Acer pseudoplatanus L.
Sycamore maples are natives of central Europe and southwestern Asia. They are now established in North America.
Identification: This tree reaches 66-115' (20-35 m) in height, with a broad crown that is oval or rounded in shape. As the tree ages, smooth gray bark becomes brown, and begins breaking into scales, peeling to reveal pale brown, pinkish, or green inner bark. Leaves are five-lobed, similar to those of sugar maples in overall shape, but with more serrations. They are about 4-10" (10-25 cm) in size. Don’t confuse the sycamore maple tree with the dissimilar sycamore tree, Ficus sycomorus.
These “sycamores” are not related.
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|Plant||66-115' (20-35 m) high, with a broad crown, oval to rounded in shape.||98-131' (30-40 m) high, up to 6½' (2 m) in diameter.|
|Flowers||Yellowish green, in May.||Male flowers are dark red, while female flowers are light green tinged with red. Both are ball-shaped.|
|Leaves||Five-lobed, with serrated edges, 4-10" (10-25 cm) in size.||4-9" (10-22 cm) in size, somewhat resembling maple leaves, with 3-5 lobes.|
|Stem||Depending on age, may be smooth and gray or covered with large peeling scales that reveal several colors of inner bark.||Bark is mottled, with large irregular chunks like puzzle pieces that flake off, revealing differently colored bark beneath. Bark colors include tan, light gray, white, cream, and olive green.|
|Seeds||Samaras are 1¼-2" (3.2-5 cm).|
|Fruit||Bumpy brown balls about 1" (2.5 cm) around, on stems up to 3" (7.6 cm) long. Bumps separate into airborne seeds after drying.|
Acer pseudoplatanus at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Acer pseudoplatanus on Wikipedia
Acer pseudoplatanus at the University of Connecticut Plant Database
Acer pseudoplatanus at the Missouri Botanical Garden
Acer pseudoplatanus on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants
Sibley, David Allen, The Sibley Guide to Trees, Alfred A. Knopf, 2009, p. 348
Acer pseudoplatanus description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 15 Jul 2020.