1) A tree of the maple family which is said to have been introduced into Britain but is now thoroughly naturalised.

The Romans are considered by some to have brought it here but one argument against that is the absence of ‘sycamore’ in early place-names. Rackham thought that it came from the Continent in the sixteenth century which seems possible since the first reference in the OED is from Shakespeare. On the other hand it has been suggested that if it were known earlier as ‘maple’ it will have had a much longer history. In Yorkshire, it was grown as a hedgerow tree in the seventeenth century: 1653-5 Item given to Taskard and Hodgson of earnest for making the sickamore hedg, Stockeld and was later used occasionally for building: 1741 oke plank, seckamor plank, felks Wakefield. On some estates it became customary to plant sycamores close to exposed farms, and that practice is recorded in the accounts of the Earl of Dartmouth, held in the Slaithwaite estate office: 1808 Make the tenants, each of them, plant 8 or 10 sycamore about their Homeflatts: two years earlier it was said that a few sycamore and ash at each fold would look picturesque.

dates 1653-1655 1741

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