Scientific Name:  Platanus occidentalis

Light:  Sun to Part Sun

Zone:  4 to 9

Height:  75 to 100 feet

Width:  75 to 100 feet

Flowers:  April to June, yellow green, insignificant

Fruit/Seed:  August to December, brown achene (dry, flat seed), showy

Fall Color:  yellow


Birds:  Seeds are eaten by birds including the purple finch, goldfinch, chickadees, and dark-eyed junco.   Birds including the barred owl, eastern screech-owl, great crested flycatcher, chimney swift and wood duck use sycamore cavities as nests.


Deer Resistant:  Yes, deer are not a serious problem.

Insects/Pollinators: Supports 45 common caterpillars

Native:  Carroll and throughout Maryland

Idea Garden:

Categories: ,


A large tree for a large space that can be messy.

American sycamore  seeds are eaten by birds, muskrat, beaver, and squirrels.   As sycamores age, they may develop hollow trunks which provide shelter for a number of wildlife species ranging from birds to black bears.


‘Howard’ – foliage emerges bright yellow, but fades as the summer progresses.


Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping: Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Sycamore – USDA Plant Guide

Sycamore – Missouri Botanical Garden

Sycamore – University of Connecticut Plant Database

Sycamore – USDA Forest Service

Recommended for Wildlife by

Gardening for the Birds by George Adams

Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping: Chesapeake Bay Watershed

HG120 Native Plants of Maryland

Bringing Nature Home by Tallamy

Essential Native Trees and Shrubs for the Eastern United States by Dove & Woolridge

Additional information


Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8


Part Sun, Sun


Loam, Moist, Wet

Flower Season

Spring, Summer

Fruit Season

Fall, Summer, Winter


Carroll, Coast, Mountain, Piedmont

Wildlife Value

Beneficial Insects, Deer Resistant, Food for Birds, Nest Sites, Summer Cover

Notable Features

Winter Interest

Local Availability



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