Sycamore trees are widely acknowledged to be resilient against harsh weather and natural predators. Many homeowners also favor these trees as their garden's focal point because sycamores can grow very quickly and develop a large, sturdy canopy. If you are wondering about the positive characteristics of a sycamore tree, then this article has all the important information for you.
Sycamore trees are drought, deer, and wind resistant when fully established. The tree has a strong root system that allows it to withstand and even adapt itself to unfavorable soil conditions. Sycamore trees can live in water-saturated soil as well as dry soil during an extended period of drought.
The sycamore tree's ability to grow tall and wide quickly is the main reason why it is wind resilient. In addition to being drought and wind-resistant, sycamores are also known to be unattractive to deer. Studies have shown that deer will even avoid sycamore trees when there are other options available in their habitat.
Sycamores are hardy trees that can live for a long time. Possible reasons for their longevity could be their immunity against environmental factors that can otherwise negatively affect trees that are not as hardy. Continue reading as we discuss all the details you need to know about sycamore trees.
How Resilient Are Sycamore Trees?
Before we discuss the positive characteristics of a sycamore tree, we must first understand that there are a couple of plant species that are labeled as sycamores.
Some of these trees belong to the plant genus Platanus which are plants native to the Northern Hemisphere. Other known sycamores, such as the fig-mulberry sycamore and the sycamore maple, belong to a completely different genus of plants.
Because all known sycamore plants belong to various genera, it is possible for them to have diverse characteristics and levels of resilience against harsh weather and other environmental factors.
In this article, we will only discuss the trees in the genus Platanus. Resilient plants under this genus are the Mexican, California, and American sycamore.
Are Sycamore Trees Drought Resistant?
Sycamore trees, especially Mexican, American, and California sycamores, can adapt well to inconsistent soil conditions. They are capable of living in almost any type of soil, be it highly acidic soil, soil with high alkalinity, or even compact, root-restricting soils.
A fully-established sycamore tree can grow a strong, almost aggressive root system that can reach a depth of six feet and extend outwards past the tree's drip line.
In addition to being drought-resistant, sycamore trees are also capable of living in water-saturated soil. Sycamore trees are often planted and utilized as ornamental shade trees in areas beside bodies of water, such as near a stream or alongside a river.
Unlike other tree roots that succumb to rotting when exposed to too much water, sycamore trees can withstand, and even live in such an environment.
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Since a well-established sycamore tree's roots are extremely resilient, they can keep the tree alive throughout a drought or allow it to thrive in soil with high levels of moisture and poor drainage.
Sycamore trees are also popular in urban environments, because their strong roots can resist road salt and high levels of city pollution.
However, it is important to note that since sycamore trees develop wide, sturdy roots, they can easily be invasive and destructive when planted in the wrong environment. It is best to plant sycamore trees in large spaces, which is why they are most popular in public areas.
When planting the tree in a residential area, a wide yard with at least 15-20 feet of space away from any pipes or nearby road is the ideal location for a sycamore tree.
Are Sycamore Trees Deer Resistant?
While deer are extremely crucial to a forest's ecosystem, their growing population can cause destruction to the living organisms around them. Trees are no exception to this.
Not only do deer destroy plants through excessive browsing and foraging, but the trunks and roots can be damaged by the antlers of the wild bucks.
Fully established sycamore trees, however, do not seem to entice deer. Deer are known to consume just about anything that is available in their environment, but sycamore trees belong to a list of trees and shrubs that these animals will avoid if possible.
It is important to note, however, that deer will only ignore sycamore trees if there are other options readily available, but they will not avoid the hardy plant if they need it.
While there are no plants that are considered to be completely deer resistant, sycamore trees belong to a small number of plants that these dietary generalists will avoid. A possible reason for this boycott could be that the tree is simply not appealing to the animal due to its fragrance.
Deer are known to have a heightened sense of smell that they use for foraging as well as identifying predators. Platanus sycamore trees are not widely known for their fragrance, although they do emit different levels of smell that could be the reason for their deer resistance.
Below is a list of other smells that can be utilized to repel deer from your trees and shrubs.
- Wolf Urine (Natural deer predator)
Are Sycamore Trees Wind Resistant?
Sycamore trees are also widely used as shade trees and do not succumb easily to harsh heat, especially when fully established.
Another characteristic of a sycamore tree is its ability to survive strong downpours and forceful winds. In some coastal areas of the Northern Hemisphere, fully established sycamore trees are even used as a windbreaker that can help pacify the effects of a hurricane.
Platanus sycamores are also utilized as windbreakers due to their tall stature and the strong roots that keep the tree upright.
A fully established sycamore tree has a habit of growing a compact, expansive canopy. While there is no tree that can completely resist any forceful winds, the physical characteristic of the sycamore's canopy reduces the impact of winds that go through it.
Below is a list of the best-performing windbreaker trees if you are planning to utilize the sycamore tree as a windbreaker.
- Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)
- Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
- Chickasaw Plum (Prunus angustifolia)
- Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis)
- Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)
- Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)
- Little Walnut (Juglans microcarpa)
Can I Grow A Sycamore Tree At Home?
Sycamore trees are often used in urban areas due to their resistance to city pollution and their tall, sturdy stature. However, sycamore trees, especially California sycamores, are also used as ornamental trees due to their interesting habit of growing horizontally.
Sycamore trees also have interesting colors that their trunks produce when their layers peel off.
It is possible to grow a sycamore tree at home, provided that you have a space that can accommodate its size once it is fully grown. Sycamore trees grow big and wide, with their heights reaching an average of 60-100 feet, and their trunk widths measuring about 20-30 feet.
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Just as we mentioned before, sycamore trees have an aggressive root system that can be obstructive in the wrong location. Sycamore trees should be provided with enough space for their roots to extend past their dripline.
Considering that a mature sycamore can have a trunk width of about 20-30 feet, expect that their canopy's circumference will be much wider, and their roots will surpass this length.
Sycamore trees are not sensitive to their environment, and they can thrive in just about any livable situation for a plant.
If you are planning to grow a sycamore tree in your home, you can plant it in rich, well-drained soil, although any soil where you grow other plants will do just fine. Sycamore trees will benefit well from full to partial sun, and they do not require a strict watering schedule.
How Many Sycamore Tree Species Are There?
There are a couple of trees that carry the name sycamore, but there are only a few under the genus Platanus. The most famous trees under this plant genus are the Mexican, Californian and American sycamores.
These trees are revered for their resilience against harsh environmental conditions, but it is important to note that all sycamore trees under this genus share the majority of these traits.
The English sycamore tree is different from the maple sycamore of the British Isles. The English sycamore is a hybrid between the American sycamore and the Oriental sycamore and has a more vertical habit compared to other sycamores.
Just like the other sycamore trees under the genus Platanus, the English sycamore is sturdy and resilient against pollution.
Arizona sycamores are known for their white bark that emphasizes irregular shapes of brown and tan when it peels off.
This type of sycamore tree is considered to be a subspecies of the California sycamore, and it is native to south and central Arizona. This sycamore grows around canyons, streams, and rivers.
To Wrap Up
Sycamore trees are widely acknowledged to be resilient against extreme weather conditions. They are strong, sturdy trees that can thrive in almost any living situation.
In this article, we discussed the resistance of the sycamore trees against drought, wind, and deer. If you are considering a sycamore tree for your home, make sure to provide the best place for the tree so that you can enjoy its large shade for a long time.
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