Monday, May 6, 2013

Acer pseudoplatanus – Sycamore Maple

General Information
Common Name Sycamore Maple
Scientific Name Acer pseudoplatanus
Sun Tolerance Full Sun
Height 18 - 20 m (60 – 70 ft)
Spread 10 – 15 m(30 - 45 ft)
Growth Rate Fast
Bloom Time Spring
Color Green
Flower Color Green
Type Tree
Native Europ, North-West Asia, Northern USA
Classification
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Sapindales
Family Aceraceae – Maple family
Genus Acer L. – maple
Species A. pseudoplatanus


Acer pseudoplatanus – Sycamore Maple
Sycamore Maple, an attractive tall tree with masses of mat green foliage and pleasant summer fruits, was brought from France during the Middle Ages. It seeds profusely.
The young green, paired twigs turn light brown during the first year. The opposite winter buds are green and have a leaf-scar below. The leaves often have a red or orange tint on opening, and have five broad, coarsely-toothed loves, and are up to 8 inches broad, blunt-pointed, with long red-dish stalks which contain watery sap. They are deep green on the upper surface and pale bluish-green underneath – which underside is conspicuous when the foliage billows in the wind. Often the leaves are disfigured by ‘tar spots’ (caused by the fungus Rhytisma acerium). In autumn the leaves turn a drab color, but occasionally yellow. 
The bi-sexual greenish-yellow flowers, which open late in May, are in pendent panicles of fifty or more, with the youngest towards the tip. The fruits hang in bunches comprised of the well-known winged double ‘samara’ (or ‘keys’) set at an angle of about 900, and green at first, then handsomely tinged with crimson, becoming brown before the air currents spin them far a field.
Acer pseudoplatanus – Sycamore Maple
On young trees the bark is very pale grey and smooth but later breaks into irregular fawn-brown scales which flake off. The odorless wood is of a clean appearance, creamy to yellowish-white, moderately heavy and fairly hard. Its uses include furniture, textile rollers and turned kitchen utensils such as bowls, spoons and platters. It the wood has a rippled grain, it commands a very high price for veneers. When cut in January to early spring, the tree profusely ‘bleeds’ its watery sap.
Silviculturists find Sycamore an excellent shelterbelt tree. It grows freely from self-sown seed and is an important timber tree, though much spoiled by grey squirrels, which peel the bark in order to obtain the sweet sap. 


Acer pseudoplatanus – Sycamore Maple : Fruits

Acer pseudoplatanus – Sycamore Maple : Flowers & Fruits

Acer pseudoplatanus – Sycamore Maple : Flowers

Acer pseudoplatanus – Sycamore Maple : Flowers

Acer pseudoplatanus – Sycamore Maple : Flowers

Acer pseudoplatanus – Sycamore Maple


Acer pseudoplatanus – Sycamore Maple




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