California Sycamore

american elm tree
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americanelm
american-elm3

Description

This large tree grows to 35 metres (110 ft) in height with a trunk diameter of up to one meter (three feet). The trunk generally divides into two or more large trunks splitting into many branches. The bark is an attractive patchwork of white, tawny beige, pinkish gray, and pale brown, with older bark becoming darker and peeling away.

Common Uses

Veneer, plywood, interior trim, pallets/crates, flooring, furniture, particleboard, paper (pulpwood), tool handles, and other turned objects.

Appearance

The wood of Sycamore trees is predominantly comprised of the sapwood, with some darker heartwood streaks also found in most boards. The sapwood is white to light tan, while the heartwood is a darker reddish brown. Sycamore also has very distinct ray flecks present on quartersawn surfaces.

Workability

Overall, Sycamore works easily with both hand and machine tools, though the interlocked grain can be troublesome in surfacing and machining operations at times. Sycamore turns, glues, and finishes well. Responds poorly to steam bending.