Found this last, lonely fruit of a sycamore tree in Kirby Park yesterday, all by itself, a lonely survivor after a hard winter.
Reminded me of “The Last Leaf,” a 1983 movie:
An Easter Parable: As lingering pneumonia takes her will to live, a young girl decides that she will die when the last leaf drops from a dying vine outside her window. Her neighbor, an elderly artist frustrated by his inability to paint what is in his heart, follows the example of the Savior and makes the ultimate sacrifice to save her life. In doing so, he creates the masterpiece he has been struggling to paint.
Don’t know if someone will immortalize this last, lonely fruit so my salute to it here.
Sycamore tree is deciduous tree that belongs to the plane-tree family. It originates from Europe, but it can be found around the world today. There are three basic types of sycamore: North American Sycamore, British sycamore and Middle Eastern sycamore. They differ in size, color of the bark and leaves, and habitats where they can be found. Sycamore requires fertile, moist and well-drained soil and full sun for the successful development. It usually grows near the streams, river banks and lakes. People cultivate sycamore in ornamental purposes and as a source of high-quality wood.
Interesting Sycamore tree Facts:
Sycamore can reach 98 to 130 feet in height and 4.9 to 6.6 feet in diameter.
Bark of sycamore is covered with creamy-white and reddish-brown patches on the surface. Creamy patches represent newly formed, fresh bark, while reddish-brown pieces represent exfoliating, old bark.
Mottled bark composed of irregular “flakes” creates impression of illness. Name “sycamore” probably refers to “sick” appearance of the tree.
Sycamore has broad, five lobed leaves with pointed tips. Leaves are toothed on the edges. Dark green leaves change color into bright yellow at the beginning of the autumn. Soon after, tree sheds them.
Sycamore has rounded, dome-shaped crown that is extremely dense. Twisted branches provide shelter for the small mammals such as squirrels and various birds (during the nesting season).
Sycamore is monoecious plant which means that it produces individual male and female flowers on the same plant. Flowers are yellowish-green, arranged in drooping clusters. Sycamore blooms during the April. Flowers produce nectar which attracts bees, main pollinators of this species.
Fruit of sycamore are brown, woody balls that can be seen on the tree starting from October. They remain on the tree during the winter. Fully ripe fruit splits to release seed.
Seed of sycamore are arranged in V-shaped pairs and equipped with wings that facilitate dispersal by wind. One tree produces up to 10.000 seed per season.
Sycamore seed are known as “helicopters” because of their wings that rotate similar to helicopter’s propeller on a wind.
One old sycamore tree provided protection for the large troops of General Washington during the battle on the Brandywine Battlefield Park in Pennsylvania in the 18th century. Ever since, sycamore tree is a symbol of hope and protection in the USA.
Sycamore also symbolizes strength, eternity and divinity.
Wood of sycamore is used in the industry of furniture, musical instruments, kitchenware and butchers’ blocks.
Sycamore is often planted in urban areas because of its ability tolerate air pollution and provide shade.
Sycamore also serves as windbreak thanks to strong root system that holds the plant firmly attached to the ground in areas with strong winds.
Sycamore can survive from 150 to 600 years in the wild.