Point of interest 

Sycamore Trail 2 – The Varied Use of the Sycamore

The trail climbs shortly after the curve through the Sycamore pastures on the Alp Breitenboden gradually towards Broch hut. Sycamores have valuable and versatilely usable wood. Apart from the use as firewood, there is a high demand for the production of instruments, furniture and for the interior design. It was also used for the horn sleds, due to the elasticity of the wood. In addition, it is processed by wood turners, carvers and sculptors to commodities and art works. In the Reichenbach valley the leaves of the trees were economically important. In the valley the cultivation of grain was only very limited possible due to the frequent foehn, therefore there was hardly any straw as bedding for the stables. The foliage of the Sycamores served as substitute. In autumn, the intense golden yellow leafy trees are a delight in the landscape. Their leaves were raked and brought down to the valley. The use of the foliage was strictly regulated by the respective alp ordinance. On the Alp Breitenboden the right to use the leaves was auctioned annually for every single tree. Apart from its main use as litter, the Sycamore leaves found use as "bed foliage" in sleeping bags and mattresses. Since the 1960s, with the increasing availability of straw, the leave’s use lost gradually its importance. From the Middle Ages until the First World War the Sycamore also played in Europe a role as a sugar supplier. Holes were drilled into the trunks and from the juice obtained, syrup was produced.