Linguistic help please

floral_uk z.8/9 SW UKJune 14, 2014

I do some tourist guiding as a volunteer and Americans often ask me about some of the trees we pass. Can you put me straight on the US term for London Planes? Do you call them by that name or are they Sycamores to you? The other tree I need help on is what I call a Sycamore i.e. Acer platanoides. What would you call it? And, not tree related, but can you help on ground floor (i.e. the floor you go in on) and first floor (i.e. up one flight of stairs)? Would you call that the first floor and the second floor? Thanks, Flora.

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Acer platanoides is the norway maple, I think you confuse it with acer pseudoplatanus

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 3:16PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

the ground floor.. is the first floor..

if you walk up steps.. you are on the second floor ... crikey ... lol [and if you go down steps.. from the entry point.. you are in the basement [what do you call that.. a cellar???? ... lol]

sycamore.. to us.. is a plane to you.. it ought to be plain enough.. lol ...

a norway.. is a horrible tree... and they should simply be told that ... if a tree.. is so aggressive.. in sunlight and water usage.. that you cant grow the most aggressive weed in the universe under it.. that being grass ... then its an evil tree.. plain enough.. but not a plane ...

if you get this deep into trees.. on a garden tour.. i would really.. really.. like to tour a garden with you some time ...

and mind you.. this is all common names ... and therein.. lies the problem.. dont you think ...


ps: and cut the darn forsythia down ... lol

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 3:34PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Thanks, Huggorm. I got them mixed up. Should have checked. So what do you call Acer pseudoplatanus?

Ken - it's a city tour, not a garden tour. But there are some impressive trees around here and even non plant people get curious.

And leave that Forsythia in peace. Back off with the truck and put the mustard bottle away.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 4:08PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Sycamore here is usually American sycamore or Platanus occidentalis. London plane tree is a recognized term here, so that's all right.

I give garden tours at a local house museum. A couple of years ago, I was dealing with a group from southern California. They wanted to know all sorts of things about the woods we walk past from the house to the garden. I know trees by leaves, but they were interested in the large trunks that had leaves buried in the canopy - somewhere. I know the lawn trees, but had never been asked about the oaks and maples before.

Ken, there is no reason to touch the forsythia.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 4:25PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Acer pseudoplatanus is usually called "sycamore MAPLE" to distinguish from Platanus.

London Plane is London Plane, but may be called a sycamore occasionally...but Platanus occadentalis is "the" tree Americans call Sycamore.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 6:10PM
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And neither the sycamore maple nor the plane tree is really a sycamore, both has been named after the sycamore fig tree mentioned in the bible

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 3:19AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Thanks every one. All very useful. The last people asking about the London Planes were from Texas. They were enjoying the cool of a boiling hot English Summer's day - it was almost up as high as 70f ;-)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 7:03AM
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There are genetic differences between the London plane and the American Sycamore, not sure if tourists care to know this though. The London plane is a less vigorous form of American Sycamore, and can take more in the way of wet springs, than the American Sycamore. The Sycamore gets a white trunk in older age (with some tan and greenish here and there) the Sycamore gets huge and grand faster than the London plane. The Sycamore gets Anthractnose where the London plane doesn't get it at all or less often. I am not aware of a sycamore dying from Anthractnose though. Not to say it doesn't happen. I am not aware of any dying though.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 11:49PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

'The London plane is a less vigorous form of American Sycamore.' My understanding is that LP's origins are not well understood but that it generally considered a hybrid of Platanus orientalis and P occidentalis (American Plane) or that it is a cultivar of P orientalis, i.e. not a 'form' of American Sycamore.

We have a lot of London Planes where I live, many around 200 years old, some not ideally situated.......

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 5:07AM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

I was in Paris a few years ago. Are those London Plane trees growing all over the city?
I've never delved in to the correct nomenclature of the Sycamores and Plane trees because they're too big for the average yard and are not real common here in the Seattle area. Where I do see them in commercial landscapes, they're a maintenance nightmare. We deal with Acer macrophyllum at that scale and they are usually removed as neighborhoods mature. We like our views and what little sun we get. Shade trees are not normally a high priority here.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 6:56AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Mike - we don't need shade either. We just like greenery. I'm not sure what Planes they have in Paris but Planes they certainly are.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 12:39PM
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