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Acer pseudoplatanus

Sycamore

Common Name

Sycamore


Environment

An extremely hardy tree that is tolerant of all soil types, except excessive clay. Sycamores thrive in urban locations and coastal positions.


Foliage

Five-lobed green leaves that measure 15cm across. Leaves have characteristic red stalks on young growth. The Latin name translates to 'like a plane tree”, as the leaves are similar to those of the Platanus.


Flowers

Produces lemon-green flowers that hang in panicles. The flowers produce copious amounts of pollen and nectar for bees and insects.


Size

18m high x 8m wide after 25 years


Seen throughout England among hedgerows, rural landscapes and urban inner cities, Acer pseudoplatanus, commonly known as the sycamore, is the bio-diverse backbone to our landscape.

Able to survive and thrive in almost all conditions, the sycamore provides limitless solutions to planting requirements. It is particularly useful as a coastal tree, capable of tolerating salt winds and exposure. This also allows its use as an amenity tree along roadsides where heavy salt spreading is common during the winter. Because of its strength in exposed locations, it can be planted as a shelterbelt to allow other species to develop.

Sycamores self-seed vigorously and during the spring the seeds can germinate en masse. This can provide additional benefits but should be taken into account when planning tree locations. The foliage has also been found to be poisonous to horses, so should not be planted close to paddocks or equestrian locations.

When planted in urban locations, sycamore trees provide needed support to a diverse range of wildlife. Over time this tree will mature into the landscape, becoming a strong, dignified presence.