A native of central and southern Europe, the Sycamore has long been naturalised in Britain. its wood has been used for making innumerable small items from violins to wooden spoons.
It is a very large tree and is fast growing for the first 20 years. It is also one of the very toughest trees available many of its cultivars are smaller but equally as durable.
It tolerates air pollution and thrives in most soils and is particularly useful for coastal sites where it can make an effective defence against strong winds and salt-laden air.
Native or not the environmental impact of common Sycamore should not be understated. It makes a wonderful host to a wide range of our wildlife and provides a refuge in landscapes that do not readily support any other species.
The success of this tree gives it an unfair tag of being rather a ‘weed, it is however an incredibly versatile plant that thrives in the most difficult of circumstances so it shouldn’t be overlooked.
Improved clones such as ‘Negenia’ are widely used on the continent as a street / verge tree as it forms a more regular crown shape at maturity.
Mature height: 20m+
Mature spread: 12-18m