Sycamore Tree: Key Facts

Sycamore trees are some of the oldest, largest trees in the world. For centuries, they have provided shelter, sustenance, and shade for both animals and humans. It is a very recognizable tree that you can easily identify when you see it.

Botanical NamePlatanus
Common NamesSycamore, plane tree
Type of PlantDeciduous tree
OriginNorthern Hemisphere, parts of the tropics and temperate regions of the Southern Hemisphere
HabitatBottomlands and wetlands along streams and rivers
Popular Species– American sycamore
– Arizona sycamore
– California sycamore
– Mexican sycamore
– English sycamore
UsesShelter and habitat for wildlife, ornamental shade tree, sap, wood for furniture, boxes, pallets, butcher blocks, particle board 
Sun RequirementsFull sun
Water RequirementsDrought tolerant once established, but will grow faster when watered at least twice per week 
SoilWell-draining sandy, silt, or loamy soil
Common Pests– Powdery mildew
– Canker stain
– Sycamore anthracnose
– Sycamore lace bug
– Bacterial leaf scorch
– Twig, bud, and shoot blight

How Long Do Sycamore Trees Live?

How long do they live? The answer depends on many different factors. Sycamores have been known to live nearly 600 years given the right conditions. The age of any tree depends on habitat, type of soil, climate, and its ability to resist diseases and pests. 

When Do Sycamore Trees Bloom?

Many are surprised to learn that sycamore trees flower in the spring. Their blooms can be difficult to spot at first glance.

Sycamore flowers grow in small clusters that only reach about ½ inch in diameter. In contrast, sycamore leaves can grow up to 13 inches long. This makes it easy to miss the comparatively tiny flowers when the trees are full of leaves during the growing season. 

Flowers typically appear on sycamore trees from April to May, and sometimes as early as March in southern states. 

If you are looking for more information on sycamore, check our guide here. Read also about other forest trees – here are our guides about Acacia, Birch and Western Hemlock.

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