Tree Following, November 2015

It begins again.

This business of following a tree and learning about its ways, then sharing that information with interested, tree-loving readers.  Additionally, we Tree Followers have a new hostess for our tree meme  addiction, lately resigned by Lucy of Loose and Leafy, but bravely acquired by Pat at The Squirrelbasket.

I’m a bit late for the November 7th post, what with life happening and all.  For  this new tree and its debut post, it’s mostly pictorial:

This is a tree that was already established in my garden when I bought my home in 1985.

Mostly, I’ve hated it.

Except that in recent years, as I’ve grown to appreciate the shade it provides, its color, its role as a refuge for wildlife, and its stateliness in the neighborhood,  I’ve come to admire and respect this tree.  I believe, though I’m not positive, that this tree–this chosen followed tree for 2015-16–is an American SycamorePlatanus occidentalis.

I suppose in the next year, I’ll find out if this tree is what I think it is.

I hope you’ll come along with me in the next 12 months to climb up the tree, to take shelter from the Texas summer sun under its canopy, to help rake its leaves, to observe the birds, mammals and insects that visit and make their homes in this American Sycamore.

Thanks to Pat for hosting Tree Following–check out The Squirrelbasket to learn about trees from all over the world.

25 thoughts on “Tree Following, November 2015

  1. Oh, yes, that is a stately tree! Good choice. I feel the same way about all my Oaks–they’re gorgeous, mature, lush, colorful shade trees that bring so much wildlife and fun to my garden. But in the fall … so many leaves. It’s a good workout to rake them up, though. Plus, they’re amazing trees, like your Sycamore! I’ll look forward to more posts about this special tree. 🙂


  2. That’s a great tree – especially the bark! It’s lovely that you are starting a new one in November, as hopefully it means you will still be with me in 2016. I am already short-listing my possible trees for next year.
    It’s funny that the word “sycamore” means so many different things. I see your American sycamore is a plane (Platanus) with balls for seeds, while our UK sycamore is a maple (Acer pseudoplatanus), with keys for seeds.
    We live and learn.
    All the best 🙂


    • Thanks, Pat and thank you for hosting this fun and informative meme. The bark is beautiful, I think. Yes, I will be with you through 2016. I started last November with the Retama, finished up and now am taking on the Sycamore. I agree that it’s interesting how names are used differently, depending upon country and culture. Looking forward to another year of Tree Following!


    • I hope so-the Sycamore has all the makings of a seasonally interesting tree. I think you’re right–I am lucky to have a mature tree in that spot. I’ll be digging up an old photo to show how small that tree was when I bought my house, oh so long ago….

      The tree has insects that munch the leaves, most of which I’ve never paid much attention to. That’s one of the great things about Tree Following for me–its monthly publishing deadline institutes some self-discipline in study. 🙂


  3. Already starting following a new tree! Platanus are glorious trees – you’re lucky to have a mature one on your property. The more they age, the more impressive they look.
    (I cannot commit to another tree following, as I failed to my last one…)


    • They are gorgeous, except that I have to admit, I hate the leaves when they fall. You’ll get an ear-full (or, I guess since you’re reading, an eye-full) when I start complaining about leaf fall.


  4. Phew – you are right about life interfering. Had read here but was forced to come back after-the-read to comment. I love all the sycamores in everybody else’s lots around us. They are breathtakingly tall, stately, and the susurration of their leaves is music to my ears. All that said, when those leaves fall and blow from the tree’s house over to my garden beds due to prevailing seasonal winds? I HATE sycamores then, for just a little while.

    You mentioned tree climbing. Dare I hope….? : )


    • Sycamores are lovely, their leaves blanketing everything on the ground, maybe not so much??!

      As for tree climbing, perhaps a little poetic license. 🙂 But maybe I’ll get out the big, tall ladder at some point.


  5. Pingback: Tree following link box for November 2015 | The Squirrelbasket

  6. I love the bark on sycamore trees. I planted three sycamore a few years ago. They aren’t really hardy in my zone (rural Quebec, where winter temperatures drop to cold-enough-to-bring-tears-to-your-eyes, in both F and C) but they are growing. Each year there is dead wood to remove, but as long as they survive, I’m happy to do the clean-up. Seeing your enormous sycamore makes me envious. I look forward to climbing it with you.


    • Thanks for stopping by, Pat! Interesting that your sycamores are handling your cold winter climate. Sycamores here struggle in the the high and dry of summer drought–they’re really wanting to grow along creeks and rivers and are not always planted there–like mine!


  7. Pingback: tree following | The Squirrelbasket

  8. I had of course known about sycamores since so many songs reference them but I never saw one until I moved here. I think these are lovely trees. My neighbour has one in his backyard. I am really looking forward to your posts.


    • You love the trees, but what about the leaves, especially once they drop all over the garden! 🙂 Sycamores are, indeed, beautiful trees. I’m looking forward to learning more about mine.


      • Send me your leaves! They are welcome over here and the tiny pile that blows over from my neighbour’s house is laughable when compared against the mountains shed by my pecans. Straight to the compost bin they go. His magnolia leaves … were another story. It died a few years ago but while it still stood he used to use his frighteningly loud leaf blower to blow those leaves onto our property. argh. grrr. seething hatred. haha Those things never break down and I already had my own magnolia leaves to deal with.


      • Well, I’ll admit you have me trumped (ugh!) with the magnolia leaves. They are the worse, worse, worse! I usually vacuum/shred most of my sycamore leaves and put in the compost or directly into my gardens. I have a “messy” area directly below the sycamore and I let the leave lie there and be a sort of tannin carpet. They eventually decompose. Eventually.


  9. Pingback: A Sycamore Year | My Gardener Says…

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