Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Acer pseudoplatanus
(sycamore)

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Datasheet

Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 16 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Acer pseudoplatanus
  • Preferred Common Name
  • sycamore
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • A. pseudoplatanus is a vigorous, fast-growing tree with high light demands, and it can easily become invasive by the spread of seedlings. It is considered to be a threat to natural woodlands, particularly those on fertile soils, and in several countr...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
70- to 80-year-old tree sited on Sila mountains, near Consenza (Calabria, Italy).
TitleMature habit
Caption70- to 80-year-old tree sited on Sila mountains, near Consenza (Calabria, Italy).
CopyrightPiero Bruschi
70- to 80-year-old tree sited on Sila mountains, near Consenza (Calabria, Italy).
Mature habit70- to 80-year-old tree sited on Sila mountains, near Consenza (Calabria, Italy).Piero Bruschi
Bark of A. pseudoplatanus.
TitleBark
CaptionBark of A. pseudoplatanus.
CopyrightPiero Bruschi
Bark of A. pseudoplatanus.
BarkBark of A. pseudoplatanus.Piero Bruschi
Foliage of A. pseudoplatanus.
TitleFoliage
CaptionFoliage of A. pseudoplatanus.
CopyrightPiero Bruschi
Foliage of A. pseudoplatanus.
FoliageFoliage of A. pseudoplatanus.Piero Bruschi
Fruits of A. pseudoplatanus.
TitleFruits
CaptionFruits of A. pseudoplatanus.
CopyrightPiero Bruschi
Fruits of A. pseudoplatanus.
FruitsFruits of A. pseudoplatanus.Piero Bruschi

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Acer pseudoplatanus L.

Preferred Common Name

  • sycamore

Other Scientific Names

  • Acer montanum Garsault
  • Acer opulifolium Thuillier
  • Acer platanophyllum St. Lager ex Keegan
  • Acer procerum Salisb.
  • Acer pseudoplatanus f. corstorphinense Schwer.
  • Acer pseudoplatanus var. macrocarpum Spach
  • Acer pseudoplatanus var. microcarpum Spach
  • Acer pseudoplatanus var. purpurascens Van Houtte
  • Acer pseudoplatanus var. tomentosum Tausch
  • Acer pseudoplatanus var. villosum (C. Presl & J. Presl) Parl.
  • Acer ramosum Schwerin
  • Acer sericeum Schwerin

International Common Names

  • English: common sycamore; great maple; Scottish maple; sycamore maple
  • Spanish: sicomoro
  • French: érable blanc; érable de montagne; érable sycomore; faux sycomore; grand érable; sycomore
  • Portuguese: platano-bastardo

Local Common Names

  • Germany: Bergahorn; Echter Bergahorn; Waldahorn; Weissahorn
  • Italy: acero di monte; acero montano
  • Netherlands: gewone Esdoorn
  • Sweden: tysk loenn

EPPO code

  • ACRPP (Acer pseudoplatanus)
  • ACRRA (Acer ramosum)

Summary of Invasiveness

Top of page A. pseudoplatanus is a vigorous, fast-growing tree with high light demands, and it can easily become invasive by the spread of seedlings. It is considered to be a threat to natural woodlands, particularly those on fertile soils, and in several countries is a threat to rare species assemblages or the integrity of semi-natural communities.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Sapindales
  •                         Family: Aceraceae
  •                             Genus: Acer
  •                                 Species: Acer pseudoplatanus

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page A. pseudoplatanus L. belongs to Section VII, series Acer of the genus Acer (van-Gelderen et al., 1994). Three natural varieties and three natural forms are recognized: var. macrocarpum Spach, var. microcarpum Spach, var. tomentosum Tausch; f. erytrocarpum (CarriÞre) Pax, f. purpureum (Loudon) Rehder, f. variegatum (Weston) Rehder. Most of varieties and forms described in the early part of the 19th century are not now accepted (van-Gelderen et al., 1994), since the natural differences are insufficiently constant to maintain the plants as natural forms, varieties or subspecies; furthermore, many forms were named solely on the basis of cultivated or nursery-origin plants and thus should be treated as cultivars.

Description

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A. pseudoplatanus is a large tree with a straight trunk and erect branches forming a spreading, often irregular crown commonly broader than tall, with massive low branches. On more suitable sites the crown may be very tall and less broad. Average height when mature is 30-35 m, although it may exceed 40 m; average dbh at maturity is 60-80 cm, although it may exceed 150 cm. The stem is straight and cylindrical. The root system is much-branched, providing stability for the tree in high winds, and Kostler et al. (1968) found that deep roots penetrated to approximately 1.4 m depth, whilst the radial extent exceeded 9 m. Bark is grey, smooth in young trees; mature boles having pale orange-brown or pinkish-orange bark, broken into long scales which come away. Shoots are greenish-grey-brown, striated lengthwise with pale lenticels. Buds 8-10 mm, ovoid, with a few green scales, margin reddish, open with basal scales red and decurved. Leaves are simple, opposite, deciduous, with five unequally toothed pointed lobes at acute angles, nerves often pubescent, bases cordate, margins denticulate. They are dark green on top and glaucescent on the underside in young trees but yellowish on pink petioles in old trees. There is rarely any worthwhile colour in the autumn, but foliage may occasionally turn bright yellow. The leaves vary greatly in size and depth of lobe with tree age and shoot vigour. They are always borne on a long petiole, which does not emit milky sap when broken. Leaves open early, especially in shade, and lammas growth in July may emerge bright pink. Flowers are in terminal, hanging racemes 6-12 cm long, open mid-April and attracting hordes of bees. Each flower is monoecious, 4-6 mm pale green or yellowish, thin looking as petals are very short; stamens whitish, anthers bright yellow. Flowering occurs when the leaves are newly expanded. Fruits are di-samaras 5 cm long with wings set in a 'V' at about 90°; in clusters on short green stalks and appear abundantly when the tree is at least 20 years old.

Plant Type

Top of page Broadleaved
Perennial
Seed propagated
Tree
Woody

Distribution

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The native distribution of A. pseudoplatanus is wide, encompassing most of central and southern Europe between 51°N and 35°N. Native range areas include Germany (Harz Mountains), Russia (Crimea and Caucasus), Spain (Pyrenees), southern and central France, the Swiss Alps, Italy, Bosnia, northern Greece and the Carpathian mountains in Poland, Slovakia and Romania. It is not native to the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, northwest France, northern Germany and Scandinavia. All specimens of A. pseudoplatanus recorded from eastern Anatolia, Turkey have proved to be A. heldreichii subsp. trautvetteri. An incorrect record for Tanzania in a previous edition has been deleted.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasivePlantedReferenceNotes

Asia

IndiaPresentIntroducedBinggeli , 1999
SyriaPresentIntroduced Planted
TurkeyPresentIntroduced Planted

North America

CanadaPresentIntroduced Invasive Urban Forest Associates, 2002
-AlbertaPresentIntroduced Planted
-British ColumbiaPresentIntroduced Planted
-ManitobaPresentIntroduced Planted
-New BrunswickPresentIntroduced Planted
-Newfoundland and LabradorPresentIntroduced Planted
-Northwest TerritoriesPresentIntroduced Planted
-Nova ScotiaPresentIntroduced Planted
-OntarioPresentIntroduced Planted
-Prince Edward IslandPresentIntroduced Planted
-QuebecPresentIntroduced Planted
-SaskatchewanPresentIntroduced Planted
-Yukon TerritoryPresentIntroduced Planted
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AlabamaPresentIntroduced Planted
-AlaskaPresentIntroduced Planted
-ArizonaPresentIntroduced Planted
-ArkansasPresentIntroduced Planted
-CaliforniaPresentIntroduced Planted
-ColoradoPresentIntroduced Planted
-ConnecticutPresentIntroducedAnon., 2003; Mehrhoff and et al. , 2003
-DelawarePresentIntroduced Planted McAvoy , 2001
-GeorgiaPresentIntroduced Planted
-IdahoPresentIntroduced Planted
-IllinoisPresentIntroduced Planted
-IndianaPresentIntroduced Planted
-IowaPresentIntroduced Planted
-KansasPresentIntroduced Planted
-KentuckyPresentIntroduced Planted
-LouisianaPresentIntroduced Planted
-MainePresentIntroduced Planted
-MarylandPresentIntroduced Planted
-MassachusettsPresentIntroduced Planted
-MichiganPresentIntroduced Planted
-MinnesotaPresentIntroduced Planted
-MississippiPresentIntroduced Planted
-MissouriPresentIntroduced Planted
-MontanaPresentIntroduced Planted
-NebraskaPresentIntroduced Planted
-NevadaPresentIntroduced
-New HampshirePresentIntroduced Planted
-New JerseyPresentIntroduced Planted
-New YorkPresentIntroduced Planted
-North CarolinaPresentIntroduced Planted
-North DakotaPresentIntroduced Planted
-OhioPresentIntroduced Planted
-OklahomaPresentIntroduced Planted
-OregonPresentIntroduced Planted
-PennsylvaniaPresent, few occurrencesIntroduced Invasive Anon., 2003; DCNR, 2001
-Rhode IslandPresentIntroducedRhode Island Invasive Species Council, 2001
-South CarolinaPresentIntroduced Planted
-South DakotaPresentIntroduced Planted
-TennesseePresentIntroduced Planted
-TexasPresentIntroduced Planted
-UtahPresentIntroduced Planted
-VermontPresentIntroduced Planted
-VirginiaPresentIntroduced Planted
-WashingtonPresentIntroduced Planted
-West VirginiaPresentIntroduced Planted
-WisconsinPresentIntroduced Planted
-WyomingPresentIntroduced Planted

South America

ArgentinaPresentIntroducedBinggeli , 1999
ChilePresentIntroducedCronk and Fuller , 1995; Binggeli , 1999

Europe

AlbaniaPresentNative Natural
AustriaPresentNative Natural Binggeli , 1999
BelarusPresentIntroduced Planted
BelgiumPresentIntroduced Planted Binggeli , 1999
Bosnia-HercegovinaPresentNative Natural
BulgariaPresentIntroduced Planted
CroatiaPresentNative Natural
CyprusPresentNative Natural
Czech RepublicPresentNative Natural
Czechoslovakia (former)Present
DenmarkPresentIntroducedAndersen , 1995; Binggeli , 1999
EstoniaPresentIntroduced Planted
Faroe IslandsPresentIntroduced Planted
FinlandPresentIntroduced Planted
FrancePresentNative Natural Binggeli , 1999
-CorsicaPresentNative Natural
GermanyPresentNative Natural Binggeli , 1999
GibraltarPresentIntroduced Planted
GreecePresentNative Natural
HungaryPresentNative Natural
IcelandPresentIntroduced Planted
IrelandPresentIntroduced Invasive Planted Cronk and Fuller , 1995
ItalyPresentNative Natural Binggeli , 1999
LatviaPresentIntroduced Planted
LiechtensteinPresentIntroduced Planted
LithuaniaPresentIntroduced Planted
LuxembourgPresentIntroduced Planted
MacedoniaPresentNative Natural
MaltaPresentIntroduced Planted
MoldovaPresentNative Natural
MonacoPresentNative Natural
NetherlandsPresentIntroduced Planted
NorwayPresentIntroducedDiaci, 1995; Fremstad and Elven, 1996
PolandPresentNative Natural
PortugalPresentIntroduced Planted
-MadeiraPresentIntroduced Invasive Planted Cronk and Fuller , 1995
RomaniaPresentNative Natural
Russian FederationPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Central RussiaPresentIntroduced Planted
-Eastern SiberiaPresentIntroduced Planted
-Northern RussiaPresentIntroduced Planted
-Russian Far EastPresentIntroduced Planted
-Southern RussiaPresentNative Natural
-Western SiberiaPresentIntroduced Planted
San MarinoPresentNative Natural
SerbiaPresentNative Natural
SlovakiaPresentNative Natural
SloveniaPresentNative Natural
SpainPresentNative Natural
SwedenPresentIntroduced Planted
SwitzerlandPresentNative Natural
UKWidespreadIntroducedMitchell, 1974; Cronk and Fuller , 1995
-Channel IslandsPresentIntroduced Planted Binggeli , 1999
UkrainePresentIntroduced Planted
Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)PresentNative Natural

Oceania

AustraliaPresentIntroduced Invasive Weber , 2003
-VictoriaPresentIntroduced Invasive Gillespie, 1991
New ZealandPresentIntroduced1880 Invasive Cronk and Fuller , 1995; Binggeli , 1999; Weber , 2003

History of Introduction and Spread

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A. pseudoplatanus is naturalized in the UK (Dierschke, 1985), and it may have been introduced to England by the Romans, but is more likely to have been introduced to Scotland some time before 1600. Cronk and Fuller (1995) suggest introduction to the UK in the Tudor era around the 1500s. More widespread planting occurred in the 1700s and the earliest reports of the species naturalizing in the UK date from the mid 1800s (Binggeli, 1999). A. pseudoplatanus was probably introduced to Norway before 1750 as an ornamental tree and is now frequent and locally common, particularly in western Norway where it is naturalized in many vegetation types (Fremstad and Elven, 1996). Recent spread observed in the UK and Norway may be associated with changes in land use, especially the abandonment of pastures. Kowarik (1995) postulates that a recent expansion in the Brandenburg area of Germany may have been promoted by increased levels of atmospheric nitrogen deposition. Andersen (1995) reports that it is naturalized in semi-natural habitats in Denmark, but is still sold in nurseries.

In several countries of Europe and North America, many cultivars are planted as ornamentals and street or roadside trees. It is widely planted in the USA and has become invasive at least in Connecticut and Pennsylvania (DCNR, 2001; Anon., 2004) whereas Mehrhoff et al. (2003) classify it as potentially invasive in Connecticut upland habitats. In Rhode Island it is not yet reported to be invasive, but because of its behaviour in adjoining states it is one of a number of species for which further research and monitoring is thought appropriate (Rhode Island Invasive Species Council, 2001). In Canada, it appears on a list of invasive exotic species for southern Ontario, where it is classed as 'highly invasive' and able to dominate the forest canopy (Urban Forest Associates Inc., 2002). A. pseudoplatanus was introduced to New Zealand in 1880, the potential invasiveness of this species was recognized by the late 1950s and it is now classed as invasive (Bingelli, 1999), where it is regarded by some authorities as a serious threat to native forests which should be removed (e.g. Davis and Meurk, 2000).

Risk of Introduction

Top of page Binggeli (1999) comments on the apparent disparity between the lack of published material on the invasiveness of A. pseudoplatanus outside the UK and New Zealand, and more widespread short accounts of it naturally regenerating or behaving as a weed in other countries including Russia, Germany, Denmark, Argentina and USA. It is possible that other countries have overlooked the potential invasiveness of this species and its introduction may be associated with other invasive events in the future.

Habitat

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A. pseudoplatanus usually forms a natural component of birch (Betula sp.) and fir (Abies sp.) forests. Binggeli (1999) compiled an extensive review of the world distribution of this species including detailed accounts of its associations within and outside its native range. In its native central European range, Binggeli (1999) reports that the distribution of A. pseudoplatanus is closely allied to that of beech (Fagus sylvatica) and that it occurs as minor component of mature beech, fir and spruce (Picea abies) forests. It is also found in wet lowland and riparian communities in association with alder (Alnus), ash (Fraxinus) and elm (Ulmus) (Binggeli, 1999). Binggeli reports that it has a low competitive ability in comparison with beech but is able to become a dominant species on unstable strata such as scree slopes.

Cronk and Fuller (1995) report that this species invades semi-natural woodlands and nutrient-rich wasteland. Where the species occurs outside its native range and has naturalized or become invasive, namely in the UK, Ireland, Chile and New Zealand, habitats include river corridors, planted forest, roadsides, abandoned farmland, urban wasteland, railway lines, gardens, hedgerows, native and semi-natural woodland, high country tussock grassland especially in New Zealand, also laurel forest in Madeira, Portugal (Binggeli, 1999).

Habitat List

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CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial-managed
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial-natural/semi-natural
Natural forests Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Riverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)

Hosts/Species Affected

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Studies cited by Binggeli (1999) describe this species as a weed in Christmas tree (Picea abies) plantations in Denmark and commercial beech (Fagus sylvatica) plantations in Sweden.

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Fagus sylvatica (common beech)FagaceaeHabitat/association
Picea abies (common spruce)PinaceaeHabitat/association

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

A. pseudoplatanus ecotypes have been identified which follow an altitudinal range (Mayer, 1977). Results of the comparison between six UK and four other European provenances in height and root-collar diameter show that of the four continental European provenances, two from Denmark and Germany performed better than the UK provenances (Cundall et al., 1998). Variability of progeny characteristics has been studied by Bojovic (1991) and Weiser (1996). In vitro growth of A. pseudoplatanus callus on metal-enriched media has allowed the identification of some lines particularly adapted to metal stress (Watmough and Dickinson, 1995). Isoenzyme analysis of A. pseudoplatanus has been used for clonal identification (Konnert, 1992). Most of the subspecies and varieties described in the literature should be treated as forms, but many of them may only deserve cultivar status (van-Gelderen et al., 1994). Several nurseries and research stations have selected or developed cultivars for landscaping. In cultivation, hybrids between A. heldreichii subsp. tautvetteri and A. pseudoplatanus frequently occur (van-Gelderen et al., 1994). A number of hybrid trees can be found in various arboreta, sometimes labelled correctly as A. x pseudo-heldreichii Fukarek & Celjo.

Physiology and Phenology

A. pseudoplatanus is a shade tolerant species that can live for up to 500 years (Binggeli, 1999). It is able to produce seed within the first few years of growth and although seedling production is prolific there is high mortality of self-sown plants within the first year and thus in describing the spread of this species it is important to distinguish between seedlings and saplings older than one year (Binggeli, 1999).

Reproductive Biology

Each flower is monoecious. A. pseudoplatanus is generally outbreeding and can produce in the order of 10,000 wind-dispersed seeds each year (Cronk and Fuller, 1995).

Environmental Requirements

A. pseudoplatanus is found over a wide range of latitudes, from the Peloritani Mountains in Sicily to the Carpathian Mountains in Poland. Best growth occurs where mean annual rainfall exceeds 1200 mm and mean annual temperature is about 12-13°C. However, it is very resistant to cold, tolarating absolute minima of -30°C, probably due to the late flushing which protects it from early and late frosts. Both winter and bimodal rainfall regimes are tolerated, with preferred mean annual rainfall in the range 600-1600 mm, but only short dry seasons of less that 3 months are tolerated.

A. pseudoplatanus can grow on a wide variety of soils, but best growth is found on moist fertile soils over limestone or chalk. The only soil it will not tolerate is pure clay. The pH level of the soil ranges from 5 to 8. More often found in places rich in available nitrogen, though it can survive infertile and saline soils and on sites contaminated with heavy metals. The altitudinal range is generally between 500 and 1900 m.

Associations

Binggeli (1999) reports that the distribution of A. pseudoplatanus is closely allied to that of Fagus sylvatica, and that it occurs as minor component of mature Fagus, Abies and Picea forests. It is also found in wet lowland and riparian communities in association with Alnus, Fraxinus and Ulmus (Binggeli, 1999).

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
51 35 500 1900

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) -30
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 5 14
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 12 24
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) -10 8

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration23number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall6001600mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Bimodal
Uniform

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free
  • impeded

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • alkaline
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • infertile
  • saline

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page Although A. pseudoplatanus is exposed to a number of fungal attacks, few are serious. One serious pathogen is Verticillium sp. which can cause both chronic and acute wilting of the foliage and crown, and Cristulariella depraedans causes spotting and withering of the leaves (Moore, 1959). By far the commonest cause of tar spot of A. pseudoplatanus is Rhytisma acerinum, and in Europe it is common wherever A. pseudoplatanus is grown, except in the polluted atmosphere of large industrial towns (Jones, 1944) and in very upland or montane areas (Maxwell, 1933). Though in severe attacks, R. acerinum causes some premature defoliation, and some may regard its black stromata as unsightly on trees grown for ornament, its effects are rarely serious. The imperfect fungus Cryptostroma corticale has been found in the USA and in the UK, France and Germany (Plate and Schneider, 1965). It causes wilting and dieback of affected branches, and infected trees usually die within a few years. Virus-like symptoms (leaf deformation and mottling) related to the tobamovirus group have been detected on A. pseudoplatanus in western Germany (Fuhrling and Buttner, 1998). A. pseudoplatanus can harbour root galls (van-Gelderen et al., 1994). A. pseudoplatanus is not particularly subject to serious insect infestations (Johnson and Lyon, 1988). However, Gilman and Watson (1993) note that in the USA it is susceptible to several pests and diseases which have a negative impact on tree health or appearance.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

Top of page Fruits are winged samaras and these are dispersed by the wind and capable of travelling a considerable distance from the parent tree. A. pseudoplatanus has been widely introduced to temperate climates outside its native European range mainly for amenity planting. It is in several of the countries where it was intentionally introduced e.g. UK, Ireland, USA, Chile and New Zealand that it is subsequently reported to have become invasive. Early patterns of naturalization were documented to have occurred near intentional planting sites (Binggeli, 1999).

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Animal/plant collections None
Animal/plant products None
Biodiversity (generally) Negative
Crop production None
Environment (generally) Negative
Fisheries / aquaculture None
Forestry production Negative
Human health None
Livestock production None
Native fauna None
Native flora Negative
Rare/protected species Negative
Tourism None
Trade/international relations None
Transport/travel None

Impact: Biodiversity

Top of page A. pseudoplatanus is a potential threat to the rare endemic orchid Dactylorhiza foliosa in Madeira, Portugal since tree seedlings grow well on the basic soils where the orchid grows and so alters the habitat (Cronk and Fuller, 1995). It also degrades the indigenous Madeira laurel forest and New Zealand tussock grassland habitats (Binggeli, 1999). In the UK and Ireland, control of A. pseudoplatanus is a major focus on nature reserves to maintain the integrity of semi-natural communities (Binggeli, 1999).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
Impact outcomes
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Reduced native biodiversity
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

Top of page A. pseudoplatanus is used in western and northern UK along coastal areas, and on offshore islands as windbreaks against strong Atlantic gales. Ramified adventitious roots which often penetrate deeply give these trees a solid hold (van-Gelderen et al., 1994) and the canopy significantly reduces wind speeds (Hoppe et al., 1997). It has been widely introduced outside its native range, primarily for amenity planting (Binggeli, 1999), and many cultivars are widely used in landscape planting because of their handsome foliage and crown shape.

A. pseudoplatanus wood is white, close-grained, and moderately hard. It was formerly much used in turnery, for cups, bowls and pattern blocks, is still reputedly used by saddlemakers and millwrights, and continues to be widely used for furniture manufacture, flooring and joinery (Savill, 1991). Occasionally, wavy-grained sycamore, which can fetch very high prices, occurs: in demand for musical instruments, especially violins. Veneer from this species is widely used in the furniture industry (van-Gelderen et al., 1994).

Uses List

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Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Fodder/animal feed

Environmental

  • Agroforestry
  • Shade and shelter
  • Windbreak

General

  • Ornamental

Genetic importance

  • Gene source

Materials

  • Carved material
  • Miscellaneous materials
  • Wood/timber

Wood Products

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Containers

  • Boxes

Furniture

Sawn or hewn building timbers

  • Carpentry/joinery (exterior/interior)
  • Flooring
  • For light construction

Veneers

Woodware

  • Brushes
  • Industrial and domestic woodware
  • Musical instruments
  • Tool handles
  • Toys

Prevention and Control

Top of page Manual removal of seedlings and saplings is possible, i.e. hand pulling and digging up, but the roots must be completely removed, or cut stumps must be treated with a herbicide in order to prevent regeneration (Weber, 2003).

References

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Andersen UV, 1995. Comparison of dispersal strategies of alien and native species in the Danish flora. In: Pysek P, Prach K, Rejmane M, Wade M, eds. Plant invasions: general aspects and special problems. Workshop held at Kostelec nad Cernymi lesy, Czech Republic, 16-19 September 1993. Amsterdam, Netherlands; SPB Academic Publishing, 61-70.

Anon, 2004. Alien plant invaders of natural areas by scientific name. Alien Plant Working Group. Washington DC, USA: Plant Conservation Alliance. http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/list/a.htm.

Bartoli M; dall' Armi C, 1996. Criterès d'exploitabilité de l'érable sycomore, de l'érable plane, du merisier et du frêne commun dans les Pyrénées centrales et leur piemont [Criteria for utilization of sycamore maple, Norway maple, sweet cherry and common ash in the central Pyrenees and foothills.]. Revue Forestière Française, 48(1):42-48; 13 ref.

Binggeli P, 1999. Invasive woody plants. http://members.lycos.co.uk/WoodyPlantEcology/invasive/index.html.

Bojovic S, 1991. Variability of characteristics of sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus) progeny. [Promenljivost svojstava generativnog potomstva gorskog javora (Acer pseudoplatanus L.).] Glasnik Sumarskog Fakulteta, Univerzitet u Beogradu, No. 73, 121-128; 7 ref.

Cronk QCB; Fuller JL, 1995. Plant invaders: the threat to natural ecosystems. London, UK; Chapman & Hall Ltd, xiv + 241 pp.

Cundall EP; Cahalan CM; Plowman MR, 1998. Early results of sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) provenance trials at farm-forestry sites in England and Wales. Forestry (Oxford), 71(3):237-245; 30 ref.

Davis M; Meurk C, 2000. Protecting and restoring our natural heritage – a practical guide. Appendix 1 invasive weeds. New Zealand. http://www.doc.govt.nz/Regional-Info/010~Canterbury/005~Publications/Protecting-and-Restoring-Our-Natural-Heritage/index.jsp.

DCNR, 2001. Invasive Plants in Pennsylvania, threats to southeastern PA. Pittsburgh, USA: Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/wildplant/southeast.htm.

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Links to Websites

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GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Global register of Introduced and Invasive species (GRIIS)http://griis.org/Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.

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