Why mow, and why now? Though a bright, blue-sky day, it’s hardly in the mid-40s by mid afternoon. Sycamore trees produce spiky seed balls that measure 1” (2.5 cm) in diameter. This tree is also known as the American planetree or the buttonball tree, due to the brown, spiky seed balls it produces each year. The plane can be identified by its globular heads of flowers and subsequent balls of seeds, which hang on long stalks from the twigs. Choose a shallow growing tray, but one that’s deep enough to let the seed take root. Share your thoughts, experiences and the tales behind the art. The seeds are also eaten by muskrats, beavers, and squirrels.” I’ve never seen anything, feathered or furred, exhibit the slightest appetite for sycamore seeds, but this year’s windfall may explain why the finches and chickadees have been noticeably absent from my bird-feeder this winter. I check the gas tank to find it half-full, and worry whether the gas has gone bad. How Can I Tell the Difference Between a Sapling Redbud or a River Birch Tree? Once you have completely crushed the seed ball, look for the hard structure inside. Sycamore seed balls take longer to break down than everyday kitchen scraps, so place them in a large outdoor compost bin where they can decompose gradually. Add to Likebox With the soil temperatures even lower, the grass is still dormant; in fact, it is brown and brittle. Hang the wreath from a ribbon when it is dry. But that’s not why I tend to my pile. To plant a new sycamore tree, gather several seed balls and bring them indoors to dry on a paper plate for one week. It’s actually a marvel of design. One of the most common sycamore tree pests is the sycamore lace bug that gets its name from the lacy pattern on the adult’s wings, head, and chest. The seed ball is single, 1 inch in diameter on a slender 3-6 inch long stem. Press the seeds gently into the prepared seed trays, no more than 1/8 inch deep. #118437311 - Ball-shaped seeds of a London planetree on the ground of a park. Sycamore trees can grow to massive sizes and live as long as 400 years. The seed balls appear on the tree in late fall or winter and fall to the ground in the spring. Initially, the sycamore seed balls have green color but they later change to brown. Dye the seed balls with food coloring or nontoxic tempera paint and hang them from ribbons to make holiday ornaments. The plant will grow to about 4 inches (10 cm) in the first 2 months. The fruit is composed of multiple achenes or dry individual one seeded fruits. A lightly-crushed sycamore seed ball. Keeping all this “brown” filler onsite and adding it to my pile will be my challenge as the season changes and my pile resumes its march toward fruition. The sight of bare ground is at least a change from last winter, when snow covered the ground until nearly April. They are larger and rougher than maple leaves, too. Find sycamore tree seed pod stock images in HD and millions of other royalty-free stock photos, illustrations and vectors in the Shutterstock collection. Note there is another tree commonly known as sycamore: the sycamore maple, acer pseudoplatanus (false plane tree) that has a winged seed like a maple and is sometimes called sycamore plane or plane tree. Coursing over the brittle brown grass, I fill three tall leaf bags full of fluff and set them against the side of the tool shed, hard by my pile. When the seed balls are dry, they will break open to reveal the small, tufted seeds. “Since sycamore seed balls are organic plant matter, they will decompose naturally over time. Rather than bagging them and throwing them away with the garbage, compost the seed balls so that their nutrients can be recycled to create rich new soil. So I haul the Toro from the saltbox shed and set it in a patch of sunlight in front of my pile to warm the engine block. The fluffy seeds are so thick across the lawn that my across-the-street neighbor commented on it the other day; in fact it was he who suggested I haul out the mower and scarf it all up with the leaf catcher. Sycamore trees are majestic in nature, averaging 40-100 feet in height and spreading 40-70 feet in width. If there are two seed pods together, it’s a London planetree. Growth Rate and Culture Water the sycamore seeds regularly, and prevent soil from drying out. Bark of an old Sycamore. Cottony brown fluff drifts across the yard on the gentlest of breezes; firmer winds knock the balls down to the ground, where they disintegrate into so much dander. While the sycamore lace bug’s damage is rarely serious, a heavy infestation can slow the tree’s growth. Some years, the sycamore produces only a smattering of seed balls; who knows what vagueries of the tree itself and the climatic prompts it responds to have combined to produce such a windfall, but there it is. On www.homeguides.sfgate.com, I read that “While sycamore seed balls can be a nuisance to clear away, they can also be put to a variety of practical uses,” from craft projects to, yes, compost: “Since sycamore seed balls are organic plant matter, they will decompose naturally over time. The Homeschool Scientist: Easy to Make Bird Feeders, Carolinas Composting Council: Yes You Can, How to Harvest the Fruit of a Sycamore Tree. Start sycamore trees from seed in early spring since the seed balls will have thoroughly dried out on the tree during the winter months. Her work has appeared in "Isotope," "Green Prints," "The Hudson River Almanac," "The Conservationist" and other publications. The tiny hairs on Sycamore seed ball seed balls irritate skin and can cause respiratory distress if inhaled by sensitive people. The flowers provide a good source of pollen and nectar for bees and other insects, and the seeds are eaten by birds and small mammals. I mowed the lawn today, the first Sunday of March. Breaking them open first can speed up the process. To make a holiday wreath, twist a chenille stem into a ring and use quick-dry tacky glue to attach sycamore balls around the circle. The common sycamore tree (with the fruit ball) is platanus occidentalis, also called american plane tree, buttonball, buttonwood, water beech. Similar Images . The leaves of the plane and sycamore are somewhat similar in shape, but they belong to different families. Any more and they will be over crowded and compete for resources. The American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) is a fast-growing deciduous tree hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 4 through 9. Thousands of new, high-quality pictures added every day. They are fast growing, growing more than two feet a year. The tiny hairs on the seed balls irritate skin and can cause respiratory distress if inhaled by sensitive people. , Malton Atypical myopathy (sycamore poisoning or seasonal pasture myopathy) is a disease caused by the ingestion of sycamore seeds (‘helicopters’), seedlings or leaves and is often fatal. As is, I’ve gathering up only a fraction of all the seed balls; countless more seeds now lie atop the garden beds and lawn. Cover the sycamore seeds with a light mulch of leaf mold and peat moss. The fruits appear in late summer and hang on to the tree through the winter. Step 6 - Maintain the Seedlings. Of course, the easiest solution would be for me to send off the bags of seed fluff to the yard waste dump with the collection of wind-blown branches and limbs I’ve collected over the winter. Add to Likebox #132276303 - Top view of dry leaf, sycamore balls and blank page with copy.. ... #117128932 - Seed pods for sycamore tree hanging from branch with blue sky.. Growing a sycamore from the seed ball stage involves the following steps: Procure good quality sycamore balls from a nursery or garden center. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. A sweet gum seed pod resting on a hand rail in the rain. Sycamore seed balls take longer to break down than everyday kitchen scraps, so place them in a large outdoor compost bin where they can decompose gradually.”. It’s fairly messy, shedding a generous supply of leaves, seed balls, twigs and strips of bark. Roll the sycamore ball in peanut butter or vegetable shortening, making sure the substance penetrates into the crevices. The spiky surface of a sycamore seed ball makes it ideal for creating a simple bird feeder. The balls are very light, and can float on water, which is useful in the dispersal. Many problems are associated with sycamore trees. I have no plans to mess with my pile weekend, but at least for now my lawn is relatively clear of the messy amount of fluff. They dangle from branches on long stems. Within each ball are tiny, seed-like fruits that disperse in downy tufts like daffodil fluff, as the balls disintegrate. Similar Images . Seed/ Fruit Size: Seed balls are 1-1/8 inch (3 cm) round, just a little smaller than a ping pong ball covered with perhaps a hundred … Sow one to three seeds about one-quarter inch below the soil and water gently, making sure not to wash away the seeds. Woodland creatures and some waterfowl eat the seeds found inside sycamore balls. Continue to water for about two weeks until the seedlings emerge. Roll the ball in sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Last weekend I fired up the leaf blower to preemptively whisk the seedballs and dander from the gravel driveway; otherwise I’m sure I’d have to spend the spring pulling sprouts or, worse, contemplate using weed killer. Sycamore seed ball surprise, ceramic parchment, false morel, nursery-web spider…April in Missouri woods Arachnophobes, be warned! But the engine starts up after a few tugs on the starter cord, and off I go. Nov 1, 2014 - Explore April Morgan's board "Sycamore Art Project" on Pinterest. Then I look at a chart that I prepared that employs some statistics, detailed here. ... Sycamore trees (Platanus spp.) Ann Pedtke has been writing about science and the environment since 2001. Sycamore seeds are mainly dispersed by wind. These seed balls appear on the sycamore tree in the winter and fall to the ground in the spring, where they open to disperse their seeds. The tricky part will be in incorporating this fine mess within my pile in a way that heats the seeds sufficiently to prevent them from germinating. The ball is not a single fruit itself but instead an agregate of many small seed-like fruits called achenes with fuzzy hair-like structures attached. Hang outdoors in the winter where birds can come to snack. 1 Locate a fruiting sycamore in mid-summer. Wear a mask or respirator and gloves when removing the seeds from a seed ball. Sycamore is often planted in parks and large gardens. It is not durable, and should not be used where exposed to moisture of conditions favoring decay. Sycamore seed balls, when washed and dried, make a versatile all-natural craft material. American Sycamore was named by the early European settlers because the foliage resembled the sycamore of the British Isles (Acer pseudoplatanus). They are a fast-growing species that gain roughly 2 feet annually and have a complex system of roots. In late spring, select a location with plenty of sun where the sycamore tree will have room to thrive after it is fully grown. To plant a new sycamore tree, gather several seed balls and bring them indoors to dry on a paper plate for one week. At first green and somewhat fuzzy-looking, they dry into brown, bristly balls. If there are 3-5 seed pods, it is an Oriental planetree which has the seed pods hanging like beads. Platanus / ˈ p l æ t ə n ə s / is a genus consisting of a small number of tree species native to the Northern Hemisphere.They are the sole living members of the family Platanaceae.. All members of Platanus are tall, reaching 30–50 m (98–164 ft) in height. Rather than bagging them and throwing them away with the garbage, compost the seed balls so that their nutrients can be recycled to create rich new soil. The wood of sycamore is moderately hard, heavy, strong and resistant to shock. If you lightly crush the seed ball, you can see how the seeds fit together so tightly. The leaves and leaf stems also have a coating of hair when they are new. Xylobolus frustulatus, now that's a name I can really get behind. I ‘think’ the leaves looked like the American Sycamore but I may even have seen different species of trees in different locations. Intrigued by such a display of fecundity, I read up on Plantanus occidentalis, and find that the seed balls are called achenes, which means “dry, hairy fruit.” Each ball contains hundreds of seeds emanating from a round kernel the size of a pea. Each seedhead has a tail, which ripens into silken strands. dandelion, seeds, nature, spring, flower, dandelion seeds, close up, summer, roadside, plant, wild flower Public Domain Select a planting site large enough to accommodate a full-grown sycamore tree. The most obvious role of a sycamore ball is to disperse the tree’s seeds. I last used the mower in late November to mulch the final leaves of fall, and wonder if it will start up. Since the seed balls on my trees seem to be singles not pairs or more, they are probably American Sycamores. Sycamore leaves are reminiscent of maple leaves with more jagged serrations. Sycamore seeds grow best when you start them in a tray and then transfer them to a pot. See more ideas about sycamore, sycamore tree, patterns in nature. Save harvested seeds for some varieties of squirrels, chickadees, finches, cedar waxwings, junco and even beavers and muskrats. Thousands of new, high … In Scotland the sycamore is often called the plane. And I wonder whether this windfall of organic plant matter, once gathered, could benefit my pile. I need to know the germination rate of the seeds. Place the sycamore seed ball inside a paper bag. The seeds can be separated from the fluff and saved. The insects feed on the undersides of the sycamore’s leaves. Find Sycamore Seed Ball stock images in HD and millions of other royalty-free stock photos, illustrations and vectors in the Shutterstock collection. No worries about raking them up! Sycamore balls contain tufts of … The fruits mature in a small, brown, burr-like ball that hangs from the branch. I haul out the mower for a late-winter gathering of the seedballs that have fallen across the lawn in the shadow of the sycamore tree. Each A sycamore seed ball with a few seeds falling out. You have to give the tree credit for being so fecund – old-timers know the sycamore as the buttonball tree for its prodigious supply of so much spawn – but on a suburban lawnscape, the scattered mess is a nuisance. The seed heads of the sycamore disintegrate as their seeds are dispersed; the sweet gum seed capsule, on the other hand, has a woody structure, and the gum balls are quite persistent. Tagged sycamore seed balls, www.eattheweeds.com, www.homeguides.sfgate.com. Sycamore Tree Pests. Pedtke holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Kenyon College and works in environmental education in New York City. The most obvious role of a sycamore ball is to disperse the tree’s seeds. Keep the seeds 6 to 8 inches apart in the trays. If you do not want the Sycamore balls to fall all over your yard or a driveway, they can be removed in the winter and allowed to dry so they can still be used for a variety of things. With its natural inclination to establish a sturdy trunk, it tends to have an aggressive root system, so be prepared to plant your sycamore at least 15 feet from your house or sidewalk. I also find, on www.eattheweeds.com, that the seeds are eaten by some birds, “including the purple finch, goldfinch, chickadees, and dark-eyed junco. have round, 1 1/2 inch diameter, spiky-looking balls, but the spikes aren't fierce and sharp. I need to see the leaves this summer to confirm that, though. Because sycamore seed balls are organic plant matter, they will decompose naturally over time. So there you have it, those “spiky balls that fall from trees” are Sycamore balls, and are basically seed pods that can be used for a variety of wonderful things, from composting rich soils to accessorizing your patio. While sycamore seed balls can be a nuisance to clear away, they can also be put to a variety of practical uses. The sycamore tree that lords over the corner of my yard is still adorned with countless seed balls. Sycamore is attractive to aphids and therefore a variety of their predators, such as ladybirds, hoverflies and birds. I look up through the sycamore arching branches to see as many, if not more, seed balls wait to fall across my yard. The leaves are eaten by caterpillars of a number of moths, including the sycamore moth, plumed prominent and maple prominent. The sycamore tree that lords over the northwest corner of my yard has been shedding spiky seed balls all through the winter. Its leaves are soft and a woolly, light green. My goal is to have just 1 or two sprout in each seed ball. It bears an interesting seed ball which disintegrates easily. Aside from the scandalous unsightliness of so much windblown detritus, I worry whether the covering of seeds will choke off growth of the grass. Once as hard as golf balls, the seed pods that adorn the branches overhead by the thousands are now ripening. Rather than bagging them and throwing them away with the garbage, compost the seed balls so that their nutrients can be recycled to create rich new soil. There’s a big spider down there! The American sycamore is sometimes confused with the several other trees in the same family that are similar in appearance. If the tree has single seed pod, it is the sycamore. Wear a mask or respirator and gloves when removing the seeds from a seed ball. 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