One of the most common species of tree native to North America is the Sycamore, or Platanus occidentalis. Also called the American Sycamore, Buttonwood, Occidental Plane, and American Planetree, the Sycamore is a beautiful tree easily distinguishable for it’s mottled, exfoliating bark. The bark of a Sycamore flakes off in big, irregular masses, leaving behind a blotchy surface with patterns of green, white, black, and brown bark. Although all trees grow out of their bark in similar ways, the American Sycamore shows these signs more visibly. Another trait that easily distinguishes Sycamore trees from others is the way their leaves grow sticky green buds. And when it comes to growing, Sycamore trees are among the largest!
A Sycamore tree can grow to massive heights and widths. On average, they grow between 90 and 130 feet tall and over 4 feet wide! Have you ever seen a tree so big before? Well in Kokomo, Indiana, you can! At the Kokomo City Park, anyone can witness the largest sycamore tree stump in the world! Continue reading to learn the history of this incredible tree stump!
Visit Kokomo’s Highland Park to See the Largest Tree Stump in the World!
In the early 1900’s, a giant, centuries-old sycamore tree fell from a storm several miles west of Kokomo, Indiana. Although no one could identify exactly how old the tree was, the stump that stood in its place was over 12 feet tall, 18 feet wide, and 57 feet in circumference! A man by the name of Jacob Bergman was the commissioner for the Kokomo City Park at the time. He took a strong liking to the old tree stump and decided it would make a great attraction to honor our state’s pioneer days. For $300, Bergman was able to hire a tractor to pull the stump from the outskirts of Kokomo, all the way to the City Park. This took place on Sunday, June 18th, 1916.
There were many reports that the Sycamore stump would be renovated into an interactive park attraction. Rumors of doors, openings, spiral staircases, and observation decks buzzed around town, but nothing was ever done to the stump. Instead, the tree stump stood in the park for nearly 20 years, taking on an abundance of abuse in the form of name carving and vandalism. So in 1938, Kokomo enlisted the National Youth Administration to build an open air screened-in shelter around the stump to preserve it from harm and deterioration. In 1989, an all-weather glass pavilion was built around it, along with two added wings for a visitation center and another attraction (the world’s largest steer).
WHERE: Highland Park
ADDRESS: Old Ben Drive, Kokomo, Indiana
ADMISSION FEE: Free