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Old July 11th, 2009, 01:11 PM
LuckyFish LuckyFish is offline
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Do I have a Sycamore Tree?

Hi, All! I hope someone can help. I planted a tree 4 years ago, which had come up from a seedling under my neighbors eave of her home. She told me that it was a Sycamore (there is another one near her). However..I'm not sure this is a Sycamore as it has no seed pods at all (neither does the other one my neighbor has). I've searched all over the internet, but it appears that all Sycamores have those pods, unless I am reading wrong. This tree is very, very fast growing, and I love it! It is now over the roof of my 2-story condo...and is very healthy. The bark peels from the bottom. I thought perhaps it was a plane tree too...but they also have those pods. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I will work to get a photo up..but, honestly, it looks very, very similar to a Sycamore or even Maple....but no seed pods. Is it possible that certain varieties of Sycamores do NOT have those pods..or maybe depends on the 'sex' of the tree (male/female)? BTW, I am in Houston, TX. Thank you, in advance, for any assistance! :)
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Old July 11th, 2009, 02:14 PM
Ron B Ron B is offline
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Re: Do I have a Sycamore Tree?

If it looks just like the other Platanus there then it is simply too young to flower and fruit.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 03:17 PM
LuckyFish LuckyFish is offline
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Re: Do I have a Sycamore Tree?

Thanks, Ron B. But my tree is now 5 or 6 years old...it's not young, nor small! My sister has a Sycamore that she bought at a nursery that's only 2 years old...and it has seed pods already (for 1 year now).
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Old July 11th, 2009, 05:38 PM
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mywan mywan is offline
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Re: Do I have a Sycamore Tree?

About the only thing I know that people will confuse with a Sycamore is Liriodendron tulipifera (yellow poplar). A closer inspection and the differences are quiet distinct.
This is the leaf of Liriodendron tulipifera:
http://bellquel.bo.cnr.it/scuole/ser...pifera%203.jpg
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Old July 11th, 2009, 07:04 PM
Ron B Ron B is offline
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Re: Do I have a Sycamore Tree?

The difference in ages is of no consequence. For one thing, hers may be a vegetatively propagated clonal cultivar that has the sexual maturity of the parent plant - something your seedling does not have. Otherwise, some other circumstance has caused hers to produce some fruits at an early age. Many seedlings of full-sized trees may take decades to begin flowering.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 08:30 PM
LuckyFish LuckyFish is offline
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Re: Do I have a Sycamore Tree?

Thanks for the pic of the Liriodendron tulipifera (yellow poplar), Mywan...but no...still not my leaf. I have 3 lobes, with all of them pointy at the top..they are also 'jagged' on the sides. The top has 1 point, and jagged on the side...but 'curved' a little before the two jut out on the side. I'm sorry I can't post a pic. Ron B..my tree is 6 or 7 years old..and HUGE. Are you telling me I might have a Sycamore...but it won't produce those seed pods for possibly decades? BTW....the parent tree (I think..my neighbor's) doesn't have any seed pods either, and it's 10-12 years old. Oh well, maybe I should just settle that it is a Sycamore without the pods. Actually, I'm glad it doesn't have the pods, because I understand that would be pretty messy. It's so beautiful..I live in a condo..and aside from the live oaks and ashes...it is one of the largest and prettiest. I want to get another one of the SAME..that's why I want to be sure it is a Sycamore. Thanks to both of you for your help. :)
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Old July 11th, 2009, 09:12 PM
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Liz Liz is offline
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Re: Do I have a Sycamore Tree?

"Oh well, maybe I should just settle that it is a Sycamore without the pods."

That would be a real God send for over here if that were a Sycamore. Here they are noxious weeds taking over whole national parks. Look great in Autumn but once removed one can really see the beauty of the natural vegetation and fern gullies.

Why do you want seeds By the way they are like the Maple (Acer) propeller seeds only big.

Liz
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Old July 11th, 2009, 10:14 PM
LuckyFish LuckyFish is offline
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Re: Do I have a Sycamore Tree?

Hi, Liz! I had to laugh...when you said they are like weeds! It has definitely GROWN like a weed...very, very fast for 5 years and huge! I like the shade. Here in Houston, our weather has consistantly been 3 digits (100 F or more) for over 3 weeks...and not a drop of rain in over 78 days...very, very unusual for humid, 'tropical like' Houston, Texas. All I can think of is getting MORE shade for the other side of my condo. lol I don't want the seed pods...AT ALL...I just want to make sure I've correctly identified the tree before I buy another one. It's so weird that neither of the two here (5 years and 10 years) have any of those pods. Maybe it takes decades to produce those pods, like Ron said..I'm not looking forward to that, but maybe I have years to go! Plus, lots of people ask me what it is. Apparently, we don't have a lot of Sycamores around here. Thanks for your reply. :)
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Old July 11th, 2009, 11:36 PM
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Liz Liz is offline
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Re: Do I have a Sycamore Tree?

I think the ones we have here might be a different tree. They are refering to them as Sycamore maples [Acer pseudoplatanus]

http://www.yarraranges.vic.gov.au/Fi...t-Sycamore.pdf

yours is probably what they refer to as an American Sycamore on google. Platanus occidentalis???
I am fairly sure they are used as huge avenues of street trees here

Looks like the common multi use name has struck again.

Liz
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Old July 12th, 2009, 02:29 AM
Michael F Michael F is offline
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Re: Do I have a Sycamore Tree?

Quote:
Looks like the common multi use name has struck again
Yep, another example of bad education!

Sycamore correctly refers to the fig species Ficus sycomorus, but the name has been misapplied to Acer pseudoplatanus in Britain and Australia, and to Platanus spp. in North America.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 10:33 AM
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Marn Marn is offline
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Re: Do I have a Sycamore Tree?

If it is a Sycamore tree you are going to hate it when it get big and all the leaves fall .. i hated it .. i had 2 giant sycamore trees in my front yard and the leaves were unreal.. so many .. trust me you will begin to hate it .. and they do grow pretty fast ..

Marion
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Old July 12th, 2009, 11:05 AM
LuckyFish LuckyFish is offline
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Re: Do I have a Sycamore Tree?

Thanks, Marn. It already is huge (I'd say 40 ft), and it drops tons of leaves. I live in a condo, so landscapers take care of those weekly. The leaves are very tough...and don't break down. What a shame..I could use the mulch for my bedding plants. :) I love the shade....as it is very, very hot in Houston, Tx..and I face the West sun!!
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 12:52 PM
JOHN GRAHAM JOHN GRAHAM is offline
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Re: Do I have a Sycamore Tree?

As a retired entomologist I study a lot of the 60 or more species of trees in my neighborhood. I cannot imagine your having trouble distinguishing the American Sycamore from others, but first, for Heaven's sake, borrow from the library a tree book that shows photos of both leaves and bark (several do this):

(1) The handsome bark will be broken up into curling patches of brown against a smooth, white background (some lost almost all of their brown patches); no other tree shows this pattern;

(2) The leaves are alternate, whereas those of the Sycamore Maple (like all maples) are opposite; the various points on the lobes are distinctive; use a pair of binoculars to observe;

(3) The leaves of the American Sycamore will often turn a crumbly brown in the fall and thus take away from their attraction, though they are often planted on college campuses, in parks, and on city streets.

Before purchase, WAIT until you have solid identification and take into account the warnings already provided to you. No such tree needs to be planted until late fall, after leaves fall, so you could get some and show them to a local plant nursery person.

By the way, I like the tree because it is the occasional host of an aphid in which I have a particular interest: Longistigma caryae.
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Old July 25th, 2010, 10:30 PM
treeguy123 treeguy123 is offline
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Re: Do I have a Sycamore Tree?

Here are pictures of a American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis):
http://www.cnr.vt.edu/dendro/dendrol...heet.cfm?ID=36

American sycamore trees in full sun don't start to bear seed until they are 6 to 7 years old, and produce the Fruit/seeds in small amounts at that age as well.
If the tree more shade can take longer, probably 10 to 15 years before they start to bear Fruit/seeds.
American sycamore make appreciable number of seeds at about 25 years of age, with optimum production of seeds between 50 and 200 years.

They are also monoecious, having male and female flowers on the same tree.
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