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Latin name: Acer pseudoplatanus

The sycamore tree grows very fast, and its branches spread out to give it a beautiful large, rounded shape. It is a native tree to central and southern Europe . Nobody is sure when it was brought to Ireland , but it is now our second most common hedgerow tree, after the ash.

'Helicopter' seeds hidden behind the broad Sycamore leaves

The life-span of the sycamore is quite short when compared to some other trees. It usually only lives for about 150 years, while the oak can live for up to 300 years!

The leaves of a sycamore are very broad and grow out in three prongs from the stem, like a palm-leaf. They are dark green in colour, although in the autumn dark spots begin to appear. These are known as tar spots.

The flowers of a sycamore tree are yellow-green in colour, and hang down from the branches in clusters, just like a pendant.

Have you ever seen sycamore seedlings? They are long and flat, and grow in pairs that give them the shape of the letter ‘v’. Sometimes they are known as ‘helicopters’ because of the way they spin through the air when they fall from the tree.

Did you know that the flowers of the sycamore tree are an important source of nectar for bees?