Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Plant Type
- Distribution Table
- History of Introduction and Spread
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Biology and Ecology
- Latitude/Altitude Ranges
- Air Temperature
- Rainfall Regime
- Soil Tolerances
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Impact Summary
- Impact: Biodiversity
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Uses List
- Wood Products
- Prevention and Control
- Links to Websites
- Distribution Maps
Don't need the entire report?
Generate a print friendly version containing only the sections you need.Generate report
PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Acer pseudoplatanus L.
Preferred Common Name
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
- ACRPP (Acer pseudoplatanus)
- ACRRA (Acer ramosum)
Summary of InvasivenessTop 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 TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Dicotyledonae
- Order: Sapindales
- Family: Aceraceae
- Genus: Acer
- Species: Acer pseudoplatanus
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop 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.
DescriptionTop of page
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 TypeTop of page Broadleaved
DistributionTop of page
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 TableTop of page
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.Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Planted||Reference||Notes|
|India||Present||Introduced||CABI (Undated)||Original citation: Binggeli (1999)|
|Syria||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Turkey||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Albania||Present||Native||CABI (Undated b)|
|Austria||Present||Native||CABI (Undated)||Original citation: Binggeli (1999)|
|Belarus||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Belgium||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated)||Original citation: Binggeli (1999)|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Present||Native||CABI (Undated b)|
|Bulgaria||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Croatia||Present||Native||CABI (Undated b)|
|Cyprus||Present||Native||CABI (Undated b)|
|Czechia||Present||Native||CABI (Undated b)|
|Czechoslovakia||Present||CABI (Undated b)|
|Estonia||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Faroe Islands||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Finland||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|France||Present||Native||CABI (Undated)||Original citation: Binggeli (1999)|
|-Corsica||Present||Native||CABI (Undated b)|
|Germany||Present||Native||CABI (Undated)||Original citation: Binggeli (1999)|
|Gibraltar||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Greece||Present||Native||CABI (Undated b)|
|Hungary||Present||Native||CABI (Undated b)|
|Iceland||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Ireland||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Planted||CABI (Undated)||Original citation: Cronk and Fuller (1995)|
|Italy||Present||Native||CABI (Undated)||Original citation: Binggeli (1999)|
|Latvia||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Liechtenstein||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Lithuania||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Luxembourg||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Malta||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Moldova||Present||Native||CABI (Undated b)|
|Monaco||Present||Native||CABI (Undated b)|
|Netherlands||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|North Macedonia||Present||Native||CABI (Undated b)|
|Norway||Present||Introduced||Diaci (1995); Fremstad and Elven (1996)|
|Poland||Present||Native||CABI (Undated b)|
|Portugal||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Madeira||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Planted||CABI (Undated)||Original citation: Cronk and Fuller (1995)|
|Romania||Present||Native||CABI (Undated b)|
|Russia||Present||CABI (Undated a)||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-Central Russia||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Eastern Siberia||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Northern Russia||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Russian Far East||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Southern Russia||Present||Native||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Western Siberia||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|San Marino||Present||Native||CABI (Undated b)|
|Serbia||Present||Native||CABI (Undated b)|
|Serbia and Montenegro||Present||Native||CABI (Undated b)|
|Slovakia||Present||Native||CABI (Undated b)|
|Slovenia||Present||Native||CABI (Undated b)|
|Spain||Present||Native||CABI (Undated b)|
|Sweden||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Switzerland||Present||Native||CABI (Undated b)|
|Ukraine||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|United Kingdom||Present, Widespread||Introduced||Mitchell (1974); CABI (Undated)|
|-Channel Islands||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated)||Original citation: Binggeli (1999)|
|Canada||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Urban Forest Associates (2002)|
|-Alberta||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-British Columbia||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Manitoba||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-New Brunswick||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Newfoundland and Labrador||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Northwest Territories||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Nova Scotia||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Ontario||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Prince Edward Island||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Quebec||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Saskatchewan||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Yukon||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|United States||Present||CABI (Undated a)||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-Alabama||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Alaska||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Arizona||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Arkansas||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-California||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Colorado||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Connecticut||Present||Introduced||Anon (2004); CABI (Undated);|
|-Delaware||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated)||Original citation: McAvoy (2001)|
|-Georgia||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Idaho||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Illinois||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Indiana||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Iowa||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Kansas||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Kentucky||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Louisiana||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Maine||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Maryland||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Massachusetts||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Michigan||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Minnesota||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Mississippi||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Missouri||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Montana||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Nebraska||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Nevada||Present||Introduced||CABI (Undated b)|
|-New Hampshire||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-New Jersey||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-New York||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-North Carolina||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-North Dakota||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Ohio||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Oklahoma||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Oregon||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Pennsylvania||Present, Few occurrences||Introduced||Invasive||DCNR (2001); Anon (2004); CABI (Undated)|
|-Rhode Island||Present||Introduced||Rhode Island Invasive Species Council (2001); CABI (Undated)|
|-South Carolina||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-South Dakota||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Tennessee||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Texas||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Utah||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Vermont||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Virginia||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Washington||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-West Virginia||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Wisconsin||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|-Wyoming||Present||Introduced||Planted||CABI (Undated b)|
|Australia||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI (Undated)||Original citation: Weber (2003)|
|New Zealand||Present||Introduced||1880||Invasive||CABI (Undated);|
|Argentina||Present||Introduced||CABI (Undated)||Original citation: Binggeli (1999)|
History of Introduction and SpreadTop of page
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 IntroductionTop 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.
HabitatTop of page
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 ListTop of page
|Terrestrial – Managed||Managed forests, plantations and orchards||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Disturbed areas||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 AffectedTop of page
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 AffectedTop of page
Biology and EcologyTop of page
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).
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).
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.
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 RangesTop of page
|Latitude North (°N)||Latitude South (°S)||Altitude Lower (m)||Altitude Upper (m)|
Air TemperatureTop of page
|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|
RainfallTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit||Description|
|Dry season duration||2||3||number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall|
|Mean annual rainfall||600||1600||mm; lower/upper limits|
Rainfall RegimeTop of page Bimodal
Soil TolerancesTop of page
Special soil tolerances
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop 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 DispersalTop 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 SummaryTop of page
|Fisheries / aquaculture||None|
Impact: BiodiversityTop 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 FactorsTop 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
- Damaged ecosystem services
- Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
- Reduced native biodiversity
- Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
- Difficult/costly to control
UsesTop 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 ListTop of page
Animal feed, fodder, forage
- Fodder/animal feed
- Shade and shelter
- Gene source
- Carved material
- Miscellaneous materials
Wood ProductsTop of page
Sawn or hewn building timbers
- Carpentry/joinery (exterior/interior)
- For light construction
- Industrial and domestic woodware
- Musical instruments
- Tool handles
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.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).
ReferencesTop of page
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.
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.
Diaci J, 1995. The role of mountain maple, Acer pseudoplatanus, in the natural regeneration of Norway spruce plantations in a silver fir-beech forest on Krasica in the Nazarje region. Prezrte drevesne vrste: zbornik seminarja. XVII. Gozdarski Studijski Dnevi, Dolenjske Toplice, Slovenija, 9. in 10. november 1995., 235-256; 37 ref.
Dierschke H, 1985. Anthropogenous areal extension of central European woody species on the British Isles and its significance for the judgement of the present potential natural vegetation. In: Neuhausl R, Dierschke H, Barkman JJ, eds. Chorological phenomena in plant communities. Proceedings of the 26th international symposium of the International Association for Vegetation Science, held at Prague, 5-8 April 1982; Vegetatio, 59: 171-175; 34 ref.
Fnhrling M; Bnttner C, 1998. Detection of tobamoviruses in sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus) exhibiting mottling and leaf deformation. Forstwissenschaftliches Centralblatt, 117(2):92-97; [With English captions]; 12 ref.
Gilman EF; Watson DG, 1993. Acer pseudoplatanus, Sycamore Maple. US Forest Service Department of Agriculture Fact sheet ST-40.
Hein S; Collet C; Ammer C; Goff Nle; Skovsgaard JP; Savill P, 2009. A review of growth and stand dynamics of Acer pseudoplatanus L. in Europe: implications for silviculture. Forestry (Oxford), 82(4):361-385. http://forestry.oxfordjournals.org/
Kazda M; Wagner C; Pichler M; Hager H, 1998. Light utilisation potential of Quercus petraea, Fagus sylvatica and Acer pseudoplatanus measured during the year of advance planting. Allgemeine Forst- und Jagdzeitung, 169(9):157-163; 20 ref.
Konnert M, 1992. Isoenzyme analysis of mountain maple (Acer pseudoplatanus L.) - clone identification. Arnsberg, Germany: Internationale Tagung der Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Forstgenetik und Fortspflanzenzuechtung.
Kowarik I, 1995. Time lags in biological invasions with regard to the success and failure of alien species. 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, 15-38.
Maxwell H, 1933. The sycamore fungus. Nature, Lond. 132:409.
McAvoy WA, 2001. Non-native plants of Delaware. Delaware Natural Heritage Program. Smyrna, USA: Division of Fish and Wildlife, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. http://www.dnrec.state.de.us/fw/weeds.htm.
Mehrhoff LJ; Metzler KJ; Corrigan EE, 2003. Non-native and Potentially Invasive Vascular Plants in Connecticut. Storrs, Connecticut, USA: University of Connecticut, Center for Conservation and Biodiversity.
Moore WC, 1959. British parasitic fungi: host-parasite index and a guide to British literature on the fungus diseases of cultivated plants. Cambridge University Press, London and New York. pp. xvi + 430. 4 pp. of refs. + many refs. in text.
Paterson JPH; Binggeli P; Rushton BS, 1996. Slug- and small mammal-induced seedling mortality in sycamore Acer pseudoplatanus L. Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Section B, 96(2):49-53.
Plate HP; Schneider R, 1965. Ein Fall von asthmatiger Allergie, verursacht durch den Pilz Cryptostroma corticale. NachrBl. dt. PflSchutzdienst, 17:100-101.
Rhode Island Invasive Species Council, 2001. Plants that have been assessed and categorized by the Rhode Island Invasive Species Council as of 2/28/2001. http://members.tripod.com/CrissyH/invasivelist.htm.
Suszka B; Muller C; Bonnet-Masimbert M, 1994. Graines des feuillus forestiers: de la recolte au semis [Seeds of forest trees: from collection to seedlings.]. xxiv + 292 pp.; 12 col. pl., published as one of the INRA Techniques et pratiques series; 6 pp. of ref.
Tylkowski T, 1995. Adaptation of dormant seeds to sowing by cyclically repeated soaking in water. III. Sycamore maple, Acer pseudoplatanus L. [Przysposabianie spoczynkowych nasion do siewu przez cyklicznie powtarzane moczenie w wodzie. III. Klon jawor Acer pseudoplatanus L.] Sylwan, 139(7):15-23; 6 ref.
Urban Forest Associates, 2002. Invasive exotic species ranking for Southern Ontario. Urban Forest Associates Inc., Canada. http://www.serontario.org/pdfs/exotics.pdf.
USDA-NRCS, 2004. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5. Baton Rouge, USA: National Plant Data Center. http://plants.usda.gov.
Weiser F, 1996. Stand progeny testing of sycamore. [Bestandesnachkommenschaftsprufung von Bergahorn.] AFZ Der Wald, Allgemeine Forst Zeitschrift fur Waldwirtschaft und Umweltvorsorge, 51(14):774-777; 4 ref.
Anon, 2004. Alien plant invaders of natural areas by scientific name., Washington, DC, USA: Plant Conservation Alliance. http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/list/a.htm
CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI
CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status inferred from regional distribution. Wallingford, UK: CABI
CABI, Undated b. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI
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
Diaci J, 1995. The role of mountain maple, Acer pseudoplatanus, in the natural regeneration of Norway spruce plantations in a silver fir-beech forest on Krašica in the Nazarje region. (Vloga gorskega javora (Acer pseudoplatanus L.) pri naravnem pomlajevanju smrekovih nasadov na rastičču jelovo-bukovega gozda na Krašici, nazarsko območje.). In: Prezrte drevesne vrste: zbornik seminarja. XVII. Gozdarski Študijski Dnevi, Dolenjske Toplice, Slovenija, 9. in 10. november 1995. [Prezrte drevesne vrste: zbornik seminarja. XVII. Gozdarski Študijski Dnevi, Dolenjske Toplice, Slovenija, 9. in 10. november 1995.], [ed. by Kotar M]. Ljubljana, Slovenia, Oddelek za Gozdarstvo in Gozdne Vire, Biotehniške Fakultete, Univerze v Ljubljana. 235-256.
Rhode Island Invasive Species Council, 2001. Plants that have been assessed and categorized by the Rhode Island Invasive Species Council as of 2/28/2001., http://members.tripod.com/CrissyH/invasivelist.htm
Urban Forest Associates, 2002. Invasive exotic species ranking for Southern Ontario., Canada: Urban Forest Associates Inc. http://www.serontario.org/pdfs/exotics.pdf
Distribution MapsTop of page
Unsupported Web Browser:
One or more of the features that are needed to show you the maps functionality are not available in the web browser that you are using.
Please consider upgrading your browser to the latest version or installing a new browser.
More information about modern web browsers can be found at http://browsehappy.com/