Sycamore Maple

A few years ago, I spent an hour or so wandering around some alleyways downtown as I waited for my car to be repaired. I was interested in seeing what would grow in an inhospitable environment such as this. In one area where there was absolutely nothing but concrete. Yet on a closer look, I did see a foot high maple sapling growing from a crack. Impressive! It was a Sycamore Maple.

Acer pseudoplantanus (Sycamore maple)

The word pseudoplatanus tells us that it is a maple which has resembles a false plane-tree. 

London Plane-tree

The bark of the plane-tree is pale grey-green pale and exfoliating.

The mature bark of Sycamore Maple looks a bit this way which leads to the  word pseudoplatanus.

Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)

Young bark is smooth and almost silver in colour:

Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)

Close examination shows the beginning of exfoliation:

Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)

While exploring the Scarborough Bluffs near Glen Everest Road, I found many young Sycamore Maples which have likely spread into the wild areas from local planted trees.

Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)

Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)

Sycamore Maples have been introduced from Europe and are a large tree which is often planted as a shade tree in southern Canada.

The leaves are 6 – 14 cm long, about as wide, 5-lobed and single toothed:

Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)

Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)

Like all maples, the branches and buds are opposite to each other:

Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)

The buds are greenish with dark margins.

Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)

Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)

Miles Hearn

 

 

 

 

 

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