The Pinchot Sycamore is a large American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) in Simsbury, Connecticut. It is the largest tree in Connecticut. When measured by the Connecticut Botanical Society in 2010, the Pinchot Sycamore was almost 28 feet around and 104 feet tall, with an average canopy diameter of 147 feet. The sycamore is estimated to be at least 200 years old, and possibly over 300 years old. The tree was named in honor of influential conservationist and Connecticut resident Gifford Pinchot. It was originally dedicated to Pinchot in 1965, and re-dedicated with an engraved stone marker in 1975.
The Pinchot Sycamore is located on the east bank of the Farmington River, near the base of Talcott Mountain, south of the town center of Simsbury. Since the completion of the Pinchot Sycamore Lighting Project by the town in 1997, the tree is lit by floodlights at night. The Pinchot Sycamore Park surrounds the tree; the park includes a launching point onto the Farmington River for small boats. It is a popular area for canoeing.
According to the conservation group American Forests in 2000, the Pinchot Sycamore was scheduled to be listed in the 2001 edition of the National Register of Big Trees as one of the two largest known American sycamores in the United States, tied with a tree in Bath County, Virginia. In the 2008-2009 edition, a larger tree in Ashland, Ohio is listed as the champion American sycamore.
In 2005, a guitar made from a fallen bough of the Pinchot Sycamore was auctioned off by the Farmington River Watershed Association. The Pinchot Sycamore sustained some damage to its canopy as a result of storm Alfred (an early snowstorm) in October 2011; however, it was not diminished in size, and its large recognizable lower limbs remain intact.
Notes and references
- Steve Grant, "In The Shade Of The Sycamore", Hartford Courant, April 13, 2000. Accessed April 30, 2008.
- American Forests, "National Register of Big Trees 2008-2009", p. 38. Accessed April 30, 2008.
- Farmington River Watershed Association, "Pinchot Sycamore Guitar for Auction at Nov. 3rd Annual Meeting", Farmington River News, Fall 2005. Accessed April 30, 2008.
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