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Tuesday’s tree: sycamore

June 1, 2010

Today’s tree is a sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) growing in parkland close to the river. A relatively late introduction to Scotland, but one that self-seeds prolifically, sycamores are considered by many foresters as hardly better than a weed. The leaves of your bog-standard sycamore are a rather dingy green even in spring and, unlike the glorious maples of North America to which it is related, they fade to an even dingier brown in autumn. Although wood-turners and cabinet makers prize its pale, fine-grained wood, it tends to be pretty under-rated in the landscape.

Yet I have become a convert to sycamores. Their flaky bark is quirky and characterful, and the mature trees can be as statuesque as oaks. Today’s tree is an example of one such specimen. Here it is at the end of the first week in May, coming into leaf:

and here is the same tree at the end of May, in full foliage:

While we are here, you might notice also the changing colours of the woods on the hill behind, as the oak and ash finally catch up with the other species. What a delicious palette of greens!

On sultry days, the great sycamore in the park is much appreciated by the sheep and cattle, which can often be seen dozing in its shade. For myself, I have come to admire it in every season.

See also: Too Many Trees

P.S. Don’t forget, there is still time to enter the Centenary Giveaway for tree-related goodies and other treats!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. June 1, 2010 1:29 am

    Like the view with the sheep grazing underneath.
    I love these trees for their immense size – and their lonely stance in the middle of fields. Standing alone and proud.

  2. June 1, 2010 11:14 pm

    Lovely tree photos! I’ve decided I couldn’t live anywhere there weren’t trees, places are just too bleak without them.

    In reply to your query I do stay in Renfrewshire now though I’m originally from Angus, looks like we’ve swapped places, almost!

    • dancingbeastie permalink
      June 1, 2010 11:22 pm

      Funny coincidence! I’m with you on the importance of trees. In fact these Tuesday Tree posts started in response to readers from the Hebrides and northern Isles who were in need of a tree fix. I really love islands but I think I love woodland even more.

  3. June 2, 2010 12:00 am

    Trees, adore them. Driving home the other day along our road (country Victoria Australia), I noticed that all of the large, beautiful trees like this are around old houses and made a mental note to drive back soon with my camera. Our plot is only eleven years old and I’ll never see our oaks, chestnuts, birch, maples, etc., old and stately but I can imagine it! Lovely pics.

    • dancingbeastie permalink
      June 2, 2010 2:53 pm

      What a legacy you leave for those who come after, though, as your trees grow! Thank you for visiting us here.


  1. The Tuesday tree: a solitary sycamore « Dancing Beastie
  2. The Tuesday tree: oak before ash « Dancing Beastie
  3. The Tuesday tree: Four seasons of a sycamore « Dancing Beastie

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