Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Sycamore Tree

One of the most impressive trees in any neighborhood is the American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis). It grows an average of 100 feet tall, and has smooth, whitish, peeling bark. I generally only use common names, but there is a good reason that I have included it's Latin name. It's because a Sycamore may not be a Sycamore. The word 'Sycamore' can be used for the type of fig tree, like the one Zaccheus climbed in Jericho. In Christian symbolism, the Sycamore represents having a clearer view of Jesus. 
There is also a Sycamore Maple that shares some similar characteristics, such as height, shape, and bark, but yet, is a totally different tree.
Sycamore trees have also been referred to as Ghost trees (because of their bark), American Plane Tree, and Buttonwood.
In 1792, at 68 Wall Street in New York City, the terms that were developed for the New York Stock Exchange were signed under a Sycamore tree, and it was called 'The Buttonwood Agreement'
One of my favorite depictions of a Sycamore is of a Plane Tree in the London garden at the home of Lucy and Dr. Manette in 'The Tale of Two Cities'

American Sycamore a block away from my house. Notice how on the top branches, it looks like there are Christmas ornaments hanging from them. Those are seed pods.

Gray to whitish, peeling and flaking bark.

Seed pods picked up off the ground from under the tree.

This image is from 'Journey Around the Globe'. I couldn't find the picture I had taken of this tree. This tree is in Jericho. The plaque says it is over 2000 years old, and the one Zaccheus climbed. Is it? I don't know. Could it be an offspring of that tree? Maybe.

No comments:

Post a Comment