How to prune a sycamore tree

Caring for Your Sycamore Tree

Caring for Your Sycamore Tree

About Sycamore Trees

The sycamore tree is an immense durable tree with a rapid growth rate and expansive root system. It has an upright, pyramidal crown when young and as it matures develops a rounded, irregular form, with a scaffold of large diameter branches. The most unique feature of the sycamore tree is its camouflage-looking bark. The outer bark is unable to grow at the same rate as the trunk and limbs thus shedding its skin. The bark peels off in blotches revealing the white, tan and green inner bark. It has large 4” – 10” wide thick green leaves resembling those of maples and fruit is round, fuzzy and brown.

How to Grow: The sycamore is adaptable to most soil types and can live hundreds of years. It grows best in full sun.

Size of Tree: Sycamore trees range in height from 75-90 feet

Sycamore Tree Care

Keep your sycamore tree as healthy as possible through regular pruning, fertilizing and watering.

Newly planted sycamore trees benefit from ArborKelp®, SavATree’s exclusive seaweed biostimulant which aids in tree establishment, promotes root growth and heightens stress tolerance.

Mature and established trees benefit from fertilizer feedings of organic-based macro and micronutrients for the nutrition necessary to sustain their health.

Pruning Sycamore Tree Leaves & Branches

Sycamore trees should be pruned regularly to promote a center leader, remove deadwood and maintain a strong structure.

Pruning is recommended to preserve or improve tree structure, vigor and life-span. Pruning can reduce specific defects or structural problems in a tree to greatly lessen the risk of failure. Broken, diseased, or dead branches are typically removed in order to prevent decay-producing fungi from infecting the wood in other areas of the tree.

Removal of live branches is occasionally necessary to allow increased exposure to sunlight and circulation of air within the canopy. This assists in reduction of certain diseases. We also advocate the removal of branch stubs to promote successful and proper healing over of wounds.

Your SavATree certified arborist is equipped with the latest techniques and state-of-the-art equipment to keep your sycamore trees healthy, beautiful and safe. Contact us today for information on pruning or any of our other sycamore tree care services.

Prevent Sycamore Tree Diseases & Pests

There are several damaging diseases and pests that affect sycamore trees. Some of the most common are:

Sycamore Anthracnose – This sycamore disease results in extensive defoliation, shoot dieback, and twig death. Often confused with frost damage, signs of sycamore anthracnose include brown areas on leaves and canker on the trunk and main branches.

Powdery Mildew – Occurring in shady areas that have high humidity, powdery mildew looks like circular patches of grayish white material (spores) on twigs and leaves. The disease can cause leaves to drop and can stunt growth.

Sycamore Lace Bug – The adult insect has a lacy pattern on its head, wings and chest.  Both the adults and nymphs feed on the undersides of the sycamore’s leaves. They feed on the sap, causing the leaves to turn yellow. Heavy infestations can reduce growth.

Other sycamore tree diseases and pests include:

  • Root rots
  • Canker
  • Wood rots
  • Mistletoe

Many of these insect and disease conditions can weaken the tree and lead to tree death if not treated. If you suspect a problem with your trees, call a SavATree certified arborist right away for an evaluation and treatment options. Our sycamore tree care experts can help protect your trees and keep your landscape beautiful.

Photos by Photo by Joseph O’Brien, USDA Forest Service Richard Webb
Diseased photo: Sycamore Leaf Beetle 1204089 by Lacy-L.-Hyche, Auburn-University,

Sycamore Tree – Tree Works

Everything you need to know about the sycamore tree, from identification tips to typical characteristics; how to spot disease and the best way to maintain a sycamore tree.

The sycamore tree is part of the maple family. It is a large, broadleaf deciduous tree which is native to central, eastern and southern Europe. Now prevalent in the UK, its presence here is reckoned to date back to the Middle Ages. It’s a naturalised species here now and it’s the fact it has become such a popular species is down to the way its winged seeds spread and reseed with great ease.

The canopy of the sycamore tree is one of its redeeming features, and it is one of the most popular trees in parks and gardens for those seeking shade from the sun. The tree will grow anything up to 35 metres in height, and has a long lifespan of over 400 years.

Sometimes confused with the field maple tree, the sycamore has a more angular winged seed. Its Latin name, Acer pseudoplatanus, means ‘like a plane tree’.

General Facts

Known as Sycamore
Latin name Acer pseudoplatanus
Location Central, Eastern and Southern Europe
Foliage Deciduous
Lifespan 400 years plus


Height Up to 35 metres
Spread 4-8 metres
Appearance A large deciduous tree with dark pink-grey bark that starts off smooth but cracks and forms small plates as it ages. Twigs are browny-pink and hair free.
Leaves Leaves measure 7-16cm with five distinctive lobes. The stalks of younger trees are distinguished by their red colour. The veins of the leaves are hairy on the underside.
Flowers Sycamore flowers are small in size and yellow-green in colour. They hang in spikes known as ‘racemes’.
Fruit Sycamore flowers are both wind and insect pollinated. After pollination, the female flowers transform into characteristic winged fruits called samaras.
Found in Parks, gardens and avenues


Ideal soil Moist but well drained, chalk, clay, loam or sand
Soil pH Neutral, acid, alkaline
Aspect North, south, east or west facing
Exposure Full sun to partial shade; Sheltered or exposed


Pests Sycamore gall mite, aphids, horse chestnut scale
Diseases Sooty bark, Verticillium wilt, Phytophthora root rot, leaf spot, tar spot

Sycamore Trees and Wildlife

The sycamore is a big pull for aphids, which means ladybirds, hoverflies and birds are also attracted in their droves as they feed on the green flies. Caterpillars of various moths will feed on the leaves. These include the maple prominent, the plumed prominent and the sycamore moth. Bees and other pollen loving insects are magnetised to the flowers, and birds and small mammals regularly feast on the seeds.

Sycamore Tree Symbolism and History

It is not exactly clear when the sycamore tree was introduced to the UK. It may have come to England courtesy of the Romans, although by some accounts it first appeared to be introduced during the Tudor era of the 1500s. By the 1700s it was more widespread, and then by the mid-1800s the earliest reports of its naturalisation came about.

Sycamore trees were used in Wales to craft ‘lovespoons’. When a decoratively carved spoon was presented to a loved one it was considered a token of affection. The tradition dates back to the 1600s but is still alive to this day.

The winged seeds of the sycamore are commonly known as ‘helicopters’ and children across the UK use them to make models and to compete in flying competitions.

The Importance of Sycamore Trees

Sycamore produces strong, hard timber that is pale cream in colour and has an attractive, fine grain. For this reason it is popular in furniture making and widely used as a veneer which is particularly eye-catching when crown cut or figured. Sycamore is also popular for kitchenware making as the wood does not stain or taint the food.

A mature sycamore tree is very wind tolerant which makes it perfect for exposed or coastal areas as a windbreak. Sycamores are also highly tolerant of pollution, which is why they are often used for ornamental purposes around towns and cities and along avenues.

Caring for a Sycamore Tree

Regular pruning of the sycamore tree is essential as it tends to grow into an odd shape with severe angles and drooping branches which sometimes wrap around the tree.

Regular pollarding is good practice in order to maintain a reasonable height, especially for sycamore trees that are growing in public places. Pollarding is also good for keeping the canopy in good shape, although it needs to be done regularly from an early age. Crown reduction is also commonly used in order to let light through and is a good idea in order to reduce the risk of neighbour disputes.

Care must be taken to ensure sycamore tree pruning is carried out at the right time of year so as to avoid disease ingress and it is also important to make sure that no damage is done to the collars of branches by keeping the pruning flush with them. If in doubt at any point, consult a qualified tree surgeon.

For more about sycamore tree pruning, follow this link.

When you are caring for your sycamore tree, you should be on the lookout for sooty bark (cryptostroma corticale). Following continuously hot weather, sooty bark will lead to partial or total crown wilting which can eventually be fatal.

Also look out for Verticillium wilt. This is a fungal disease that penetrates the tree through the roots. It leads to wilting, yellowing leaves and dieback. Another issue is Phytophthora root rot which causes yellow, sparse or wilting foliage together with branch dieback.

Leaf spot and tar spot are also common problems, however these aren’t thought to be too risky. Bark stripping by grey squirrels is another minor issue.

When it comes to pests, have a look for signs of the horse chestnut scale insect which is one of the main concerns, although it doesn’t usually affect sycamore trees unless they have been deprived of nutrients or water. Symptoms to look out for are white circular egg masses partially covered by brown shells on trunks and larger branches. These generally appear in early summer.

If you have detected any of these issues, do not hold back in calling in professional assistance. By the same token, if you want your sycamore tree to retain excellent health and to look as eye catching as possible, the most astute course of action is to seek professional guidance from a suitably qualified tree surgeon.

If you have a sycamore tree that would benefit from expert care and attention, why not contact Tree Works? As fully qualified and highly experienced tree surgeons, we can offer detailed skill and knowledge across all areas of sycamore tree care. For a free, no-obligation quotation, call us on 07781 416 354 or get in touch here.

How to prune a fig tree | Horticulture

The most suitable occasion when we should prune the fig tree is in the last months of the winter season This happens when the cold has already dropped, and also long before the plants begin to bloom.

El banana tree is a plant that does not tolerate acidic soils, for this reason we must choose the most suitable area so that we can plant our tree.

In addition, we must keep in mind that at the time the figs emerge, many of them will be on the ground . This is due to the fact that fig trees are plants that produce many fruits, so the number of figs is they can produce a lot during the flowering of plants, that is, in spring and summer.

This is one of the reasons why the fig tree This is not a tree that we should plant near the door of our house or in a place where people can pass, especially if we want this place keep clean because there are many fruits on the ground, we can always step on them. If you are one of those who have a fig tree at home and want to keep it in the best conditions, in this article we will provide you with the information you need to know how to prune a fig tree.

The first thing we need to do if we want to prune the fig tree is to start at to clear the area where the roots are. In the vicinity of our fig tree, any plants can grow, as well as weeds who try to use the water when we water the fig tree and eat, so it is very necessary that we remove them .

We have to make sure that the whole area is clean enough, removing all the weeds that grow around the trunk of the tree and of course removing stems from any other plant with special garden shears.

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Very important advice: we must protect our hands , so we must use gloves so that there is no accident, of course, these gloves must be be special for gardening .

After cleaning, we continue to trim the entire lower part of our fig tree, cut out from the base all these branches that grow from the trunk , but from the underside of the top of the fig tree. So we repeat the same process, but with those branches that are crooked or rotated, we see that instead of growing in the direction of the sunlight, they will do so, but down or to the side.

Of course, it is very important to remember that dry or rotten branches all over the tree you must remove them, it is best to move in parts, that is, so that the fig tree is a plant that we must cut starting from the roots until we get to the top of the tree.

those branches that we see intersect in part of the crown and, of course, in the whole tree we have to cut them. So that we can clear the fig tree , it is important to make sure that sunlight can pass through the leaves and branches of the crown, so that in this way all of them can get enough light to be able to feed. It is important to emphasize that crossed branches are those that grow towards the inside of the crown.

In order to cut the inside of the glass of our fig tree we have to climb the tree, we can say that our mission is that sunlight can reach all parts of our tree. To do this, we can climb a tree or use a ladder, then we go. pruning branch by branch very carefully.

So that the fig tree can come out uniformly We stand on the ground on the fig tree and observe its shape. We need to make sure that neither side protrudes more than the other , that is, we need to ensure that the whole shape is even and balanced.

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It is easy to grow figs at home, but it is important to know how to properly prepare the site and choose the soil for planting. To get a good harvest, it is necessary to provide the plant with the necessary care. Particular attention should be paid to pruning.


  • Fig Care: Crowning and Pruning
  • What happens if you don't prune
  • Basic measures for caring for figs

Caring for figs: crowning and pruning

Figs are a thermophilic fruit plant of the Mulberry family. There are also other names of figs among the people: fig tree, wine or Smyrna berry, etc. One of the most important measures for caring for figs at home is pruning. Such an event thins out the tree, allows you to remove dry twigs.

Pruning must be carried out very carefully, as excessive pruning of branches can cause thickening of the crown. Complete or partial removal of branches frees the fruit tree from shoots that endanger the plant.

Rejuvenating fig pruning will give the tree new strength. Autumn pruning is carried out in regions with mild cold, otherwise frosts can lead to freezing of the bark and drying out of the wood. In the northern regions, this event is held only in the spring. When caring for figs, not only shaping and rejuvenating pruning is used, but also regulatory, restorative and sanitary pruning.

What happens if you do not prune

Fruit trees need to be able to prune correctly. If you do not carry out this event at all or do it incorrectly, then this can cause a reduction in fruiting.

If the growth of shoots is not controlled, then they will thicken the crown, reduce the illumination of branches with fruits. As a result, they will receive an insufficient amount of nutrients, which will affect the reduction in yield and the incorrect formation of skeletal branches.

In addition, the procedure should be carried out on time. This will avoid many problems that usually arise during the period of growth and fruiting. When pruning according to all the rules, the fig will grow well and bear fruit.

Basic care for figs

Particular attention should be paid to pruning when caring for figs. In the southern regions, pruning is performed 2 times a year - in autumn and spring. Depending on the shape of the fig bush, a crown is formed. During the first two years, a pair of main branches about 40 cm long are left on bush-shaped figs. to prevent the entry and spread of infection.

Formative pruning in the first year. From a young tree, you need to select the main strong branch, and cut the rest to the base. A year later, a branch located at a height of about 1.3 meters, cut into a kidney. The result will be a semi-standard form, and skeletal branches will form in the spring. In the third year, the branches are shortened by half, facing outward.

Video about the correct planting of figs:

Further, after the formation of the skeleton of the tree, pruning is not required, except for unsuccessfully growing branches. In summer, it is recommended to pinch the growths, this will avoid the growth of the tree in height. For the winter, the fruit plant is insulated or covered with earth.

Indoor figs are pruned in autumn after the plant has shed its leaves. If this does not happen, then put the pot in a dark place and reduce watering. Summer shoots are shortened above the outer bud by 10-20 cm. In order for the shoots not to lack light, the houseplant is formed as a fan.

First, pinch out the bud at the top, and then remove the shoots that are directed towards the inside of the crown. All sections are performed over the kidney. With anti-aging pruning, half of the old branches are shortened to two buds. Cut off the other half next year.

A young plant needs to be transplanted annually. Perform this event only when the roots completely fill the volume of the container. Top dressing is carried out systematically from the beginning of awakening until the moment of fruit ripening. Both mineral and organic fertilizers are used as top dressing.

In summer, the trunk and leaves are sprayed with warm water, and in hot weather, abundant watering is carried out.

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