
     
 
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Created: 8/4/2016

Last Updated:

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