How old do sycamore trees get

Life Expectancy of a Sycamore Tree | Home Guides

By Justine Harrington Updated October 23, 2019

The sycamore tree ('Platanus occidentalis') is the biggest deciduous tree in the Eastern United States, growing as tall as 75 to 100 feet. Sycamores are easily identifiable by their massive shape, large, light-green leaves and distinctive-looking bark: Younger sycamores have gray or white bark, while older bark is red or dark gray. Sycamore trees survive in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 4 through 9, and they typically stop producing seeds after the age of 250 years.

Typical Life Expectancy of a Sycamore

Sycamore trees begin to bear seeds six or seven years after they are planted, and optimum seed production occurs between 50 and 200 years. These trees are fast-growing; if they have sufficient moisture when they're young, they have the potential to grow 2 feet or more annually. Sycamores are among the oldest species of trees on Earth, and they are well-known for their longevity, hardiness and dramatic beauty.

Caring for Your Sycamore Tree

Sycamore seedlings are strongly affected by nutrient levels, soil, temperature and water intake. It's important to know how to properly care for your sycamore tree in order to extend its lifespan. The following are some tips and information on fertilizer, soil, pruning and sunlight requirements:

Plant sycamores in moist, deep, rich, well-drained soil. Water young trees deeply to keep the soil from drying out.  Keep in mind that this tree grows best in full sun. Prune sycamores regularly to remove deadwood and maintain a strong structure. Use nitrogen-rich fertilizer.  Protect your tree's roots during winter by covering up the soil with a 2-inch-thick layer of mulch.  Avoid growing sycamore trees near septic fields.

How to Manage Pests and Diseases

To ensure that your sycamore tree lives a long, healthy life, it's crucial to stay up-to-date on disease prevention methods and pest control. Here are some common tree diseases and pests that can affect sycamores, as well as methods for management and prevention:

Anthracnose. This is the most common disease that afflicts sycamores. When your tree has anthracnose, you'll notice dead twigs and branches, black fungal growth on the branches, brown and mottled leaves and dark, sunken cankers. To help combat this disease, be sure to prune and destroy any dead twigs or branches during dormancy.

Powdery Mildew. If your tree has powdery mildew, you'll see a heavy, white fungal growth along the upper surfaces of the leaves, in late summer and fall. Luckily, this disease doesn't cause much damage, and no control is recommended. 

Canker Stain. Canker stain is spread through open wounds on the sycamore tree, and it causes small, sparse leaves and cankers on the trunk and branches. Always disinfect your pruning tools, ladders, ropes and any other equipment your tree might come in contact with; do not use wound paints, as this could cause the disease to spread.

Bacterial Leaf Scorch. This is a bacterial disease, spread by leafhoppers and spittlebugs, which causes leaves to become brown and drop early. You may also notice a brown band on the brown-and-green tissue of each leaf. To minimize damage and promote tree vigor, plant your sycamore in ideal growing conditions. 

Sycamore Lace Bug. Adult lace bugs, which are distinguishable by the lacy patterns on their heads, and their young feed on the sycamore's sap, which can cause the leaves to turn yellow. While you can't undo the damage done by lace bugs, you can vigorously prune your tree, rake up debris and old mulch beneath the tree and give the underside of the leaves a good dousing of water; this helps get rid of these pests.


  • Penn State Extension: Sycamore Diseases
  • University of Minnesota: Featured Tree, Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)
  • University of Florida Featured Creatures: Sycamore Lace Bug
  • Missouri Department of Conservation: Sycamore Platanus occidentalis
  • Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry: Sycamore
  • Illinois Natural History Survey: Species Spotlight, The Sycamore
  • USDA Southern Research Station: Platanus occidentalis L.

Writer Bio

Justine Harrington is a writer based in Austin, Texas. Her work has been published in Forbes, USA Today, Fodor's, American Way, Marriott Bonvoy Traveler, Texas Highways, Austin Monthly, and dozens of other print and online publications.<!--EndFragment-->


Sycamore Tree

(Plantanus occidentalis L.)

Interesting Information About Plant:  


     The sycamore tree is the largest deciduous trees in the Eastern United States.  It grows to 30 meters tall and lives nearly 600 years.  The wood of this tree is used for things such as: musical instruments, butcher blocks, and furniture.  This tree acts as a very nice shade tree as well.  It is thought that this tree got its name from both the Greek and the Latin.  Plantanus in Greek means very broad, in Latin it means Maple-like.

Some unique information about this tree is it losses its heartwood.   The inner wood usually rots out due to a fungus that attacks the tree.  Some animals take advantage of this and use the hollowed out tree as a home for the winter.  The loss of the heartwood doesn’t kill the tree it merely makes it weaker than trees with heart wood.  The bark on this tree also peels off, but I’m not really sure why.


Scientific Name: Plantanus occidentalis L.

Family Name (Scientific and Common): Platanaceae   (Plant Tree)

Continent of Origin: North America                            

Plant Growth Habit: Tree

Height at Maturity: More than 10 Feet

Life Span: Perennial

Seasonal Habit: Deciduous Perennial

Growth Habitat: Full Sun 

Manner of Culture: Native Species 

Thorns on Younger Stem: No

Cross Section of Younger Stem: Roundish   

Stem (or Trunk) Diameter: More Than The Diameter of a Coffee-Mug 

Produces Brownish Bark: Yes  

Bark Peeling in Many Areas: Yes  

Characteristics of Mature (Brownish) Bark: Patchy Bark   

Type of Leaf: Flat, Thin Leaf  

Length of Leaf (or Leaflet): Between the Length of a Credit Card and a Writing-Pen  

Leaf Complexity: Simple 

Edge of Leaf: Serrated

Leaf Arrangement: Alternate 

Leaf has Petiole: Yes 

Patterns of Main-Veins on Leaf (or Leaflet): Palmate

Leaf Hairiness: No Hairs

Color of Foliage in Summer: Green 

Change in Color of Foliage in October: Changes to Yellow   

Flowering Season: Spring 

Flowers: Single 

Type of Flower: Colorful Flower

Color of Flower: White/Yellow 

Shape of Individual Flower: Other

Size of Individual Flower: Between a Quarter and the Length of a Credit Card  

Sexuality: Male and Female on Same Plant

Size of Fruit: Smaller than a Quarter 

Fruit Fleshiness: Dry

Shape of Fruit: Spherical    

Color of Fruit at Maturity: Brown or Dry

Fruit Desirable to Birds or Squirrels: Yes   

Common Name(s): Sycamore Tree, American planetree, Buttonwood, Button-ball tree

Louisville Plants That Are Most Easily Confused With This One: Maple Tree, Catalpa, Gum Tree, Royal Paulownia, Tulip Poplar…dr

Unique Morphological Features of Plant: The bark peels

Poisonous: None of Plant

Pestiness (weedy, hard to control): No


Page prepared by:

Crystal Varney                                    

 November 2004

Giant plane trees, how old are they? • Alpagama

Updated: 04/05/2020

Even in ancient times, folk beliefs noted the similarity of some plants with people, green friends were endowed with purely human qualities. So, the oak has become a symbol of power, reliability, narcissus - narcissism, forget-me-not - fidelity, etc. The Turkmens say about a wise, generous, generous person: "a shady person, like a plane tree." In addition, "Chinara" is one of the beautiful female names of the Central Asian peoples.

Plane tree (Chinar) in antiquity

Since ancient times, the plane tree (or plane tree) has been surrounded by honor and respect among various peoples of the world. In ancient Egypt, he was considered the incarnation of the sky goddess Nut. In ancient Greece, the plane tree was associated with the cult of Apollo, Dionysus, Hercules, as well as many heroes - Diomedes, Agamemnon, Menelaus, etc.

Ancient Romans valued the tree not only for its beauty, but for its healing virtues. The famous Roman physician Quintus Serenus Samonicus (3rd century AD) recommended plane tree leaves as a remedy for wrinkles on the face, and the fruits - to stop bleeding and vomiting, treat burns and frostbite. The Romans contributed to the spread of plane tree plantings in the countries they conquered.

This tree was held in high esteem in Kashmir. Four hundred years ago, the ruler of the Mughal Empire, Akbar Jalaladdin (1542-1605), ordered to plant a large number of plane trees along the banks of the Jhelum River. These plantings have survived to this day. Akbar's son Jahangir (1569-1627) also contributed to the spread of plane trees. Under him, groups of these trees were planted along the caravan routes. Over time, the plant has become a symbol of Kashmir. The pattern of its leaves can be seen in the drawings of carpets, on wooden and copper products.

The name of the plant is derived from the Greek word "platos", which translates as "wide". Now in the plane tree family there is a single genus of plane trees, which includes about 10 species. In fact, almost all species are distinguished by wide, impressive, lush and dense crowns.

Oriental plane tree

A really “wide”, shady species, oriental plane tree, is widespread in Turkmenistan. Mostly in mountainous regions (Kopetdag, Koytendag), and also widely cultivated in gardens and parks.

Oriental sycamore is a favorite tree in the states of the Balkan Peninsula, the Mediterranean and Europe. It is cultivated so widely that it is already difficult to establish its natural range.

Oriental sycamore is one of the most beautiful trees in the world. The thick trunk is impressive, reaching a diameter of 2-2.5 meters. Plane trees are wonderful centenarians. They can live up to 2000 years or more. On the island of Kos in the Aegean Sea, a unique specimen of the eastern plane tree grows, the circumference of the trunk of which has reached 18 meters, and the height is 36 meters. Botanical scientists believe that the giant adorns the Earth for 23 centuries. Similar giants are found in Turkey (near Istanbul) and Yugoslavia (in Dalmatia).

Huge hollows often appear in the trunks of venerable elders. In Azerbaijan, near the village of Agdash, a 500-year-old plane tree rises, in the hollow of which there was once a tea room with two tables, at which 8-10 people could sit at the same time. In the village of Seyrab in Uzbekistan, a plane tree aged 700-800 years, 26 meters high and with a trunk circumference at the level of the root collar of 12 meters, has been preserved. At the beginning of the 20th century, a school was located in the hollow of this tree, later a village council, and then a soldier's library and, finally, a village shop. Now in this hollow there is a guest room for tourists.

In favorable forest conditions, the leaves of some plane trees are very wide - their diameter can reach a quarter of a meter. At a young age, they are covered with dense pubescence. The oriental plane tree retains its foliage until late autumn.
The lush crown of this tree is planted on a tall, slender, though somewhat heavy trunk, covered with yellowish-green or gray bark. In connection with the intensive growth in thickness, he has, like some reptiles, to shed his "skin" - the bark. The old bark falls off in plates, exposing the young, yellowish in color, which makes the trunk appear spotty-marble.

Plane tree wood is one of the most decorative. Wide and fairly frequent beams, occupying up to 50 percent of the volume of wood, give it an extremely beautiful texture, so well-polished products look very elegant. Sycamore wood is light, moderately strong. Depending on growing conditions and cutting time, its color varies from golden-reddish to dark brown. For such excellent qualities in the past, our ancestors often used plane wood for the manufacture of chests, doors and household items. It is still used today for the production of parquet, furniture and valuable containers, in America it is used in the automotive industry for interior decoration.

The exceptionally spectacular appearance of the plane tree is successfully combined with the ability to give an extensive shadow. Under the mighty crown, rising to a height of 25-30 meters, even on summer days, twilight and coolness reign. Meticulous people have calculated that under the crown of the most ancient plane tree in Azerbaijan near the village of Red Bazaar, 250 cars can be accommodated.

Giant plane trees of the Kopetdag

There are also giant plane trees in Turkmenistan, old-timers. In the Archabil (formerly Firyuzinsky) gorge of the Kopetdag, a plane tree grows - the giant "Seven Brothers". In the shade of this plane tree covered with legends, more than a thousand people can relax at the same time. The tree was planted in 1641 by Khoja Seyit Nedjeb (oral communication of the folklorist Umur Esenov, 1980). According to K.V. Blinovsky, the height of the giant in 1896 was 17.1 m, reaching up to 32 m in 1956. And the diameter of the trunk was 285 cm in 1896, 335 cm - in 1937, 350 cm - in 1956. According to our measurements in 1982, the height increased by 0.5 m and amounted to 33 meters, the diameter expanded by 28 cm and reached 378 cm, and the crown was preserved almost in the size of 1956 and its length from north to south was 28 m and from east to west - 30 m. In the 80s of the XX century. The newspaper "Turkmenskaya Iskra" published information about a dendrologist who came from Azerbaijan, who suggested that the age of this plane tree is about 700 years. However, according to K.V. Blinovsky (1958), who determined the age of the tree by the growth of growth rings, in 1956 he was 315 years old. Based on this, now the age of the tree is about 400 years. However, different methods of age determination and uneven growth ring thickness give different results.

An old Turkmen legend tells about the origin of the plane tree "Seven Brothers". Once the freedom-loving highlanders were attacked by enemies. The Turkmen-jigits bravely fought with them. During one of the battles, seven brothers of a girl named Firyuza were killed. She buried them and planted a plane tree on each grave. The trees began to grow together, began to grow rapidly, and always reached out to each other. And one day they came together, and hugged so tightly that they forever grew together into one mighty giant tree, which does not care about any bad weather. Since then, it has been called the "Seven Brothers" plane tree. This tree has become a kind of symbol of love of freedom and a symbol of solidarity of the Turkmen people.

Koytendag plane trees

No less famous giants are located in the village of Koyten, Koytendag etrap, Lebap velayat. Two giant plane trees grow here. The first of them is 27.5 meters high, has a crown measuring 26.20 m from north to south, and 20 m from east to west. The circumference of the trunk at the root neck is 16 meters, and at chest level it is 8.5 meters. According to our preliminary calculations, the age of the tree was 364 years.

The second plane tree is 27 meters high, but also has an amazing crown size. From north to south 23 m, and from east to west - 21 m. The circumference of the trunk at the root neck is 16.35 meters, at chest level 7.23 meters. In addition, it has a hollow that can accommodate 17 students. The age of this plane tree, according to our calculations, is about 380 years. It was determined by a special botanical drill, and the height of the tree - by a special height gauge.

Benefits of plane trees

The plane tree is not only beautiful. Compared to other tree species, it better tolerates the presence of sulfur dioxide in the air, one of the most common and harmful environmental pollutants. Thanks to the huge lush crown, plane trees successfully cleanse the atmosphere of unwanted impurities. Plane trees protect water from overheating and reduce evaporation, so they are indispensable for planting on the banks of rivers and other water bodies. The creation of reclamation protective plantations along irrigation canals with a predominance of sycamore sycamore ensures the protection of irrigation water from pollution and intense evaporation in the summer heat, and soils from secondary salinization, acting as biological drainage.

Oriental sycamore is an excellent breed for creating pasture-protective forest belts, as well as for sheltering livestock from the summer heat on flat pastures, on the outskirts of oases. To do this, it is useful to create green umbrellas near water sources by planting group plantings of this species.

Almost all plane trees are cultivated. In culture, they even grow quickly, easily propagated by seeds, layering, stumps, and even just cuttings. They are resistant to many pests and diseases.

Given the above-mentioned valuable qualities of the plane tree, people in Turkmenistan are increasingly planting it when creating reclamation and landscaping plantings. In the Koytendag State Nature Reserve, experiments are also being carried out on the propagation of plane trees by seeds and cuttings.

Shaniyaz Menliev ,
head of the scientific department
of the Koytendag Reserve

Plane tree: photo and description


  • Eastern maple
  • Description
  • Planting

In our country there are a lot of different plants, this includes fruit trees, which from year to year bring many fruits. There are varieties of trees that are used for landscaping and creating coziness and a shady area. One of the interesting representatives is considered to be the eastern plane tree, which will be discussed in this article.

Oriental Maple

All over the world there are a very large number of trees of different types and purposes, some even poets write about. Platan belongs to one of the ancient species. The plant has its own history, which is more than a thousand years old. In general, the plane tree genus includes 11 trees that always remain green. Most of these plants are found in Europe and Asia. Often the tree can be seen in the Caucasus. The breed grows for a very long time, and there are species that are already more than 2 thousand years old.

Turkey also has one of the oldest representatives, which scientists counted 2300 years. Its height is 60 meters, the trunk in a circle is 42 meters.

Previously, the plane tree was called the oriental "maple", because its leaves are very similar to maple leaves, but there are some differences between these two trees. The plane tree is much larger in size and the life of the plant is longer. This species is the largest representative on the entire planet. In ancient times, several hundred people could hide from the sun behind an old and large plane tree.

The plant is very popular in those regions where the hot climate prevails, because the plant allows you to get a lot of shade and coolness.


Since ancient times, plane trees have been planted near their homes, as well as near temples, to get a lot of shade and cool areas. In Turkey, the plant is called Chinar. There are rumors and legends about such a plant.

The species is deciduous, growing to a height of about 30 meters, and the trunk is up to 12 meters in a circle. The crown of the plane tree is low and wide. The branches are twisted, often going away from the trunk itself, and the lower branches are tilted towards the ground. Typically, leaves have 5 lobes and a young tree has 3 lobes per leaf. The sheets are up to 15 cm long, the same size and width.

The sycamore gives fruits - nuts, which after winter turn into small nuts. The ripening time lasts for a whole year, after which the nut is divided into small particles and they are scattered by winds over the area.

Everything in the breed is beautiful and today the look is a favorite among gardeners, because the decorative effect is better than that of many other representatives. Wild Platan can often be seen near rivers, lakes, in forests, among mountains.


Oriental maple grows quickly, so the plant becomes 2 meters in a year of growth. The seeds of the tree are unique, because the germination lasts a year, with proper storage.

Before planting, plant seeds should be left in water for a short time. Landing in the ground is carried out with the onset of spring or autumn. Any soil is suitable, but the site itself should be light.

The breed is frost-resistant and normally tolerates frost down to -15 degrees. When growing in the middle lane, it is recommended to select varieties that are more frost-resistant. Where heat and heat predominate, the plant is planted near water.

Fast growth requires planting in loose soil rich in minerals. For Sycamore, constant watering is important, especially if a drought begins. If you constantly and abundantly water the tree, then it will effectively stand out in the garden, among other plantings.

The tree also needs some maintenance:

  1. The sycamore tree will need to be constantly pruned, which will allow you to remove spoiled and damaged branches. Pruning is also needed to give the correct shape and create a decorative look.
  2. Wood needs to be prepared before winter. For this, mulch is made from coniferous branches, as well as sawdust. Some people use fallen leaves for mulch.

Today, the plant is adapted to the fact that in cities there is a gas content. The plane tree is not exposed to pests, which is also very important when growing. Also, the plant resists many diseases. Key things to remember when growing Sycamore:

  1. Water the tree in time.
  2. Plant in areas with good light.

Experienced gardeners advise fertilizing the plant only during the first years of its life. In the case when the land is fertile, then the tree can not be fertilized at all, natural fertilizer is enough for it. In case of illness or retarded growth, feed is added to the soil, but first the reason is determined, which is not enough for Platan. If the development of the tree is normal, then universal types of feeding are used. The main condition is to carefully follow the instructions so that there is no overdose.

Plantain should be planted in heavy soil in spring, but in autumn it is better to use light soil. Planting seeds is carried out according to standard technology, the depth of the seeds is about 0.5 m. When the Platan grows up, it can be transplanted.

It is difficult to confuse the plane tree with other breeds, because you can immediately see the strength and beauty, as well as a large spreading crown.

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