The distinctive sycamore tree is often seen along creeks. Their unique, varied bark patterns are unmistakable and intriguing. Sycamore trees have long lives and can proliferate in ideal soil conditions. Their broad triangular type green leaves have numerous short hairs on the stems and veins. The leaves turn yellow in the fall. The fruit of the sycamore tree is a fuzzy brown ball which lingers on the tree through the winter. When it drops to the ground, downy tiny brown seeds scatter in the wind. Sycamore trees thrive in full sunlight and offer shade. Sycamore tree branches grow in twisted and unpredictable shapes, giving it a whimsical appearance. The large branches also provide wildlife homes.
The Sycamore tree is botanically known as Platanus occidentialis and one of the oldest hardwood trees in the U.S. This is a tree often chosen for its rapid growth and large size. The tree is long-lived and produces decorative seed pods annually that fall from the tree in the spring. These seed pods that are 3-6 inches in size are often used in crafting since they are round burred balls; Though they lose their outside burs resulting in a smooth seed filled ball. But if left on the ground these tightly packed seed balls can result in propagating saplings. The tree has a thick canopy of large leaves of deep green that are wide and broad shaped with pointed stepped tips. This is a tree that can provide shade and fall from the tree in late fall. The bark on the tree is different brown with a mottled creamy white, and the tree can be divided into several broad trunks rather than one. The older the tree, the darker the bark will be but will peel away to a lighter colored newer growing bark underneath.
The Sycamore tree is used in landscaping since it can grow as much as 6 feet in one year making it one of the faster-growing trees. It is a drought tolerant tree that grows well in warm temperatures down to -20F. Sycamores are trees that take little maintenance making them easy to grow without special care and grow in most types of soil. They require little pruning since they drop their dead branches. The one recommendation for planting a Sycamore is to ensure there is enough growing room because it is fast growing and when maturely is extremely large.