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Uses

Toxic parts

In hot dry climates the hairs of the fruits and leaves are believed to cause an effect similar to hay fever[1][2].

Edible uses

Notes

The sweet sap is tapped in the spring and used in the preparation of syrup and sugar[3][4][5].

Unknown part

Material uses

A fairly wind resistant tree, it can be grown as part of a shelterbelt planting[2]. Wood - coarse-grained, tough, strong, very durable, difficult to split[6][7][8]. Rather weak according to other reports[9][10]. It weighs 35lb per cubic foot[11], and is used for furniture, chopping boards etc[6][7][8][10]. Trunks of wild trees can be up to 4.5 metres in diameter and these were at one time hollowed out to make barges capable of carrying several tons of goods[12].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The inner bark is astringent, diuretic, emetic and laxative[13]. It has been used as a tea in the treatment of dysentery, coughs, colds, lung ailments, haemorrhages, measles, milky and difficult urination etc and also as a blood tonic[13][14]. Externally, it has been used as a wash on wounds[14]. An infusion of the bark and roots has been used as a foot soak for treating rheumatism[14].

The bark ooze has been used as a wash on infected sores and an infusion has been given in the treatment of infant rash[14].

An infusion of the bark, mixed with honey locust bark (Gleditsia triacanthos), has been used as a gargle to treat hoarseness and sore throat[14].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Canopy

Ecological Functions

Windbreak

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - two months cold stratification improves germination[15]. Sow spring in a cold frame in light shade[16][17]. Home grown seed is often of poor quality and low viability. It is best to harvest the seed in late winter or spring and then sow it immediately in a cold frame[18]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

Cuttings of mature wood of the current years growth, 20 - 30 cm with a heel, autumn in a cold frame[19]. Easy[2].

Layering of stools in spring or autumn. Takes 12 months[16].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Platanus occidentalis. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a deep moist loam[19], though it tolerates very wet, poorly drained soils[10]. Requires full sun[2]. Tolerates atmospheric pollution and compacted soils[2]. Established plants are drought tolerant[2]. Fairly wind-resistant[2]. A fast-growing and long-lived tree[2][10], but it is of no value in Britain, being very susceptible to attack by parasitic fungi[1]. Fairly slow-growing according to another report, which also says that the tree is long-lived in the wild[9]. This species does not do well north of Central France, it requires long hot summers to fully ripen its wood[2].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Platanus occidentalis. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Platanus occidentalis.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Platanus occidentalis
Genus
Platanus
Family
Platanaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
5
Heat Zone
?
Water
high
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Drought
  • Strong wind
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
Fertility
?
Pollinators
?
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type

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References

  1. ? 1.01.11.2 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
  2. ? 2.002.012.022.032.042.052.062.072.082.092.10 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  3. ? 3.03.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
  4. ? 4.04.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
  5. ? 5.05.1 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
  6. ? 6.06.16.2 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.17.2 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
  8. ? 8.08.18.2 Hill. A. F. Economic Botany. The Maple Press (1952-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.19.2 Vines. R.A. Trees of North Texas University of Texas Press. ISBN 0292780206 (1982-00-00)
  10. ? 10.010.110.210.310.4 Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. ISBN 0442238622 (1980-00-00)
  11. ? 11.011.1 Britton. N. L. Brown. A. An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada Dover Publications. New York. ISBN 0-486-22642-5 (1970-00-00)
  12. ? 12.012.1 Lauriault. J. Identification Guide to the Trees of Canada Fitzhenry and Whiteside, Ontario. ISBN 0889025649 (1989-00-00)
  13. ? 13.013.113.2 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
  14. ? 14.014.114.214.314.414.5 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
  15. ? Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
  16. ? 16.016.1 Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
  17. ? Gordon. A. G. and Rowe. D. C. f. Seed Manual for Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. ()
  18. ? McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed. Grower Books ISBN 0-901361-21-6 (1985-00-00)
  19. ? 19.019.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  20. ? Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany. American Book Co. (1950-00-00)

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