Sycamore Tree - Knowledgebase Question

Philadelphia, PA
Question by mouskouri198
October 6, 2000
I have 2 large sycamore trees on my street. I want to take the seed balls and start my own trees for my yard it is early October now can I collect them now and sow them soon before it gets too cold what should I do? How tall do these trees grow and how fast will they grow and other info on these trees will be a great help to me.


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Answer from NGA
October 6, 2000

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Sycamores (Platanus occidentalis) are very large trees, one of the largest native to our area. You might see them as tall as 150 feet in the wild, certainly to 100 feet when planted. Their growth rate is medium, maybe two feet a year, and they grow best in deep, rich soils with ample moisture. According to Michael Dirr's "Manual of Woody Landscape Plants" the seeds should not require any pretreatment to germinate, although several months of cold treatment might be beneficial. You might try planting some now and some in very early spring, much as they would be when done by nature. You should keep in mind though that these trees grow so large and also tend to drop bark, branches and seeds all over and so are not considered optimal for small scale residential plantings.

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