Smart, Cost-Effective, Treasured for Generations.

Sycamore

Platanus occidentalis - Other Name: Buttonwood, Plane tree
 
 

Stain Selector

Clear

Light

Medium

Dark

 

Where It Grows

Throughout Eastern U.S. Average tree height is 60 to 125 feet with peeling outer bark and a smooth, mottled cream, tan and green inner bark resembling camouflage.

Main uses

Furniture, furniture parts (drawer sides), millwork, paneling and mouldings, flooring, kitchenware, butchers blocks, toys and fruit crates.

Relative Abundance

Together, aspen, basswood, cottonwood, elm, gum, hackberry, sassafras, sycamore and willow represent 12.5 percent of commercially available U.S. hardwoods.

Did You Know?

The sycamore has the largest leaf of any tree native to North America.

General Description

The sapwood of sycamore is white to light yellow, while the heartwood is light to dark brown. The wood has a fine close texture with interlocked grain. Contrasts well with other species.

Working Properties

The wood machines well, but high speed cutters are needed to prevent chipping. It is resistant to splitting due to the interlocked grain. The wood glues well and stains, with care, to an excellent finish. It dries fairly rapidly, with a tendency to warp. It has moderate shrinkage and little movement in performance.

Physical Properties

The wood is classified as moderate in weight, hardness, stiffness and shock resistance. It turns well on the lathe and has good bending qualities.

Availability

Reasonable availability.

Working Properties


Machining

 
 
 
 
 
Poor
Good

Nailing

 
 
 
 
 
Poor
Good

Screwing

 
 
 
 
 
Poor
Good

Gluing

 
 
 
 
 
Poor
Good

Finishing

 
 
 
 
 
Poor
Good
 

Strength and Mechanical Properties (inch-pound)a


 

Static Bending

Moisture Content

Specific Gravity (b)

Modulus of Rupture
(lbf/in2)

Modulus of Elasticity (c)
(106 lbf/in2)

Work to Maximum Load
(in-lbf/in3)

Green-12% 0.46-0.49 6,500-10,000 1.06-1.42 7.5-8.5

Impact Bending
to Grain
(in)

Compression
Parallel to Grain
(lbf/in2)

Compression
Perpendicular to Grain
(lbf/in2)

Shear
Parallel to Grain
(lbf/in2)

Tension
Perpendicular to Grain
(lbf/in2)

Side Hardness
(lbf)

26 2,920-5,380 360-700 1,000-1,470 630-720 610-770

a) Results of tests on small clear specimens in the green and air-dried conditions. Definition of properties; impact bending is height of drop that causes complete failure, using 0.71-kg (50 lb.) hammer; compression parallel to grain is also called maximum crushing strength; compression perpendicular to grain is fiber stress at proportional limit; shear is maximum shearing strength; tension is maximum tensile strength; and side hardness is hardness measured when load is perpendicular to grain.

b) Specific gravity is based on weight when ovendry and volume when green or at 12% moisture content

c) Modulus of elasticity measured from a simply supported, center-loaded beam, on a span depth ratio of 14/1. To correct for shear reflection, the modulus can be increased by 10%.