5. Sycamore

5. Sycamore.jpg

Scientific name: Acer pseudoplatanus

Origin: Non-native, probably introduced to the UK in Tudor times (1500s), although others say that it is one of the many things that the Romans have done for us.

Key identifying traits: The sycamore is recognisable by it’s typical maple lobed leaves. The leaf stems on younger trees have a distinctly red colour. Its winged seeds are known as samara or ‘helicopters’. Have you played with them before?

In the wood: May be found in broadleaf woodland within the canopy layer. It casts a dense shade. Mature trees can grow up to 35m tall.

Did you know: As a non-native tree it hosts fewer other species compared to natives like the oak but aphids love it! When covered in aphids it hosts a high biomass but low biodiversity (lots of individuals but few species). For a species to be considered 'native' it must have been here since the last ice age, about 10,000 years ago.