The photographs of Platanus wrightii a couple days ago inspired Dr. Quentin Cronk to submit his photographs of Platanus occidentalis, or American sycamore (or American planetree), from Eno River State Park in North Carolina. Coincidentally, he took these photographs two days before I took the ones in the Chiricahuas.
Dr. Michael Dirr has this advice to give on the landscape value of this tree in his “Manual of Woody Landscape Plants” : “If native to an area do not remove the tree(s); however, do not plant it…”. Dr. Dirr cites diseases and pests such as anthracnose and borers along with the messiness of its fallen leaves and fruits as some of its undesirable characteristics. He considers the potential diseases and insects so bad that he concludes the list with “ad infinitum”.
The Flora of North America entry for Platanus occidentalis notes: “Of the angiospermous trees of North America, Platanus occidentalis is one of the tallest (to 50+m) and reaches the greatest trunk diameter (to 4+m)”. Too bad this species is not suited for cultivated landscapes – its size and intriguing bark (amply demonstrated here by Quentin) would make it very appealing as a specimen tree in a large park.
Art resource link: I’ve linked to this site previously, but the American Society of Botanical Artists has a listing of upcoming art exhibitions in Brooklyn, Pittsburgh, New York, Seattle, Tucson and Melbourne. If you live in (or plan to be visiting) any of these cities, you might like to take the time to visit one of these exhibitions. I’ll be visiting the one in Seattle, myself.