The sycamore, native to central Europe, is a beautiful tree which can live to over 300 years; in maturity its domed crown achieves magnificent proportions. The leaves are large and bright green, with 5 lobes, similar in shape to the native Norway maple (A. platanoides), though the sycamore’s leaf lobes are more tapered and their edges rounder. In Finland the summers are usually too short for the foliage to take on autumn colour. Even when bare of leaves, the species is easy to identify by its buds, which remain green.
In Finland, as in other countries, the sycamore is classed as invasive because it has shown a tendency to spread from gardens into the wild throughout Scandinavia. However, the climate here is so severe that the species is at the limits of its hardiness and escapees are rare so far.
At Mustila there are several old sycamores which have remained small and almost shrub-like due to frost damage in severe winters. A small plantation of seedlings from four Slovakian mountain provenances was established in 2009. They are expected to be hardier in Mustila’s climate than specimens from central European nurseries.