Foliage of Acer pseudoplatanus
Foliage of Acer pseudoplatanus
Mature Acer pseudoplatanus planted in a field
Acer pseudoplatanus during the winter
Carbon Rating
Carbon Rating
Medium-sized Sycamore trees on the Barcham Tree nursery
Medium-sized Sycamore trees

Acer pseudoplatanus


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Acer pseudoplatanus, known as Sycamore to most, is the native tree we love to hate!  Sycamore has been long naturalised in Britain, providing a staple backdrop to many estates, parklands, and hedgerows throughout the country. 

The tree's big, maple-like leaves can sometimes make it look like a different type of tree. But when it grows its unique double-winged seeds, called samaras or keys, it's hard to mistake it for anything else!

Acer pseudoplatanus, or Sycamore, grows rapidly for the first 20 years, reaching heights over 20m. The concern about planting Sycamore stems from its tendency to self-seed vigorously, ensuring its survival in various conditions, including direct sunlight, exposure, salty winds, and poor soil.

It's best to avoid pruning sycamore trees in spring. If you need to trim some branches lightly, June is a good time. For more extensive pruning, wait until October to December.

There are very few species to choose from when selecting trees for coastal conditions and for this quality alone Sycamore proves its worth as one of the UK's most durable trees. There are many clones of Acer pseudoplatanus available, from smaller growing, regular-shaped varieties such as Negenia, to the varying foliage colours of Spaethii, Leopoldii, and Worleii. 

For exposed sites that need specimen trees with colour and interest, look no further than the Sycamore varieties and please don’t let the stigma of this native beauty get the better of you.

As a word of caution, recent research has identified the foliage and samara of Sycamore to be poisonous to horses and therefore they should not be planted in and around paddocks.

Mature height: 20m+

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