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American Sycamore - Form American Sycamore - Bark American Sycamore - Trunk
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American Sycamore
G. Lumis

Bark of American Sycamore
G. Lumis

Trunk of American Sycamore in Winter
G. Lumis

Scientific Name: Platanus occidentalis
Other Common Names: American planetree, American sycamore, buttonwood, buttonball-tree, eastern sycamore, whitewood, water beech, Virginia maple

Foliage: Broadleaf deciduous
Height: 60-100 feet
Spread: 40-60 feet
Shape: Large, open, irregular canopy
Growth Characteristics: Fast-growing

Sycamore is a common tree and one of the largest in the eastern deciduous forests. It is a fast-growing and relatively long-lived tree. Sycamore is widely planted as a shade tree because of its distinctive white, exfoliating bark and broad, dense crown. Because of its size, it should not be planted in small yards or under power lines. Recently, it is being replaced in many plantings by Platanus acerifolia (London Planetree) due to the latter's resistance to the damaging fungal pathogen, Anthracnose.

Plant Needs
Zone: 4-7
Light: Full to partial sun
Soil Type: Prefers moist, deep, rich soils in full sun, but is very adaptable to a wide variety of soils, including dry soils, wet soils, compacted soils, poor soils, and soils of various pH

Due to its susceptibility to Anthracnose disease, fertilize with formulations that promote woody, strong growth rather than excessive foliar growth. To minimize the chances of contracting the Anthracnose fungus, keep the tree strong and healthy. Pruning regularly to remove deadwood and promote a leader.

Susceptible to Anthracnose. Tends to drop twigs easily so clean-up can be a hassle.