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Plant of the Week – Sycamore

Sycamore from DistanceI had a torrid time picking a plant to write about this week.  Authors may get writers block, but I get landscapers block!  I have however decided on a fantastic tree for this weeks Plant of the Week blog!  It is a firm favorite of mine and in my opinion one of the most interesting looking trees around.  This week I want to talk about Platanus occidentalis, otherwise known as the Sycamore tree.

The Sycamore is a great shade providing tree with dense foliage that helps to cool a large yard space.  However, Sycamores are like the tall kid that grew too fast and doesn’t quite know how to control its legs.  The tree grows fast and large, so do not plant them close to your home, it will damage your foundation.  Known for their longevity and ability to deal with harsh conditions, this tree has become a popular plant for parks and other high population environments.  Sycamores are not just for high population areas though, they would do well in a large yard as well.  Their ability to stand up well to inclement weather, beautiful fall color and stately appearance make them a great long term shade option for a home with space for it to spread out and mature.  There are some negatives surrounding this tree.  Sycamores can be a bit messy, have a few pest and disease issues(these do not kill the tree) and like I mentioned before have roots that can damage concrete and pipes.  Providing you have a yard suitable for a tree of this size, these issues are workable and the perks will out weigh the negatives.

When planted properly these trees are some of the best in the business.  Their size, beautiful mottled bark, character and hardiness make it a fantastic specimen.  One of the oldest tree species in the world, please read more about this great tree here and here!


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