It is not often in the hardwood lumber industry that you hear about a manufacturer using Sycamore in their production. However, that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked. Sycamore is an excellent species choice when used in the right situation.
American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), can go by a variety of names, such as Buttonwood, American Plane, Water Beech, Ghost Tree, and sometimes Virginia Maple. Sycamore is usually found throughout the eastern portion of the United States, and most often in the region of the Mississippi River Valley. While similar in name, American Sycamore should not be confused with European Sycamore. We would consider European Sycamore closer to a Maple specie since it comes from the Acer pseduoplatanus family.
Often, Sycamore trees attain a height of over 100 feet with an average diameter of 3 to 8 feet. Because of the great heights and diameters typically attained by Sycamore trees they often produce excellent sized logs. Since the logs are of such generous size, the hardwood logs harvested are ideal for many woodworking applications because of the above average widths and lengths that can be obtained from these logs.
From our experience, we find that Sycamore is traditionally used in the production of furniture, furniture parts, joinery paneling and mouldings. In some instances, it can even be used for kitchenware and cutting boards. However, because Sycamore is classified as a moderate hardness hardwood, it rarely found in the production of hardwood flooring. When sycamore logs are quartersawn they are also an excellent choice for high-quality veneers and paneling due to its high degree of fleck.
American Lumber does have access to Sycamore logs and lumber. If you are interested in using American Sycamore, reach out to us, we would be happy to help!