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Acer pseudoplatanus

Phonetic Spelling
AY-ser soo-doh-PLUH-ta-nus
Description

Acer pseudoplatanus, commonly called a Sycamore maple or Planetree maple is native to northwest/Central Europe and Western Asia. It is a rounded, spreading, deciduous tree that grows 40-60’ (less frequently to 100’) tall. Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Tolerant of a wide range of soils, some drought, and salt. Generally tolerant of many urban pollutants. Prefers cool summer climates and does not perform well in the southeastern U.S. south of USDA Zone 7.

This may not be the best selection for the landscape since it is not particularly ornamental and has poor fall color. It may be used as a shade tree. It is often planted along the east coast because of its tolerance for salt spray.

The cultivar 'Atropurpureum' is a dark-leaved variant.  The leaves are showy, green above and a velvety purplish-red on the underside.  The fall color is an orange-red.

'Brilliantissium' also has showy leaves.  New leaves are a brilliant shrimp-pink, turning a pale yellow-green, then a light to medium green above and pale green below.  Reaches a height of 20'.  

'Esk Sunset' is another cultivar with showy leaves.  In the spring, the leaves will emerge as an orange-pink then mature to shades of deep green.  They are splashed with cream, tan and pink with maroon below.  Grows to a height of 12-15'.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Canker is an issue for this tree.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Atropurpureum'
    Dark, showy foliage.
  • 'Brilliantissimum'
    Young foliage shrimp-pink.
  • 'Esk Sunset'
    Showy foliage.
  • 'Nizetii'
    Variegated foliage.
  • Purpureum
    Green to blue-green leaves. Underside light green with red/purple tinge.
'Atropurpureum', 'Brilliantissimum', 'Esk Sunset', 'Nizetii', Purpureum
Tags:
#deciduous#drought tolerant#tree#maple#salt tolerant#air pollution tolerant#salt spray tolerant#deciduous tree#sandy soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Atropurpureum'
    Dark, showy foliage.
  • 'Brilliantissimum'
    Young foliage shrimp-pink.
  • 'Esk Sunset'
    Showy foliage.
  • 'Nizetii'
    Variegated foliage.
  • Purpureum
    Green to blue-green leaves. Underside light green with red/purple tinge.
'Atropurpureum', 'Brilliantissimum', 'Esk Sunset', 'Nizetii', Purpureum
Tags:
#deciduous#drought tolerant#tree#maple#salt tolerant#air pollution tolerant#salt spray tolerant#deciduous tree#sandy soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Acer
    Species:
    pseudoplatanus
    Family:
    Sapindaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Shade tree
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Northwest/central Europe and western Asia
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Salt and air pollution tolerant, tolerant of some drought
    Dimensions:
    Height: 40 ft. 0 in. - 60 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 25 ft. 0 in. - 40 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Samara
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Samaras (to 2” long) with the wings typically forming a 60 degree angle. Samaras mature in early autumn.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Insignificant , yellow-green flowers appear in panicles (to 5” long) in spring after the foliage emerges.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Insignificant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leathery, coarsely-serrate, prominently-veined, 5-lobed, dark green leaves (to 6” across) are dull green beneath. Leaves produce no fall color.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Light Brown
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Bark Plate Shape:
    Rectangle
    Bark Description:
    Bark on mature trunks will flake, exposing inner orange bark.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Bud Terminal:
    Only 1 terminal bud, larger than side buds
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Glabrous, gray-brown, dull, lenticelled, slightly 4-sided, leaf scars that do not meet.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Street Tree
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Pollution
    Salt