Sycamore Maple

The sycamore maple is a a type of maple from Central Europe to southwestern Asia. This tree is not related to other trees called sycamore. The sycamore maple is a rather large tree that reaches 20-35m at maturity, with a broad domed crown. As the tree grows at first it is smooth and grey but as it ages its bark becomes rough and breaks into scales showing its pale brown to pinkish inner bark.

The leaves are leathery and large they are 10-25cm long. The leaves are usually black spots or patches. The leaf stalk is usually tinged with red. They produce monoeicious yellow-green flowers in spring.

The seeds of a sycamore tree mature in autumn six months from pollination. After the tree has fallen the roots produce suckers when exposed to light. The sycamore tree is deciduous. Its natural enviorment is abandoned fields, early forest, pasture, roadside, etc.

The maple gets its nutrients by photosynthesis. Humans can get an allergic reaction from its pollen. If planted in Britain the maple can live up to 200 years. The flowers it produces are edible. In fall the seedlings have wings that rotate like a helicopter as they fall to the ground. The leaves are red/orange in fall and are green in spring.

This tree is very large so it does not do good on small landscapes. The maple is adaptable to a variety of soils and is also highly salt tolerant. It was Britain’s most widespread tree. The sycamore is susceptible to trunk and branch cankers. like any other tree species, buds break of saplings before they become adults, this helps the survival of saplings under the canopy of late flushing trees.

The sycamore can has tolerance for wind, pollution and salt spray which makes it popular in cities. It is planted for timber production. Its wood can be used to make instruments, furniture, wood flooring and parquetry. Its wood is traditional in making the necks, backs and scrolls of violins.

The flowers produce that makes a fragrant, delicately flavored and pale looking honey. The wood is often marketed as rippled sycamore. At the moment the sycamore is classified as a neophyte. In many areas of Europe you can find very nice specimens of the sycamore as a medium to large bonsai. It is considered an enviormental weed in Australia, Mount Macedon near Daylesford, some of Dandenongs also Tasmania where it is naturalized in the eucalypt forest.