Sycamore Maple, Acer pseudoplatanus

Scientific Name: Acer pseudoplatanus.
Common Name(s): Sycamore maple,


Research Summary
: Olivia A.
My observations while doing this research were that some information was hard to find, like the origin and where it is in Maine. Yes, it was difficult for me because my species was a little complex because of how many limited facts there were. There were enough resources, but I thought there could be a little more of them because some of the sites said different things than others.

What surprised me was that the sycamore maple can give humans serious allergic reactions. Some of the most important things I discovered about my species is that it can thrive in many different areas.

Identifying Characteristics

  • An oval-shaped leaf. These are oval? No.
  • Deciduous so red/orange in the fall and green in the spring.
  • Leaf size?
  • Branches are in a upright spreading form.
  • WHat does the bark look like?
  • Branches are 40-60 cm; with a width of 25-40 cm.
  • In the fall, have wings that rotate like a helicopter as they fall to the ground.
  • Flowers are green and yellow and bloom in late spring.
  • The sycamore maple is a deciduous. (Shedding of foliage/leaves at the end of a growing season.

Taxonomy of Species
  Scientific Classification
 What That Classification Means
 Kingdom Plantae    
 Eukaryotic cells, many celled, move, members make thier own food.
 Phylum Magnoliophyta
 Angiosperm: comprising flowered plants that produce seeds enclosed 
 in the ovary.
 Class Magnoliopsida 
 Dicotyledons: comprising seed plants that produce and embryo.
 Order Sapindales Sapindales is a botanical name for an order of plants.
 Aceraceae  A family of trees and shrubs of order Sapindales including plants.
 Genus Acer
 Type of genus of the Aceraceae; trees or shrubs with winged fruit.
 Species Pseudoplatanus
 Eurasian maple tree with pale grey bark that peels in flakes like a 

Similar species include: Norway maple, red maple, and the sugar maple.

Location and Movement
Origin/ Native Range
 Europe and western Asia.
  • In 1870, the sycamore maple was in New York and New Jersey.  
  • Brought to New England and the mid-Atlantic for horticultural purposes where used for only a park or street tree.
Spread of Species
  • Seeds spread when it escaped from cultivation; wind spreads prolific seeds. (Prolific is producing fruit freely.)
  • Were widely planted in North America.
Where is it now invasive?
  • Norway, Australia, New Zealand.
  • Also common in northern Ireland and the Yarra ranges of Australia.
  • United States: CT, DC, DE, IL, KY, MA, MI, NC, NJ, NY, PA, RI
  • Canada: BC, NB, NS, ON. 

Is this species in Maine?
Yes, the sycamore maple is in Maine.
Where has it been identified?
 Is in all counties but looks to be more concentrated in Washington, Hancock, Waldo, Knox, Lincoln, 
 York, Cumberland, Oxford, and Somerset counties.
How was this species introduced?
 Date of first introduction is unclear.

Natural Environment
  • Abandoned fields, early forest, open disturbed area, pasture, roadside, vacant lot, yard or garden area. 
  • Prefers soil types like sand and clay, and the texture of the soil should be about medium, which means the soil texture is not too soft and not to hard, but right in the middle.
Climate and Temperature Range
 The hardiness zone is 4-7. 4a (-30 to -25 F), and  7b ( 5 to 10 F).

Ecological Interactions Producer.
Obtaining food
 The sycamore maple gets its nutrients from photosynthesis.
Consumed By
  • American dagger moth, March moth, hazel leaf roller, and the gray squirrel disturbs the tree.
  • Pollinators are bees.

  • Is capable of producing large amounts of young, giving rise to the dense trees. 
  • Also, this tree absorbs lots of light "hogging" all the light from other trees.
  • Might disturb other maple trees.
  • Makes a good windbreak for exposed and maritime areas.

Human Can give humans serious allergic reactions to its pollen.
  • Because it may impact native maple trees, sugar maples could be at risk of being displaced and there could be a negative impact on maple syrup industry.
  • Used for fuel, and makes good charcoal.

Biological N/A
Mechanical You can remove the Sycamore maple by yourself if in your yard. 
  • Step 1: Roots can be deep so try to remove as much as possible. 
  • Step 2: For larger seedlings, cut as close to the ground as possible. 
  • Step 3: Drill shallow holes in the trunk as close to the root zone as possible, then fill the holes with glyphostate product.
  • Create regulations that stop nurseries from selling this species as an ornamental.
  • Education citizens to its invasive status so they don't plant it in their yards. 
ChemicalHerbicides for stopping large populations.

Interesting Facts
  • When planted in Britan, the sycamore maple can live for 200 years.
  • Is invasive, but can be considered non-native too.
  • The flower of the Sycamore maple is eatable.