Columbia Sycamore (Platanus x acerifolia ‘Columbia’)

Columbia Sycamore

  • Wonderful Shade Tree
  • Perfect Formal Growth Habit
  • Distinctive Large Leaves
  • Winter Interest
  • Improved Plane Tree
  • Highly Disease Resistant Variety
  • Tolerates Urban Conditions
  • Can Be Used in Low-Lying Areas With Moist Soil
  • Supports Birds and Butterflies
  • Widely Adaptable
  • Heat Tolerant
  • Cold Hardy

With their intricate, highly colored, exfoliating bark; dignified Sycamore trees bring so much interest in a landscape. One of the best varieties is the disease-resistant Colombia Sycamore (Platanus x acerifolia ‘Columbia’).

The trunk soars straight upright. Overall, the tree has a formal, narrow and erect form that suits the sensibilities of modern landscapes.

Gorgeous mottled bark displays silvery gray-brown with peeling patches of white, green and orange. You’ll be simply fascinated by these trees, like so many other people over the centuries.

You’ll also love the impact of the large, deeply lobed Sycamore leaves. They cast delicious shade for your outdoor activities and their rough texture will really stand out.

Columbia develops into a statement shade tree that will turn heads in each season. It features striking good looks, beautiful leaves that turn golden for fall and a desirable tall, narrow growth habit.

It’s also an easy-care, reliable tree that can be grown in the heart of the city. Widely adaptable for a variety of landscapes across the country, Columbia Sycamore is a first-rate choice. And it’s highly resistant to anthracnose and mildew.

How to Use Columbia Sycamore in the Landscape

Of course, you’ll love the refreshing shade and overall form of this appealing pyramidal tree in summertime. But this special tree is also fabulous in wintertime.

This large tree is perhaps best used in wide open areas. Give it room to spread to its full size without hindrance. In a short time, it will become a gorgeous specimen for you.

Do yourself a favor, and plant it at least 30 feet from paved concrete. Consider mulching underneath and using shade-tolerant shrubs underneath to boost the visual appeal and keep it easy to maintain.

All trees should be used correctly for best results. Columbia Sycamore is no exception. Give it the room it needs and site it correctly. You’ll be thrilled with it.

This is a great feature tree for use in a Rain Garden. It can grow in periodically moist soil, so leverage it to help filter runoff from roofs and streets before it flows into storm drains.

Columbia Sycamore makes a memorable shade tree when planted on the south or southwest portion of your lot. It will reduce your energy bills and improve the quality of your life outdoors.

If you have the room, try several in an informal group in a “rough area” along the back edge of your property. You’ll gain a lovely view and support the needs of your local birds and butterflies.

While young, limb up the lower branches to raise the canopy high enough to walk underneath. You can also allow them to remain on the tree for additional screening.

Tips for Care

Columbia Sycamore in full sun, with rich soil. It tolerates clay and periodically wet soils. However, once established, it will adapt to a very wide array of soil types.

It can grow in areas with high levels of environmental salt, alkaline soil, smog and pollution. Heat tolerant and cold hardy, the Colombia is truly a symbol of grace under pressure.

Provide a moderate amount of water on a regular basis. Prune in late winter to correct shape.

Fertilize in early spring with a slow-release organic formula. Follow label instructions for application rates.

Columbia Sycamore (Platanus x acerifolia ‘Columbia’) Details

Common name Columbia Sycamore
Botanical name Platanus x acerifolia 'Columbia'
Hardiness zone 5-9
Growth rate Medium
Harvest time Summer
Height 50-60'
Width 40'
Sunlight Full Sun
Moisture Medium to High
Soil condition Well-Drained
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Flower color Yellow
Leaf color Deciduous