Platanus occidentalis



Quarryville Elementary School,  211 South Hess Street, Quarryville PA


Scott Peiffer, Kathleen Hood


This tree is a certified direct descend- ant of the sycamore under which Mar- tin Luther King Jr. gathered with 3,200 supporters at Brown Chapel in Selma AL on March 20, 1965. The nonviolent demonstrators then marched 54 miles over five days to the steps of the state capitol in Montgomery, by which time their ranks had swollen to 25,000 (pho- to below is from expressnews.com).

The Q-Elementary tree, planted in 1999, is unusual because the school is permitting it to grow as a multi-stem tree.  Multi-stem Sycamores are com- mon in nature but rare in cultivation.


This amazing species lives so long that a famous old sycamore, still living to- day, provided shade to General George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette on September 6, 1777 while they spoke of troop deploy- ments before the ill-fated Battle of Brandywine (last photo).

[Last photo is from "Brandeywine Val- ley Trees" by Steven Renzi, The Hunt Magazine, Nov. 3, 2016]