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. 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. Then I look at a chart that I prepared that employs some statistics, detailed here. 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. Initially, the sycamore seed balls have green color but they later change to brown. Similar Images . Cover the sycamore seeds with a light mulch of leaf mold and peat moss. Wear a mask or respirator and gloves when removing the seeds from a seed ball. Squirrel at Mile Square Regional Park eating a green seed ball from a sycamore tree. Bark of an old Sycamore. Keep the seeds 6 to 8 inches apart in the trays. A lightly-crushed sycamore seed ball. When the seed balls are dry, they will break open to reveal the small, tufted seeds. It is not durable, and should not be used where exposed to moisture of conditions favoring decay. 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. Thousands of new, high … To plant a new sycamore tree, gather several seed balls and bring them indoors to dry on a paper plate for one week. How Can I Tell the Difference Between a Sapling Redbud or a River Birch Tree? Select a planting site large enough to accommodate a full-grown sycamore tree. 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 … Each seedhead has a tail, which ripens into silken strands. The seeds can be separated from the fluff and saved. Sycamore seeds are mainly dispersed by wind. 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. Since the seed balls on my trees seem to be singles not pairs or more, they are probably American Sycamores. 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 insects feed on the undersides of the sycamore’s leaves. Sycamore balls contain tufts of … The fruits mature in a small, brown, burr-like ball that hangs from the branch. I mowed the lawn today, the first Sunday of March. Place the sycamore seed ball inside a paper bag. Hang the wreath from a ribbon when it is dry. 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. 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 trees (Platanus spp.) dandelion, seeds, nature, spring, flower, dandelion seeds, close up, summer, roadside, plant, wild flower Public Domain Thousands of new, high-quality pictures added every day. 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. 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 balls are very light, and can float on water, which is useful in the dispersal. If you lightly crush the seed ball, you can see how the seeds fit together so tightly. Within each ball are tiny, seed-like fruits that disperse in downy tufts like daffodil fluff, as the balls disintegrate. In late spring, select a location with plenty of sun where the sycamore tree will have room to thrive after it is fully grown. Step 6 - Maintain the Seedlings. Find Sycamore Seed Ball stock images in HD and millions of other royalty-free stock photos, illustrations and vectors in the Shutterstock collection. While sycamore seed balls can be a nuisance to clear away, they can also be put to a variety of practical uses. Once you have completely crushed the seed ball, look for the hard structure inside. 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. It’s fairly messy, shedding a generous supply of leaves, seed balls, twigs and strips of bark. But the engine starts up after a few tugs on the starter cord, and off I go. Press the seeds gently into the prepared seed trays, no more than 1/8 inch deep. My goal is to have just 1 or two sprout in each seed ball. The wood of sycamore is moderately hard, heavy, strong and resistant to shock. 1 Locate a fruiting sycamore in mid-summer. The leaves of the plane and sycamore are somewhat similar in shape, but they belong to different families. 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.”. Though a bright, blue-sky day, it’s hardly in the mid-40s by mid afternoon. This tree is also known as the American planetree or the buttonball tree, due to the brown, spiky seed balls it produces each year. Her work has appeared in "Isotope," "Green Prints," "The Hudson River Almanac," "The Conservationist" and other publications. Tagged sycamore seed balls, www.eattheweeds.com, www.homeguides.sfgate.com. Hang outdoors in the winter where birds can come to snack. Choose a shallow growing tray, but one that’s deep enough to let the seed take root. , 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 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. I need to know the germination rate of the 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. If there are 3-5 seed pods, it is an Oriental planetree which has the seed pods hanging like beads. If there are two seed pods together, it’s a London planetree. The common sycamore tree (with the fruit ball) is platanus occidentalis, also called american plane tree, buttonball, buttonwood, water beech. Share your thoughts, experiences and the tales behind the art. Sow one to three seeds about one-quarter inch below the soil and water gently, making sure not to wash away the seeds. Continue to water for about two weeks until the seedlings emerge. The most obvious role of a sycamore ball is to disperse the tree’s seeds. 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. Xylobolus frustulatus, now that's a name I can really get behind. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. They are a fast-growing species that gain roughly 2 feet annually and have a complex system of roots. The American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) is a fast-growing deciduous tree hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 4 through 9. Similar Images . The downspouts of my gutters are filled with fluff, as are the storm drains along the street. Find sycamore tree seed pod stock images in HD and millions of other royalty-free stock photos, illustrations and vectors in the Shutterstock collection. They are larger and rougher than maple leaves, too. In Scotland the sycamore is often called the plane. The tiny hairs on the seed balls irritate skin and can cause respiratory distress if inhaled by sensitive people. Sycamore seed balls, when washed and dried, make a versatile all-natural craft material. While the sycamore lace bug’s damage is rarely serious, a heavy infestation can slow the tree’s growth. Breaking them open first can speed up the process. 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.. have round, 1 1/2 inch diameter, spiky-looking balls, but the spikes aren't fierce and sharp. #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 spiky surface of a sycamore seed ball makes it ideal for creating a simple bird feeder. Sycamore is often planted in parks and large gardens. Nov 1, 2014 - Explore April Morgan's board "Sycamore Art Project" on Pinterest. They dangle from branches on long stems. Sycamore seeds grow best when you start them in a tray and then transfer them to a pot. At first green and somewhat fuzzy-looking, they dry into brown, bristly balls. 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. No worries about raking them up! Growing a sycamore from the seed ball stage involves the following steps: Procure good quality sycamore balls from a nursery or garden center. Each Sycamore is attractive to aphids and therefore a variety of their predators, such as ladybirds, hoverflies and birds. “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. 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. Why mow, and why now? Roll the ball in sunflower or pumpkin seeds. 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. Sycamore Tree Pests. To plant a new sycamore tree, gather several seed balls and bring them indoors to dry on a paper plate for one week. There’s a big spider down there! Pedtke holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Kenyon College and works in environmental education in New York City. 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. 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 leaves are eaten by caterpillars of a number of moths, including the sycamore moth, plumed prominent and maple prominent. Sycamore leaves are reminiscent of maple leaves with more jagged serrations. With the soil temperatures even lower, the grass is still dormant; in fact, it is brown and brittle. 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. 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 seed ball surprise, ceramic parchment, false morel, nursery-web spider…April in Missouri woods Arachnophobes, be warned! 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. But that’s not why I tend to my pile. Sycamore trees produce spiky seed balls that measure 1” (2.5 cm) in diameter. Start sycamore trees from seed in early spring since the seed balls will have thoroughly dried out on the tree during the winter months. I look up through the sycamore arching branches to see as many, if not more, seed balls wait to fall across my yard. 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. 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. Woodland creatures and some waterfowl eat the seeds found inside sycamore balls. The fruits appear in late summer and hang on to the tree through the winter. Ann Pedtke has been writing about science and the environment since 2001. If the tree has single seed pod, it is the sycamore. The most obvious role of a sycamore ball is to disperse the tree’s seeds. The leaves and leaf stems also have a coating of hair when they are new. The Homeschool Scientist: Easy to Make Bird Feeders, Carolinas Composting Council: Yes You Can, How to Harvest the Fruit of a Sycamore Tree. They are fast growing, growing more than two feet a year. I ‘think’ the leaves looked like the American Sycamore but I may even have seen different species of trees in different locations. Add to Likebox 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 plant will grow to about 4 inches (10 cm) in the first 2 months. 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 last used the mower in late November to mulch the final leaves of fall, and wonder if it will start up. 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. Many problems are associated with sycamore trees. Save harvested seeds for some varieties of squirrels, chickadees, finches, cedar waxwings, junco and even beavers and muskrats. Because sycamore seed balls are organic plant matter, they will decompose naturally over time. A sycamore seed ball with a few seeds falling out. 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