Wholesale & Retail Sales
The Hanlon Family
Pat, Laura & Molly


American Sycamore  Platanus occidentalis

Zone 4-9 

Height 80-150'  Diameter 3-8' up to 14'.


Habitat.  American Sycamore is mainly a river bottom tree in most of its range. Here in northern Michigan I have them growing on high and dry soils and they do quite well.

Leaves. Alternate, simple, 5-9" long, 3 to 5 lobes with many teeth, similar in looks to sugar maple. Leaves are broader than long, nearly hairless, pale green beneath, the veins are fuzzy and is short stemmed. The sycamore leaves turn orange-brown and yellow in the fall.

Flowers. Sycamores flower April- June, stamine is red, pistillate is green with with red stigmas.

Fruit. The fruit is small balls on long stems, full of pointed seeds which are carried by the wind. Sycamore deed can hang on the tree through the winter.

Winter Buds. The buds are short, 1/4-3/8", stout, covered by a single scale, covered by the leaf stem in the summer. There is no terminal bud.

Bark. Bark is one of the outstanding features of American sycamore. It is distinctive brown bark with mottled areas of light green, flaky, as the bark falls off in irregular plates it exposes a whitish to yellow under bark. Twigs are pale green.

Wood. The wood is heavy, 35 pounds per cubic foot, hard, tough, somewhat weak, difficult to split, difficult to work with, warps badly as lumber, takes polishing well, coarse grained, light brown with darker sapwood. Wood is preferred for tobacco boxes, butcher block, has been used for railroad ties, cheap furniture, fence posts as it's durable in contact with the ground, and  telephone poles.

Pests. Anthracnose can affect sycamore by infecting twigs and branches. Prune branches while dormant. Some fungicides are effective in controlling the disease. leaf scorch, powdery mildew and canker stain also affect sycamores.

Distribution. Sycamore has a fairly extensive range in the eastern US. Maine to Minnesota down to Texas and east to Florida. In Michigan it's native range is the southern third of the lower peninsula. In my travels I have only found about 4 up here in the north country, all planted by fellow tree lovers.

Other.  The largest tree native to the eastern US. Not as long lived as the sequoias of the west, maybe 400-600 years. In my teen years, the 1960's, we would camp out and hike down by the Grand river east of Grand Ledge. On the neighbors farm there were some unusual trees and one of which was what we now realize was a "stump" of a long dead sycamore. The stump was probably 10 feet in diameter. We could walk inside the hollow stump and the side walls were over our head. I figured we could get 20 people inside the stump and still have room for more. I wished I would have taken a photo of the stump but alas, youth...Not important then. My brother and I went to look for it in the late 90's but it had been bulldozed for a new house.  






To buy sycamore seedlings by PHONE: We're glad to take your order by phone. For your convenience, we have a toll free number  800 568-9179.  Phone orders can be charged to VISA or MasterCard accounts.

To buy sycamore seedling by MAIL: For those who wish to order by mail or prefer to send a check, send orders to: Porcupine Hollow Farm   8593 W. Old State Rd.  Central Lake, Mi. 49622

To order sycamore seedlings using our secure shopping cart:


               click for more sycamore prices

Shipping & Handling: Most orders are shipped UPS. Make sure we have your street address and a daytime phone number.

Please include 20% shipping and packaging with your order.

    Minimum shipping $15    

Michigan Residents add 6% sales tax.