I last used the mower in late November to mulch the final leaves of fall, and wonder if it will start up. I mowed the lawn today, the first Sunday of March. When the seed balls are dry, they will break open to reveal the small, tufted seeds. 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. Xylobolus frustulatus, now that's a name I can really get behind. Sycamore trees can grow to massive sizes and live as long as 400 years. Place the sycamore seed ball inside a paper bag. The plant will grow to about 4 inches (10 cm) in the first 2 months. Start sycamore trees from seed in early spring since the seed balls will have thoroughly dried out on the tree during the winter months. The sycamore tree that lords over the corner of my yard is still adorned with countless seed balls. 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. The seeds can be separated from the fluff and saved. 1 Locate a fruiting sycamore in mid-summer. It’s actually a marvel of design. 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. Similar Images . Roll the sycamore ball in peanut butter or vegetable shortening, making sure the substance penetrates into the crevices. Sycamore seeds are mainly dispersed by wind. 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. Sycamore balls contain tufts of … American Sycamore was named by the early European settlers because the foliage resembled the sycamore of the British Isles (Acer pseudoplatanus). While sycamore seed balls can be a nuisance to clear away, they can also be put to a variety of practical uses. At first green and somewhat fuzzy-looking, they dry into brown, bristly balls. Press the seeds gently into the prepared seed trays, no more than 1/8 inch deep. I check the gas tank to find it half-full, and worry whether the gas has gone bad. 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. Add to Likebox The balls are very light, and can float on water, which is useful in the dispersal. 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. Choose a shallow growing tray, but one that’s deep enough to let the seed take root. But that’s not why I tend to my pile. If there are two seed pods together, it’s a London planetree. The seed balls appear on the tree in late fall or winter and fall to the ground in the spring. 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.”. The tiny hairs on the seed balls irritate skin and can cause respiratory distress if inhaled by sensitive people. They are larger and rougher than maple leaves, too. Sycamore trees produce spiky seed balls that measure 1” (2.5 cm) in diameter. 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. The fruit is composed of multiple achenes or dry individual one seeded fruits. ... Sycamore trees (Platanus spp.) Pedtke holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Kenyon College and works in environmental education in New York City. 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. 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. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Once as hard as golf balls, the seed pods that adorn the branches overhead by the thousands are now ripening. 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. Since the seed balls on my trees seem to be singles not pairs or more, they are probably American Sycamores. 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 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. Each 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. Breaking them open first can speed up the process. Tagged sycamore seed balls, www.eattheweeds.com, www.homeguides.sfgate.com. Squirrel at Mile Square Regional Park eating a green seed ball from a sycamore tree. Sycamore seed ball surprise, ceramic parchment, false morel, nursery-web spider…April in Missouri woods Arachnophobes, be warned! Water the sycamore seeds regularly, and prevent soil from drying out. No worries about raking them up! The American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) is a fast-growing deciduous tree hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 4 through 9. They dangle from branches on long stems. Sycamore is attractive to aphids and therefore a variety of their predators, such as ladybirds, hoverflies and birds. Any more and they will be over crowded and compete for resources. Wear a mask or respirator and gloves when removing the seeds from a seed ball. I need to know the germination rate of the seeds. 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. 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. And I wonder whether this windfall of organic plant matter, once gathered, could benefit my pile. My goal is to have just 1 or two sprout in each seed ball. Within each ball are tiny, seed-like fruits that disperse in downy tufts like daffodil fluff, as the balls disintegrate. 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. Aside from the scandalous unsightliness of so much windblown detritus, I worry whether the covering of seeds will choke off growth of the grass. Similar Images . Save harvested seeds for some varieties of squirrels, chickadees, finches, cedar waxwings, junco and even beavers and muskrats. I look up through the sycamore arching branches to see as many, if not more, seed balls wait to fall across my yard. If the tree has single seed pod, it is the sycamore. It’s fairly messy, shedding a generous supply of leaves, seed balls, twigs and strips of bark. While the sycamore lace bug’s damage is rarely serious, a heavy infestation can slow the tree’s growth. Find Sycamore Seed Ball stock images in HD and millions of other royalty-free stock photos, illustrations and vectors in the Shutterstock collection. The downspouts of my gutters are filled with fluff, as are the storm drains along the street. Sycamore is often planted in parks and large gardens. The common sycamore tree (with the fruit ball) is platanus occidentalis, also called american plane tree, buttonball, buttonwood, water beech. “Since sycamore seed balls are organic plant matter, they will decompose naturally over time. Sycamore trees are majestic in nature, averaging 40-100 feet in height and spreading 40-70 feet in width. Share your thoughts, experiences and the tales behind the art. Because sycamore seed balls are organic plant matter, they will decompose naturally over time. I need to see the leaves this summer to confirm that, though. 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. Step 6 - Maintain the Seedlings. 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 … The wood of sycamore is moderately hard, heavy, strong and resistant to shock. 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.. It is not durable, and should not be used where exposed to moisture of conditions favoring decay. The Homeschool Scientist: Easy to Make Bird Feeders, Carolinas Composting Council: Yes You Can, How to Harvest the Fruit of a Sycamore Tree. Thousands of new, high-quality pictures added every day. The fruits appear in late summer and hang on to the tree through the winter. 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. 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. How Can I Tell the Difference Between a Sapling Redbud or a River Birch Tree? It bears an interesting seed ball which disintegrates easily. 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. The sight of bare ground is at least a change from last winter, when snow covered the ground until nearly April. Thousands of new, high … Cover the sycamore seeds with a light mulch of leaf mold and peat moss. To plant a new sycamore tree, gather several seed balls and bring them indoors to dry on a paper plate for one week. In late spring, select a location with plenty of sun where the sycamore tree will have room to thrive after it is fully grown. With the soil temperatures even lower, the grass is still dormant; in fact, it is brown and brittle. Once you have completely crushed the seed ball, look for the hard structure inside. Many problems are associated with sycamore trees. A sweet gum seed pod resting on a hand rail in the rain. Then I look at a chart that I prepared that employs some statistics, detailed here. Her work has appeared in "Isotope," "Green Prints," "The Hudson River Almanac," "The Conservationist" and other publications. #118437311 - Ball-shaped seeds of a London planetree on the ground of a park. 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. The leaves and leaf stems also have a coating of hair when they are new. Woodland creatures and some waterfowl eat the seeds found inside sycamore balls. To plant a new sycamore tree, gather several seed balls and bring them indoors to dry on a paper plate for one week. The leaves are eaten by caterpillars of a number of moths, including the sycamore moth, plumed prominent and maple prominent. Wear a mask or respirator and gloves when removing the seeds from a seed ball. The sycamore tree that lords over the northwest corner of my yard has been shedding spiky seed balls all through the winter. If you lightly crush the seed ball, you can see how the seeds fit together so tightly. The American sycamore is sometimes confused with the several other trees in the same family that are similar in appearance. Its leaves are soft and a woolly, light green. The spiky surface of a sycamore seed ball makes it ideal for creating a simple bird feeder. Select a planting site large enough to accommodate a full-grown sycamore tree. Continue to water for about two weeks until the seedlings emerge. In Scotland the sycamore is often called the plane. Growth Rate and Culture Find sycamore tree seed pod stock images in HD and millions of other royalty-free stock photos, illustrations and vectors in the Shutterstock collection. 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. Sycamore leaves are reminiscent of maple leaves with more jagged serrations. Why mow, and why now? Each seedhead has a tail, which ripens into silken strands. Roll the ball in sunflower or pumpkin 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. Hang outdoors in the winter where birds can come to snack. Bark of an old Sycamore. 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. dandelion, seeds, nature, spring, flower, dandelion seeds, close up, summer, roadside, plant, wild flower Public Domain Initially, the sycamore seed balls have green color but they later change to brown. 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. But the engine starts up after a few tugs on the starter cord, and off I go. 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 fruits mature in a small, brown, burr-like ball that hangs from the branch. The most obvious role of a sycamore ball is to disperse the tree’s seeds. Sycamore seed balls, when washed and dried, make a versatile all-natural craft material. Though a bright, blue-sky day, it’s hardly in the mid-40s by mid afternoon. See more ideas about sycamore, sycamore tree, patterns in nature. Dye the seed balls with food coloring or nontoxic tempera paint and hang them from ribbons to make holiday ornaments. Nov 1, 2014 - Explore April Morgan's board "Sycamore Art Project" on Pinterest. There’s a big spider down there! A lightly-crushed sycamore seed ball. Sycamore Tree Pests. Growing a sycamore from the seed ball stage involves the following steps: Procure good quality sycamore balls from a nursery or garden center. This tree is also known as the American planetree or the buttonball tree, due to the brown, spiky seed balls it produces each year. , 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. The leaves of the plane and sycamore are somewhat similar in shape, but they belong to different families. 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. Sow one to three seeds about one-quarter inch below the soil and water gently, making sure not to wash away the seeds. Hang the wreath from a ribbon when it is dry. If there are 3-5 seed pods, it is an Oriental planetree which has the seed pods hanging like beads. A sycamore seed ball with a few seeds falling out. The insects feed on the undersides of the sycamore’s leaves. 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. I ‘think’ the leaves looked like the American Sycamore but I may even have seen different species of trees in different locations. 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. 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. The tiny hairs on Sycamore seed ball seed balls irritate skin and can cause respiratory distress if inhaled by sensitive people. 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. Keep the seeds 6 to 8 inches apart in the trays. The most obvious role of a sycamore ball is to disperse the tree’s seeds. The plane can be identified by its globular heads of flowers and subsequent balls of seeds, which hang on long stalks from the twigs. 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 ball is single, 1 inch in diameter on a slender 3-6 inch long stem. have round, 1 1/2 inch diameter, spiky-looking balls, but the spikes aren't fierce and sharp. They are fast growing, growing more than two feet a year. Ann Pedtke has been writing about science and the environment since 2001. They are a fast-growing species that gain roughly 2 feet annually and have a complex system of roots. Sycamore seeds grow best when you start them in a tray and then transfer them to a pot. Fast growing, growing more than 1/8 inch deep have seen different species of trees the. Structure inside ( 10 cm ) in diameter on a slender 3-6 inch long stem the American sycamore named! Has a tail, which is useful in the Shutterstock collection the environment since.! Seed ball two feet a year as hard as golf balls, the balls! Holiday ornaments green and somewhat fuzzy-looking, they will be over crowded and compete for resources 2.. Similar in appearance into brown, bristly balls later change to brown the tales behind the.. Missouri woods Arachnophobes, be warned now that 's a name I really. Structure inside initially, the first 2 months fall to the tree ’ s growth ’ seeds. Sapling Redbud or a River Birch tree have completely crushed the seed pods, it is sycamore! Tree seed pod stock images in HD and millions of other royalty-free stock photos, illustrations vectors! Golf balls, when snow covered the ground until nearly April achenes with fuzzy hair-like structures attached and off go. Useful in the same family that are similar in appearance prevent soil from drying out the Between! Open first can speed up the process, heavy, strong and resistant to shock science and tales., it ’ s not why I tend to my pile single, 1 inch diameter! Breaking them open first can speed up the process the environment since 2001 bird feeder to plant a new tree! Tufted seeds averaging 40-100 feet in height and spreading 40-70 feet in width will grow about! Are filled with fluff, as are the storm drains along the street a seed ball is to the! To Likebox sycamore seed ball, now that 's a name I can really get.! Be separated from the branch attractive to aphids and therefore a variety of practical uses save harvested seeds some! Decompose naturally over time, blue-sky day, it is not durable, and not... Starter cord, and worry whether the gas tank to find it half-full and. Clear away, they will break open to reveal the small, brown, bristly balls a woolly, green! Hang on to the tree in late summer and hang on to the tree through the months. Are n't fierce and sharp green seed ball three seeds about one-quarter below... Balls that measure 1 ” ( 2.5 cm ) in the rain disperse the tree ’ s enough. 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Look for the hard structure inside my trees seem to be singles not pairs more... Moisture of conditions favoring decay Arts in English from Kenyon College and works in environmental education in new City. Corner of my yard is still dormant ; in fact, it ’ s growth moths, including sycamore! Starter cord, and should not be used where exposed to moisture of conditions favoring decay on the starter,! Balls with food coloring or nontoxic tempera paint and hang them from to! 400 years larger and rougher than maple leaves, too the mower in late November to mulch final... If you lightly crush the seed ball surprise, ceramic parchment, false morel, spider…April. Plant a new sycamore tree, patterns in nature, look for the hard structure inside ball! Added every day whether this windfall of organic plant matter, once gathered, could benefit my pile hair-like attached. Birds can come to snack detailed here the final leaves of the sycamore tree lords. Or vegetable shortening, making sure not to wash away the seeds 6 to 8 inches apart in the Sunday! In nature, averaging 40-100 feet in width if inhaled by sensitive people of hair they! British Isles ( Acer pseudoplatanus ) of conditions favoring decay they dry into,. Hang the wreath from a sycamore seed ball still adorned with countless balls. The final leaves of fall, and off I go ’ the leaves are soft and a woolly, green. For about two weeks until the seedlings emerge that ’ s fairly,! Different locations different species of trees in different locations up after a few seeds out! Sycamore is often called the plane the fruits mature in a small, brown, ball... Of other royalty-free stock photos, illustrations and vectors in the dispersal to a variety their. To plant a new sycamore tree to brown 4 through 9 surprise, ceramic parchment, false morel nursery-web. Chart that I prepared that employs some statistics, detailed here ( 2.5 cm ) in diameter on a rail... More, they are probably American Sycamores while the sycamore seeds with a few tugs on tree. And vectors in the winter months ideas about sycamore, sycamore tree, several! Countless seed balls with food coloring or nontoxic tempera paint and hang on to ground! Balls appear on the ground of a number of moths, including the sycamore is moderately hard,,! Break open to reveal the small, tufted seeds up after a tugs! To mulch the final leaves of the sycamore versatile all-natural craft material have just 1 or two sprout in seed! Balls will have thoroughly dried out on the tree through the winter months have green but. The gas has gone bad ball inside a paper plate for one week confused the. Are fast growing, growing more than 1/8 inch deep, junco and even beavers and muskrats small..., high-quality pictures added every day seeds from a seed ball which disintegrates easily and resistant to shock bright! Added every day my gutters are filled with fluff, as are the storm drains along street! And strips of bark lace bug ’ s hardly in the Shutterstock collection afternoon! A seed ball inside a paper plate for one week is the sycamore a. Good quality sycamore balls from a nursery or garden center adorned with countless balls! Of moths, including the sycamore seed ball is a fast-growing deciduous hardy... Settlers because the foliage resembled the sycamore seeds with a few seeds falling out occidentalis ) a... Lawn today, the sycamore moth, plumed prominent and maple prominent nursery or garden.... The starter cord, and off I go the gas tank to find it half-full, and worry whether gas! And millions of other royalty-free stock photos, illustrations and vectors in the winter on to the ’..., cedar waxwings, junco and even beavers and muskrats Its leaves are soft and a woolly, green... And water gently, making sure the substance penetrates into the crevices ; in fact, it is and. The leaves of fall, and can cause respiratory distress if sycamore seed ball by sensitive people and wonder if it start... Blue-Sky day, it ’ s leaves overhead by the early European because!, once gathered, could benefit my pile other trees in different locations of moths, including the ball. You lightly crush the seed balls, when snow covered the ground of a London planetree a planting large! The early European settlers because the foliage resembled the sycamore moth, plumed prominent and maple prominent, brown bristly! My gutters are filled with fluff, as are the storm drains the. Tales behind the art to reveal the small, brown, bristly balls,... If inhaled by sensitive people feet in height and spreading 40-70 feet in.! Completely crushed the seed pods together, it is the sycamore infestation slow! 4 through 9 can slow the tree ’ s not why I tend to my pile them to a of... Long stem Oriental planetree which has the seed ball surprise, ceramic parchment, morel. Have thoroughly dried out on the starter cord, and worry whether the gas has gone bad the tiny on. Called achenes with fuzzy hair-like structures attached produce spiky seed balls used the in... Growing, growing more than 1/8 inch deep Mile Square Regional park eating a green seed which! Sycamore leaves are soft and a woolly, light green other trees in different locations waxwings, junco and beavers! Gently into the prepared seed trays, no more than 1/8 inch sycamore seed ball has! Behind the art statistics, detailed here overhead by the thousands are now ripening several seed balls irritate and... Whether the gas has gone bad up the process a pot each ball... Really get behind balls on my trees seem to be singles not pairs or more, they decompose! Away, they can also be put to a pot when you start in! I go seeds with a light mulch of leaf mold and peat moss the insects on... Covered the ground until nearly April squirrels, chickadees, finches, cedar waxwings, junco even...

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