OK
In progress indicator

Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
25m
Max height
20m
Max spread
20-50 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Platanus occidentalis

Other names

American sycamore, Buttonwood, American plane, Water beech , Western plane, Eastern sycamore, Buttonball tree, American planetree

Genus

Platanus Platanus

Species

P. occidentalis - P. occidentalis is a vigorous, rounded to broadly columnar, deciduous tree with flaking brown, cream, and grey bark and toothed, mid- to bright green leaves, usually divided into three or five lobes. Insignificant flowers are followed by persistent, green fruit ripening brown.


Platanus occidentalis is: Deciduous

Habit

Broadly columnar, Rounded

Flower

Red, Insignificant or absent in Spring

Foliage

Mid-green in Spring; Mid-green in Summer; Yellow-brown in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for

Pests

Generally pest-free

Anthracnose diseases , Canker , Leaf spot , Powdery mildew Anthracnose diseases , Canker , Leaf spot , Powdery mildew

General care

Pruning

Pruning group 1

Propagation methods

Hardwood cuttings, Seed, Suckers


Sign up for your FREE ACCOUNT today or login to receive detailed monthly care instructions

Where to grow

Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore) will reach a height of 25m and a spread of 20m after 20-50 years.

Suggested uses

Low Maintenance, Coastal, City, Wildlife

Cultivation

Prefers fertile, humus-rich, moist or moist but well-drained soil in sun. Tolerates light shade. Dry soil tends to make it short-lived.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

Botanical name

Platanus occidentalis

Other names

American sycamore, Buttonwood, American plane, Water beech , Western plane, Eastern sycamore, Buttonball tree, American planetree

Genus

Platanus Platanus

Species

P. occidentalis - P. occidentalis is a vigorous, rounded to broadly columnar, deciduous tree with flaking brown, cream, and grey bark and toothed, mid- to bright green leaves, usually divided into three or five lobes. Insignificant flowers are followed by persistent, green fruit ripening brown.

Native to

Southeastern United States

Foliage

Deciduous

Habit

Broadly columnar, Rounded


Colour

Flower

Red, Insignificant or absent in Spring

Foliage

Mid-green in Spring; Mid-green in Summer; Yellow-brown in Autumn


How to care

Watch out for

Pests

Generally pest-free

Specific diseases

Anthracnose diseases , Canker , Leaf spot , Powdery mildew

General care

Pruning

Pruning group 1

Propagation methods

Hardwood cuttings, Seed, Suckers


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore) will reach a height of 25m and a spread of 20m after 20-50 years.

Suggested uses

Low Maintenance, Coastal, City, Wildlife

Cultivation

Prefers fertile, humus-rich, moist or moist but well-drained soil in sun. Tolerates light shade. Dry soil tends to make it short-lived.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5, Zone 4

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)

Common pest name

Alfalfa dwarf; Anaheim disease; California vine disease; Dwarf disease of alfalfa; Dwarf disease of lucerne; Leaf scald of oleander; Leaf scald of plum; Leaf scorch; Phony disease of peach; Pierce's disease of grapevine; Variegated chlorosis of citrus

Scientific pest name

Xylella fastidiosa subsp. multiplex

Type

Bacterium

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

A bacterial disease with a wide host range detected in Corsica. Although EU regulated; there remains some concern about the risk of introduction. This subspecies is known to be able to thrive in cooler climates. Should an outbreak occur; there would be a need for eradication action which would result in environmental and social impacts.

Defra's Risk register #2

Plant name

Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)

Common pest name

Scientific pest name

Hylesia nigricans

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

South American moth which could be damaging to broadleaf species if introduced to the UK; as well as having human health impacts. The main pathway is likely to be goods (including non-plant material) imported from South America and awareness raising with the main industry sectors is recommended.

Defra's Risk register #3

Plant name

Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)

Common pest name

Namangan longhorn beetle

Scientific pest name

Xylotrechus namanganensis

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

Polyphagous pest originating in Asia; some uncertainty regarding risk to UK; further work needed to assess climatic suitability.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

In order to add a note on this plant, please add this plant to your plant lists.

In progress indicator
Full size image
In progress indicator
Caption

Caption

Cancel and close this form
In progress indicator
This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types) Tell us...
Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: North, South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

Report content or feedback to Shoot

To add ? to your lists,
login to your account or subscribe.

Find out more about plant lists here

or Login


To check if this plant is suitable for your garden first login to your account or subscribe.

or Login

In progress indicator
Note

Note

You are adding a note to: ?

Cancel