Texas Sycamore

Platanus occidentalis var. glabrata

Texas Sycamore; Buttonball Tree

About This Plant

Full sun. Deciduous with distinctive palmate leaves and sloughing bark. Sycamore is very big, very tall, and fast-growing. (It isn’t especially long lived on dry upland sites though.) It prefers growing close to water; try to pick downhill sites that will receive runoff during rain events. Pruning is always optional. Cuts should only be made at a bud or branch; in general focus on minimizing dead, damaged, or rubbing branches. As with any tree remove no more than 25% of the total canopy during any five-year cycle. To maintain a healthy specimen, leave the upper 2/3 of the trees height uncut and never remove more than the lowest third of the tree in a single pruning period — for example on a 12-foot tree stick to the lowest 4 feet. Mulch with about 2″ of wood chips or pine bark wherever possible. (In general a tree’s mulched area should be six feet at minimum.)

Origins: Eastern U.S.; a Texas native.


Pruning; training; leaf drop in autumn.

A more drought tolerant version of the American sycamore.

Min. Height: 36'

Max Height: 72 feet'

Min. Width: 40'

Max Width: 50 feet'

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