18/10: Shipping seed mixes and plug plants. New orders for bare root plants for delivery from November. £50 minimum order.

Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus)
Sycamores, Northumbrian moorland

Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus)

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Order now for delivery from November
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Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus)

I've been in two minds about selling sycamore plants - for a long time we haven't.

For starters, they haven't been here very long in botanical terms - nowhere near long enough to be called native. There are arguments about when Sycamore was introduced - possibly as early as the 13th century, or as late as the 16th. It probably sneaks in as an archaeophyte rather than a neophyte. It was widely planted in the 18th century.

The other issue I had is that they self seed prolifically, to the extent they can be a nuisance. We all know patches of weedy looking sycamore in woodland, and as children we've played helicopters.

On the plus side though, they are super hardy trees, easy and quick to establish, and very tolerant of urban pollution.

I finally decided to start selling them after a trip to Hadrian's Wall - see photos! In the wild Northumberland landscape they're not just a key element of exposed woodland, but they are also charismatic individual trees. There are a lot of well known sycamores in the UK, including not just this one in "Sycamore Gap" but the Martyrs' Tree at Tolpuddle. 

They have significant benefits to local ecosystems, too. The leaves rot down very quickly, and native species like woodruff and wood anemone thrive under the tree's canopy. Bees in particular like Sycamore blossom in the spring, and the trees can attract huge numbers of aphids - great for birds. 

Sycamore wood is helpful for kitchen furniture and items like rolling pins; it's pale and clean, and coppiced plants regrow very quickly, although I don't much care for it as a hedge plant as its network of branches is too open.


Suppliers: Perrie Hale Forest Nursery, British Hardwood Tree Nursery, RV Roger

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See our planting and size guide for details and tips on planting. These Sycamore trees are all bare root, and are consequently available for delivery from November until March (please ask if you are interested in pot grown plants). During the lifting season there may be up to two week's delay between placing the order and dispatching, due to weather conditions or pressure of orders, which are dealt with in date sequence. Orders placed for Beech between March and October are confirmed for dispatch from November.


  • Ultimate Height


  • Ultimate Spread


  • Time to Ultimate Height

    Over 20 years


  • Type

    Clay, loam, sand, chalk

  • pH

    Neutral, acid, alkaline


  • Position

    Sheltered or exposed

  • Sunlight

    Full or partial sun