It’s been a wet March-May here in Central Texas and as a result, my American Sycamore, Platanus occidentalis, is plenty green and leafy-lush at this June Tree Following check-up.


I never realized that  at this viewpoint, it looks like a chunk at the top of the tree has been removed.

Truly, there’s not much to report this time around, except that the Sycamore is in summer mode, full-leafed and providing cover for birds.  In fact, it’s such a good protector of birds’ privacy that I’ve  enjoyed no good luck in getting photos of birds resting, mating, or feeding their young–all activities that this tree has recently hosted.


The birds are in the tree, but well-hidden.

Darn these big ole leaves!



This year’s seed-balls are in form–and developing.


I guess these big leaves are providing lots of oxygen too, while also helping to absorb pollutants in the air.  One of the reasons that American Sycamores are commonly planted in cities is just for that reason–they’re an excellent antidote for the multiple pollutants that urban life so excellently produces.


As Central Texas segues into summer, it’s very likely that the generous spring rain spigot will shut off and the thermostat will be turned on. My gardening experience has taught me (repeatedly…) that after a mild and wet spring, summer drought and Texas heat can be especially harsh on certain plants–trees included.  Because the American Sycamore prefers more, rather than less, moisture, it tends to suffer a bit (more than other native trees) in that particular situation where the spring is gentle and moist, but summer is, well, Texas summer.  Changes in the Sycamore will depend upon just how hot and how dry the summer is. Time will tell whether this summer will be super hot-n-dry (as has become normative), or, perhaps, just normal hot-n-dry. That will make watching the Sycamore all the more interesting in the coming few months.

For today,  the American Sycamore is a lean and green arboreal machine.


Thanking Pat of The Squirrelbasket for graciously hosting this fun and interesting meme about trees. Check out her blog to learn about trees from all over the world.


20 thoughts on “Lean-n-Green

  1. Tina me encanta su enorme Sycamore. Tiene unas grandes hojas que tienen que dar una gran sombra. Un lugar para sentarse y descansar del calor. El Sycamore con sus grandes hojas no la deja ver quien vive ahí arriba. Pero que tengan intimidad. Saludos de Margarita.


  2. That was an interesting fact about Sycamores, that cities plant them for pollution control. My part of the state has been planting many trees along the freeways. I am happy to say that none of my trees (nearly 100) fell from the rain…at least not yet.


    • I put it to those *big ole leaves*, but yes, I’ve read in several places that often, the sycamore is chosen for its ability to help decrease pollution. I’ve seen some broken branches, some quite huge, but no downed trees. You guys got much more rain than we have. Hope you’re drying out a bit ( a tricky thing to wish for in Texas 🙂 ).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed!! No, I really won’t fret about the tree too much. IF we get rain on and off during the summer, there’s no issue. IF it’s very dry, the tree will shed some of its leaves-that will be its response. The way I look at it is that there will be fewer leaves to pick up in the fall. 🙂


  3. I guess that is what a lot of the gardeners in Texas are wondering this year…or maybe dreading. After a wetter and slightly cooler than normal Spring, what will Summer bring?

    Your big beautiful leafy green Sycamore seems more a participant in responding to the weather, while several other native trees seem to stick with their own program for the most part, good, bad or indifferent weather bringing what it will. I’m trying to recall – did you mention what the typical life span of a sycamore is? Does that perhaps have something to do with the way it seems to reach a mature size faster than some other natives?

    We’ll all be watching to see, IF your sycamore stresses, what that looks like as the weeks unfold. Summer, here we come!


    • I don’t think Sycamores typically live quite as longs as, say, trees in the oak family, but they’re not short-lived, either. They have always been trees that are happiest at river/stream banks, though they’re fairly tough in drought. It’s not far from my house foundation and I soak (very minimally, but daily) the foundation during the dry times of year. I can’t imagine that’s enough to thwart leaf drop (and it usually doesn’t in the hot-n-dry), but perhaps it helps a bit. My Shumard Oaks sail through summer–and everything else–without a glitch.


  4. Green like this is not something we’re used to in Texas (at least in recent years). I’m impressed that your tree photos actually included sunshine. We’ve had so much rain here that I’ve almost forgotten what it looks like.


    • Haha. Yes, it’s be weirdly cloudy this late spring. The sun has finally appeared (as of Sunday). It’s been nice to have those clear, blue skies.


  5. What a tree! I hope it doesn’t suffer too much when your conditions are hotter and drier (won’t say the ‘d’ word!) London planes (not Acer, but Platanus, same overally plant family, I think) are also very useful for pollution control.


  6. Tina your tree does look lovely and lush in it’s bright coat of green, my cousins in California told me they liked visiting in autumn as they do not get autumn colour on trees, this puzzled me until I visited them in July one year and saw all the almost bare trees, I realised then it was the dry California heat stressing the trees and making them shed their leaves, no leaves left for autumn colour, your garden suffers extreme weather like mine but of a very different kind, I hope you get enough rain over summer for the plants, wildlife and people in your area, Frances


    • Frances, that’s interesting about the trees in California, but given the drought there, I’m not surprise. My tree lose some of its leaves, but has never been bared of them–except in winter!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That is a beautiful photo of the large green partly-lit leaves and seed balls. I miss sycamores! (from my days in California. I bet I’ve said that already, at least once 😉


  8. Pingback: Tree following link box for June 2016 | The Squirrelbasket

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