Acer pseudoplatanus

Sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)

The sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus ) is a deciduous tree of the genus of the maples (Acer). It is widely distributed in Europe and both as a park tree and forestry is an important representative of its genus. To emphasize its genus belonging to the maples, the hyphen notation is common in botany.

  • 5.1 wood
  • 5.2 Miscellaneous


The mountain - maple can be over 30 meters high and over 500 years old. With emerging branches and a rounded crown he possesses as a solitary plant an impressive figure.

The bark on young trees is light brown - gray and smooth. It is changed with age to dark gray, is schwachborkig and scrolls at an advanced age from platy. The appearance of the strain is then similar plane trees.

The opposite leaves are five-lobed, with the middle three lobes are fully developed. Compared to Maple leaf rag of mountain maple are less pointed and not pulled out the tips of the lobes in long, narrow lobes. The individual lobes meet at an acute angle. The leaf blade is drawn around the peduncle. The blades are up to 20 cm long and up to about 15 cm wide. On the top they are dark green, hand dyed brighter and slightly hairy on the veins and nerves angles. The leaf margin serrate to crenate. The palmately lobed leaves resemble those of the sycamore, whereupon the botanical name pseudoplatanus points.

The flowers are hermaphrodite, in principle, with individual flowers on the same tree, the male or the female plants can be suppressed. They are yellow -green with five petals leaf circles, in terminal, grape-like, pendulous racemes. The sycamore flowers in May with the leaves or immediately thereafter.

The fruits are carpels, with two projecting at an acute angle wings. They are typical screws flyer with about 16 revolutions per second. By the wind, they are often worn more than 100 meters.







Half a fruit with seeds removed


The sycamore is native to Europe and western Asia. In Central Europe it is the most common maple. As a tree of cool - moist mountain climate are its centers of distribution in the middle and higher elevations of the southern and central European mountain ranges. In the uplands it is of about 900 (Harz and Erzgebirge) to 1300 m at home (Bavarian Forest), he goes in the northern Alps to 1700 m, in the Central Alps to almost 2000 m high. The sycamore maple often rises together with the rowan up in high montane locations. But along with the book he also happens in the hills and forms the so-called ash and elm ravine forests ( Aceri - Fraxinetum ).

In southern Spain and southern Greece he is missing. Also in the North German Plain it is found only there, where he was put forward by the people.

In northern Europe and the British Isles there are no natural occurrence of mountain maple, but he is often cultivated and then comes neophyte before. In Denmark, the sycamore maple is named after the German forester Johann Georg von Langen, who is considered the founder of planned forestry Denmark, also known as " From Langen's footsteps ."

Common names

Are and were the, often only regional common names for the sycamore: Abhorn ( Old High German ), Acher ( Carinthia in the valley of Lesa ), Achor ( Middle High German ), Achorn ( Middle High German ), spike, Aerle, Aernbaum, After maple, Aharen ( middle High German ), Ahern ( middle High German ), Ahören ( middle High German ), Ahor ( middle High German ), Ahoren ( middle High German ), Maple, Ahre, Ahürn (Mecklenburg), Alhorn, Amhorn, anchore, Anchorn, Anerle, Aorn ( middle High German ), Arle, Arnholz ( middle High German ), Asthüren ( Transylvania), wide Löbere ( Austria ), wide Lobere, Buchéschern, honor ( Schwaben), honor tree, decorations wood, unicorn, angel's head tree (Silesia ), Ash Dorn, Wild fig tree, wavy grain ( middle High German ), Fladerbaum ( middle High German ), Gaisbaum, clone ( Lower), Lauter tree, Lefelbum ( Transylvania in Sighisoara ), Leimáhre, Big Massholder, milk tree (Alsace, Switzerland ), Milenbaum, Öhrn, Ohern ( middle High German ), Ohorn (St. Gallen), Ohorenbaum ( middle High German ), ear, Pladerbóm ( middle Low German ), Plederenbóm ( middle Low German ), spill wood ( Saxony), stem wood (Saxony), Steinahre, stone honor, stone ear, Ure ( Bohemia Ore Mountains), Urle (Silesia ), Urlenbaum (Silesia ), forest Eschern, grape leaf and vine leaves.


Silvicultural serves sycamore maple adjacent to the existing on suitable locations high value power as a valuable mixed species of soil improvement and environmental enrichment. The strong, resulting from branching of the taproot root heart opens up the floor well. It goes into depth without branch out further. The leaves of all maples rot to bodenpfleglichem Mull. Sycamore tapers very well naturally. As a pioneer tree species can tap into raw soils, tilting and by its early onset, many fructification somewhat poorer soils.

The sycamore is like the Norway maple in youth very fast growing. After 10 years already about 4 feet high, it can reach about 16 meters in height after 20 years. The final height is about 35 meters. The growth is on average sites but relatively early after, so that they are caught up and grow in the wake of the red beech.

Epiphytes or epiphytes such as mosses and lichens use especially at higher altitudes or humid valleys of the mountain maple as a base to better come to light. Since they do not penetrate into the tree, they do no harm. On the bark seated sensitive lichens such as Usnea are a sign of high air purity.

Habitat for insects


In and from the wood of the maple sycamore the caterpillars of Weidenbohrer and Blausieb live. From the leaves of the caterpillars of Ahorneule, maple tensioner and dandruff Spinner live.


The maple moth lives in rolled leaves, maple leaf miner in the fruits. The caterpillar of the maple moth eats seeds initially and after overwintering leaves spun together.


The paving beetle ( alternative name: Spanish fly ) eating leaves, its larvae develop in wild bee nests. The Maple Leaf Roller prepared for his boys funnel roles of maple leaves. The larvae of several longhorn beetle species feed on dry or already rotten branches, twigs and root stumps of mountain - maple: maple Bock, Schwarzschwänziger Longhorn, Colorful disc Bock, Bock Keulenfüßiger check. In wooden sick or diseased trees and the Buchennutzholz - bark beetle lives.

Wild bees

In addition to honey bees lying between willow and cherry abundant early summer costume of the maple sycamore draws mostly between May 20 to June 15 and wild bee species such as the Rotpelzige sand bee Rotschopfige Sandbiene, the Red Mason Bee and the Horned mason bee to. Feast on the nectar in addition to the two above-mentioned types of mason bees ( Osmia ) according to studies by Paul Westrich total of two furrows bee species ( Lasioglossum ) and eleven sand bees ( Andrena ).

Other insects

In addition, often the Hörnchengallmilbe ( Aceria macrorhyncha ) and the larvae of Ahorngallwespe live ( Pediapsis aceris ) in the maple leaves.



See main article: Maple

The sycamore has a rotation period of 120-140 years in forestry. After 120 years, a trunk diameter of 60 cm is reached.

The wood is hard, but easy to work with and is counted on the basis of its quality to the precious hardwoods. For high-quality strains rates of several thousand euros to be achieved. The maximum price for a French sycamore with Shroud Assembly amounted to more than 61,000 euros. The lock-out caused by darkening of the medullary rays and only occurs in 3% of sycamores. Flamed maples are now mostly sourced from Tyrol, France, Scotland and Bosnia in small numbers.

Even the lake-dwellers of the Stone and Bronze Age took the wood of the maple often, but it is not particularly weather resistant. It is used for joinery and turnery ( tool handles, furniture, parquet floors, etc. ). Particularly in demand are bolt maple. However, also known bird -eye maple wood is not from the sycamore and is found only in the North American sugar maple. These are strains with unusual wavy grain, whereby the wood is very decorative. A special use is to use as a sounding board for the construction of musical instruments such as string instruments, stringed instruments and bassoons. Here, the maple is used because of its elasticity and in the fine pores making violins for the preparation of the ribs and because of its optical unusual for the production of the violin floors. However, solely the ceiling is solely responsible for the sound quality and is practically always made of fine-grained spruce.

Wood properties:


On roads provides sycamore maple because of the large leaves relatively good noise protection, but is sensitive to road salt.

The bleeding sap of early spring was formerly used for sugar production. The sap can also be fermented to a most- or wine-like beverage.

The foliage can be used as sheep and goat feed and as litter.

The flowers make the spring is a rich source of nectar that is often used by honey bees. The honey obtained therefrom, usually mixed with dandelion, is of excellent quality. Pure honey varieties, there are only a few mountain areas with extensive mixed deciduous forests, where high mountain maple - share. This honey is pale yellow, mild in flavor and aroma and crystallized fine -grained paste. The bees can also collect very abundant greenish pollen grains. With up to 25 million pollen grains per inflorescence of mountain maple is way ahead of the Norway maple with 238,000 pollen grains.

Diseases and enemies

Young mountain maples are late frost. You are gnawed by voles and wild she bites like, so they often need to be protected from this. The mountain - maple can be neither longer nor lack of water flooding tolerated. Often, the most striking Teerfleckenkrankheit occurs when infected by the parasitic fungus maple leaf Runzelschorf games turn black. However, this disease does not kill the tree.


The so-called " maple floors " on pastures are created by encouraging the species by humans. A particularly good example is the Great and Small maple floor in the northern Karwendel Mountains, a popular destination for day trips and hikes.

Legendary was the maple of Trun, under whose crown 1424 Grey League was founded. The members met until 1870 under this tree, to confirm the covenant, then he was thrown from a storm. The shattered Strunk was carried in a funeral procession in the courtroom of Chur. Parts of the old base can be seen today in the Museum Sursilvan in Trun. Today, at the same place there is a new maple which was traced from a cutting of the tree oath.

After the Norway maple has already been elected to the Tree of the Year in Germany in 1995, In 2009, the mountain maple bestowed this honor. In Austria in 2005, the group of maple trees ( sycamore, maple Spitz and Field Maple ) were elected to the tree of the year.

Like many other species of maple also, the leaves of the maple sycamore tends to be bright red autumn colors.

For horses, the ripe fruit of the sycamore are highly toxic and consumption leads to death within three days.

Cultivated forms

  • 'Atropurpureum ', also called blood maple, is 12 to 18 m high. The leaves are red when they emerge and the lower leaf surface is colored dark purple.
  • ' Brillantissimum ', grows as 3 to 4 m tall small tree or as a high- strain than 5-6 m high ball maple. The leaves change color to pink bud over green to yellow.
  • ' Erectum ' is well suited because it at 15 m for street planting - is only 5 to 10 m wide, 20 m in height.
  • Erythrocarpum: the fruit leaves are bright red.
  • ' Negenia ', grows with pyramdialer crown and is 20 to 25 m high and 15-20 m wide.
  • ' Rotterdam ' is 20-25 m in height and 8 to 10 m width greater than ' Erectum '.