London Plane (Sycamore)

GENUS: PLATANUS

London plane sycamore trees define the Fab Forties and many other Sacramento neighborhoods. Tall with a whitish, peeling bark, they spread when mature and bring filtered shade. These sycamore hybrids are very adaptable and grow in different types of soils under varying moisture conditions. Their leaves are maple-like, but are distinguished by a furry coating. 

   

Characteristics

Color / Appearance

Similar to maple, the wood of London plane trees is predominantly composed of the sapwood, with some darker heartwood streaks also found in most boards. The sapwood is white to light pinkish tan, while the heartwood is a darker reddish brown. London plane also has very distinct ray flecks present on quartersawn surfaces--giving it a freckled appearance--and it is sometimes even called "Lacewood," though it bears little botanical relation to the tropical species of Lacewood.

Grain / Texture

Fine, even texture that's very similar to maple. The grain is usually straight.

Workability

Works easily with both hand and machine tools, though tearout can sometimes occur in the rays of perfectly quartersawn sections during planing. It turns, glues, and finishes well. 

Common Uses

Veneer, plywood, interior trim, pallets/crates, flooring, furniture, carvings, and other small specialty wood objects.

Characteristics used by permission from The Wood Database

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