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Platanus occidentalis, photo courtesy of UrbanImages/Alamy
Platanus occidentalis, photo courtesy of UrbanImages/Alamy

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Zone
Zones 1-24
Full Sun
Full
Regular Water
Moderate

Platanus occidentalis

AMERICAN SYCAMORE, BUTTONWOOD
Platanaceae
Deciduous, Trees

PLATANUS

All these trees are large, with heavy trunk (or trunks) and sculptural branch pattern. Older bark sheds in patches to reveal pale, smooth new bark beneath. Big, rough-surfaced leaves (to 10 in. across) have three to five lobes, resemble maple (Acer) leaves. Fall foliage color is yellowish to brown, not striking. Ball-shaped brown seed clusters, usually on threadlike stalks, hang on the bare branches through winter; these are prized for winter arrangements. Best in rich, deep, moist, well-drained soil. All are subject to anthracnose, which causes early leaf drop and twig dieback. Rake up and dispose of dead leaves, since fungus spores can overwinter on them. Chlorosis may be a problem in the desert.

Platanus occidentalis

Native to easternU.S. Similar to P. × hispanica but with a longer leafless period. Irregular habit, contortedbranches. Occasionally grows with multiple or leaning trunks. Old trees near streams sometimes reach huge size.Best in a large wild garden.

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