The sycamore is a very tall tree from eastern North American forests. Specimens well over 150 feet tall are not uncommon. Its bark is strikingly white and flakes off in patches to reveal green, gray, and brown bark below. The wide, lobed, deciduous leaves resemble sugar maple leaves. The massive trunk and branches give it a noble appearance.
How to grow: Plant sycamores in full sun or bright partial shade, in deep, moist soil. They will also grow in dryer soil. In some places, the sycamore is no longer recommended because of its susceptibility to blight.
Uses: Requiring a great deal of space to grow well, the sycamore is suited to planting in open, rather moist places where there is plenty of space. It does not get diseased under these conditions.
Related species: The London plane tree (Platanus x acerifolia) is a cross between the sycamore and the European plane tree. Its bark is not as colorful, but it is less susceptible to blight that has brought down sycamores in some places.
Scientific name: Platanus occidentalis