George W's picture

One tree or four?

Observed: 30th January 2011 By: George WGeorge W’s reputation in PlantsGeorge W’s reputation in PlantsGeorge W’s reputation in Plants

I think this sycamore is a single tree because I have seen other sycamores growing in a similar manner but am interested in the opinions/suggestions of others.
The 2nd photo is a close-up of point where the trunk splits into four and the micro-habitat created. In spring, when full with water, it teems with life.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) interacts


MrG's picture

Bundle Planting

This could be an example of bundle planting where a group of seeds or saplings are planted very close together. As the trees grow they can actually merge (inosculation). I know this occurs with beech but I assume other species are the same. I have seen an oak very similar to this. Coppicing can cause a similar effect but there is usually a clearer platform where the new shoots have arisen from.

anonymous spotter's picture

Coppicing -

this can produce the effect shown if the cut is made very low down on the stem. This is considered desirable by most woodsmen, as it means less tripping over "proud" stumps. But bundle planting, as noted above - can also produce it.

Vinny's picture

Could also have been from...

...careless mowing/strimming when the tree was very young. Or perhaps someone cut it off low to the ground not realising how readily sycamore resprout. Even as very young saplings only a foot or two high trees like sycamore and ash grow back from severe damage.