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. It is not related in any way to European sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus), but it has the same family classification, and similar characteristics to European plane (Platanus orientalis). Contrasts well with other species.
Other Common names
Buttonwood, American plane
Distribution & Availability
Throughout the Eastern USA. Reasonable availability in a range of specifications and grades in lumber and veneer, although availability in export markets may vary and be quite limited where demand or interest is low.
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Physical & Mechanical 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.
American sycamore - Physical & Mechanical Properties
|Specific Gravity (12% M.C.):||0.49|
|Average Weight (12% M.C.):||545 kg/m3|
|Average Volume Shrinkage (Green to 6% M.C.):||11.40%|
|Modulus of Rupture:||68.950 MPa|
|Modulus of Elasticity:||9791 MPa|
|Compressive strength (parallel to grain): ||37.095 MPa|
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 and polishes, with care, to an excellent finish. It dries fairly rapidly, with a tendency to warp. It has moderate shrinkage and little movement in performance.
American sycamore - Working Properties
Furniture, furniture parts (drawer sides), internal joinery, panelling and mouldings, kitchen ware, butchers blocks and veneered panels.
American sycamore - Main Uses
|Mouldings and |
In some export regions, such as Europe, sycamore refers to a specific “maple” looking wood species, which can cause confusion. American sycamore produces the same wood as European plane with its distinct grain pattern, but is probably more commercially available and, therefore, has the potential to be more widely used.
Select your species
- American alder
- American ash
- American aspen
- American basswood
- American beech
- American yellow birch
- American cherry
- American cottonwood
- American elm
- American gum
- American hackberry
- American hickory & pecan
- American hard maple
- American soft maple
- American red oak
- American white oak
- American sycamore
- American tulipwood
- American walnut
- American willow
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