Platanus occidentalis

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Sycamore, American Planetree


Plant Specifics

Size:70-150 ft tall by and up to 100 ft wide
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:NA
Fruit Color:Brown
Phenology:Deciduous. Blooms spring (inconspicuous). Fruits ripen late summer. Bark is very white late fall through winter. Life span - 75+ years.
Noted for:Interesting bark, Fall color, Showy fruits, Hurricane wind resistance


Recommended Uses:Frequently used as a yard tree or as a shade tree in parks. Best used where its large size won't overwhelm the surroundings.
Availability:Native nurseries, Quality nurseries
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Not wet but not extremely dry)
Moisture Tolerance: Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Not wet but not extremely dry
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Some tolerance to salty wind but not direct salt spray.
Soil or other substrate:Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH:Adaptable


Native Habitats:Stream banks, in floodplains and bottomlands.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


General Comments:

It's paint-chip white and brown-green bark provides winter interest.

The natural range is from  north Florida into southern Canada.  This species has been planted well south of its range and is occasionally collected from places (such as the median of I-75, near old homesites,  and near mine reclaimation areas) where it likely got there due to man's activities.  It has also been widely planted in mined areas.