Mercersburg Sycamore. PA
  Jun 11, 2007 14:02 PDT 

Licking creek in Mercersburg has several large (14-16' cbh) sycamores along it's banks. They are spaced out nicely, as if on purpose. Some are single, some double, and this one has four stems. It appears to flood easily and often. This section of the creek has been part of a dairy farm for hundreds of years. (two ways this tree could have become multi-stemmed) Sycamores do not leave much trace where they grow together, not like an oak or hickory that will maintian a line down to the ground. The stems did not go straight into the ground in my opinion. There appeared to be a foot or so of vertical wood between the flare and the stems. Each stem was 11-13' cbh. My vote is single specimen.

The tree had two large black snakes climbing around in it too. A first for me. I watched the snake wiggle his way right up the trunk, only to have him fall out within 12' of me. I almost required a wardrobe change!! When I looked up to see where it fell from, I saw the other snake. Must be mating season, as the one on the ground started back up the tree again. Quite a sight.

If you look on the website at the sycamore in Lancaster. This tree was listed as the most massive tree in Penna. in 1920. It is now a shell with a cbh of over 24'. When it was whole it had to be close to 30' The opening in the trunk is over 6' wide. The two remaining limbs are supported by telephone poles from long ago. The tree is actively growing down over the poles. Very cool tree.


-------------- Original message --------------
From: Robert Leverett <>;


The Mercersburg Sycamore is an incredible champion - if it is one
tree. The multi-stem aspect is not an issue. The real question is
whether or not it started from a single seed? What is your determination
on that?