Platanus occidentalis – Buttonwood – American Plane – Button-ball – Plane – Sycamore –

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Platanus – Plane – Sycamore

There are about 8 vigorous, deciduous trees in this genus. They occur in valley bottoms and watercourses in North America and Mexico, with one species in Southeastern Europe, and one species in Southeastern Asia.   They are grown for their imposing stature and open habit, their large, alternate, palmately lobed leaves, which turn golden brown in autumn, and their flaking bark. The flowers are inconspicuous, but spherical clusters of fruits hang from the shoots throughout winter. They are best as street tree or for large gardens or parks. They thrive in urban conditions, with great tolerance for compacted soil and air pollution, but if planted close to buildings, their vigorous roots may damage drains.   Contact with the basal tufts of hair on the fruits may irritate the skin and respiratory system.

Grow in fertile, well drained, soil in full sun but best in alluvial soils with a consistent water source.

Prone to Anthracnose, blight, powdery mildew, canker stain, branch canker, mushroom root rot, borers, weevils, Japanese beetles, caterpillars, mites, and scale insects.

P. occidentalis – Buttonwood – American Plane – Button-ball – This vigorous, wide spreading and irregular, open crowned, deciduous tree from Eastern And Southern North America grows 80-150′ feet tall and 70′ feet wide. It has attractive, flaking brown, gray, and cream bark and usually 3 to 5 lobed, scented, bright green leaves, to 10″ wide. Fruit cluster, which are initially green and later turn to brown, 1″ across, are held usually singly, rarely in pairs, and persist during autumn and winter. Prone to leaf blight.

Zones 5-8