How to Recognize Me
Eastern North America’s most massive indigenous tree is Plantanus occidentalis L. The signature ornamental feature of this huge deciduous tree is its brown bark that exfoliates in irregular pieces to reveal creamy white inner bark.The large 3-5 lobed medium to dark green leaves 4-10” wide have coarse marginal teeth. Foliage typically turns an undistinguished yellow-brown in Autumn. Female flowers give way to fuzzy, long-stalked, spherical fruiting balls up to 1 3/8” diameter that ripen to brown in October and persist into early Winter. Each fruiting ball consists of numerous, densely-packed, tiny seed-like fruits called achenes. Fruiting balls gradually disintegrate as Fall progresses, dispersing their seeds, often in downy tufts, with the wind, providing food for wildlife such as American goldfinches, Carolina chickadees, purple finches, mallards, beavers, muskrats and gray squirrels.
I Am Special to People
American Sycamore wood has many uses, including furniture, flooring, butchers’ blocks, particleboard, boxes, crates and baskets.