Sycamore1 Family: Platanaceae

Sycamores typically grow in deep moist soils near rivers, streams, and lakes.

A sycamore can grow to massive proportions and can become more than 6 feet in diameter and more than 120 feet tall. The largest sycamores have been measured to be more than 160 feet tall and nearly 13 feet in diameter.

The sycamore tree is often divided near the ground into several secondary trunks. Spreading limbs at the top make an irregular, open crown. Roots are fibrous. The trunks of large trees are often hollow.

The lower bark is typically dark reddish brown, and broken into plate-like scales. But higher up on the tree, the plates peel off leaving a smooth white or light grey surface that is very distinctive.

The leaves are fairly large alternate 5-lobed leaves with palmately arranged veins.  The leaf petioles are very distinctive because they have a deep circular concavity at the base that normally covers the buds.

Sycamore2 Sycamore3

Additional References:


LEARN MORE  about the Woods on the Ariel-Foundation Park main site!


A special thanks to the students of the Field Botany class at Mount Vernon Nazarene University who wrote the reports on the various kinds of trees found in The Woods. These students include Chandler Cook, Grace Hall, Emily Kauble, Keith Kitchen, Madison Lotz, Kevin Maurer, Christina Norcross, Caroline Phillips, Dakoda Ramsey, Jacob Schott, Emily Smith, and Katelyn Stone.

All photos linked in this Learning Station courtesy of D. Mosher, Mount Vernon Nazarene University.

Appendix I

Plant surveys were done by the Field Botany class at Mount Vernon Nazarene University during the fall semester of 2016.  A summary of the class surveys for woody plants and herbaceous plants is available.