Honestly, until this year (or maybe last), I haven't thought much about sycamore trees. I am not sure why. Their beautiful ivory colored bark can be seen in backyards and bottomlands all over the eastern United States. Maybe, as with other native hardwoods, I've taken them for granted.
The beautiful bleached bark along the upper reaches of a large sycamore tree is an incredible sight against a blue winter sky. I wouldn't plant this tree in the front yard of a cottage. The leaves and prickly seedballs are kind of messy. But here in a part of North Carolina where a city dweller like myself can grow tired of loblolly pines and sweetgums, the sight of a monolithic sycamore can really make you appreciate the leafless parts of a year. And since sycamores are also known for losing their leaves early (sometimes in August), it can be a long and beautiful show.