The Annual Attack of the Sycamore Seedlings

Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatynus) is a member of the Maple family of trees. 

  • Sycamore leaves and catkins in spring 

Although not a native to Britain it is a common species, naturalized in our woodlands. 


Every autumn, it produces thousands of seeds which fall to the ground on “helicopter” sails that catch the breeze and transport them away from the parent tree. 

Come spring, anywhere near a stand of sycamores, hundreds and hundreds of seedlings shoot from the ground on the woodland floor, in gardens, hedges and fallow land. 

  • The first leaves of a sycamore seedling

  • As seedlings grow, new leaves take the shape of the adult tree leaves

  • It is common for hundreds or thousands of seedlings to sprout in spring

It’s no wonder this tree has been so successful at colonising much of Britain. 

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