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On a winter's day, the sight of the sycamore's bright white trunk against a blue sky is breathtaking. This tree can grow to massive proportions when well-sited and should be given plenty of space, especially since they can be messy.

Latin Name

Platanus occidentalis



Also Known As

American Plane Tree Buttonwood

Type of Plant

Trees Trees

Bloom Season



Summer Summer


Max height Max Height: 100'
Max spread Max Spread: 100'


  • Shade Tree
  • Rain Garden

  • Sunlight Exposure

    Full Sun Full Sun


  • Air Pollution
  • Deer

  • Colors

    Native Range

    Eastern and central United States


    While sycamores are native to the Mid-Atlantic region, Washington doesn’t record growing them, except when writing to his farm manager about their use in living fences. He does include an Asian variety in his list of plants ordered in March of 1792 from nurseryman John Bartram .

    Planted at Mount Vernon

    Planted at Mount Vernon Fruit Garden & Nursery

  • Fruit Garden & Nursery

  • Hardiness Zones

    4a 4b 5a 5b 6a 6b 7a 7b 8a 8b 9a 9b USDA basemap

    Average annual extreme minimum temperature 1976-2005

    map legend 4a 4b 5a 5b 6a 6b 7a 7b 8a 8b 9a 9b

    Bartlett Tree Expert Company has been working with Mount Vernon Estate since 2011 providing expert arboricultural care and GPS mapping for the estate’s historic trees, as well as support from their research facility.   Mount Vernon is proud to partner with Bartlett Tree Experts and appreciates their sponsorship of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Plant Finder App.

    Bring Washington's Garden Home

    Purchase our historic seeds, collected from plants grown at Mount Vernon and plant them in your own garden.

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