Timberpedia - Sycamore
|Latin Name:||Irish Name:||Native to Ireland?|
About the Tree
This much under-rated tree is referred to in the Bible when Zacchacus clambered up one in order
to get a better vantage of Jesus speaking to the masses. The sycamore, a common species at Lisnavagh, originally grew in that stretch of land from the Caucasus to the Pyrenees, and arrived in
Britain with the Romans. The tree probably did not arrive in Ireland until the Plantations. Turlough
O’Carolan, the celebrated 17th century blind piper, had a harp made entirely of sycamore as
opposed to the traditional willow. (Turtle Bunbury)
Introduced pre 1600 – some argue that it may in fact be a native tree. It is surprisingly unpopular
in Britain, as it grows too prolifically, although there are obviously advantages to this fact.
About the Wood
Slowly but surely, furniture makers are taking to sycamore. Its cousin, American Hard Maple,
became quite popular for a while, and was imported in large quantities. The sudden increase in
demand for imported maple meant increases in price as well, but in the meantime it appears that
furniture makers have developed a renewed taste for this type of wood and like to work with it,
and this has resulted in an increase in demand for sycamore.
The grain in sycamore is similar to Cherry and Mahogany, and so the timber can be finished to give
a similar effect.
Good suitability for woodcarving.
Know your wood! The Timberpedia is a broad resource that aims to catalogue all the major tree species in Ireland, containing information that we’ve gathered from over two decades maintaining our natural woodland and serving Ireland’s woodworking industry.
All written material is copyright © 2021 by the Lisnavagh Timber Project.