(Platanus occidentalis )
The Plane-tree Family (Platanaceae)

Tall, massive tree with straight trunk, heavy spreading branches, large, alternate, deciduous leaves and mottled greenish-gray to brown exfoliating bark.


Low, moist woods; floodplains; rich bottomlands.

Interesting Facts: 

Large trunks were carved into dugouts by Native Americans. Sap used as a drink or reduced to syrup. Its height, large leaves and pollution tolerance make it a common shade tree in cities. One of the largest simple leaves found on a tree in North America.

Spherical brown ball with tiny, winged, .5" long seeds on a 3 to 6" stalk; maturing in fall, disseminating in late winter.
Male and female: Greenish, very small in round clusters with a single cluster to a long stalk. Blooms with leaves.
Wildlife value: 
Mostly an ornamental tree; however birds and rodents eat seeds. Hollow trunk serves as cover for chimney swifts.
Leaf type: 
Wildlife value: 
Tree dimensions: 

Leaf length: 5.00-13.00 inches
Tree height: 75.00-150.00 feet

Where to find American Sycamore on the Louisiana State Arboretum Trails:

TER - Walker Terrace 3.0

WET - Wetland Trail 13.0

Refer to our Live Map to locate this species and its interpretative signage on the trail system.