University of Missouri Extension

G6800, Revised June 2008

Selecting Landscape Plants: Shade Trees

American sycamore or plane tree (Platanus occidentalis)

Large trees

American sycamore or plane tree

The most striking feature of the sycamore is its flaking bark that peels off to reveal the lighter-colored underbark. It is considered a dirty tree, as it is continuously dropping bark and twigs that need to be picked up. A twig blight that temporarily disfigures the foliage attacks sycamore almost every spring. It will seldom kill the tree, but it certainly reduces its value as an ornamental. Sycamore is a fast-growing tree that will reach an immense size. It is much too large for the average home grounds. It needs a deep, rich soil to develop properly.

If a sycamore is desired, the European species, London plane tree, or the Asiatic species, Oriental plane tree, is a much better choice than the native American species. They are resistant to the twig blight and do not reach as large a size.

G6800 Selecting Landscape Plants: Shade Trees | University of Missouri Extension

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