Sycamore Tree Trimming


Sycamores are a popular hardwood tree, growing over 140 feet tall in some cases. This tree grows up and down the East Coast and withstands temperature fluctuations between -30 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit in one season. This tree is susceptible to some illnesses and can grow quite large. Although you cannot really control its growth by pruning without injuring it, you can trim the tree for health and vigor. Knowledge of how to go about this will help you do so without injuring the tree.

Step 1

Sterilize your pruning shears before you using. Wipe down the blades with rubbing alcohol to decrease the risk of transferring disease from other plants to your sycamore.

Step 2

Prune off diseased branches of the tree as soon as you notice them. The sycamore is particularly susceptible to anthracnose and bacterial leaf scorch. Both diseases will manifest with brown leaves. Cut infected branches right outside the root collar (the raised area where the branch meets the trunk). Sterilize your shears between each cut when dealing with diseased branches.

Step 3

Trim broken, old or dead branches in the winter when the tree is dormant. Remember to cut right outside the root collar for the health of the tree. Also prune out any branches that are crossing. This will increase air circulation in the canopy of the tree.

Step 4

Cover your cuts with a pruning seal. Pruning in the winter will minimize disease transfer, but a pruning seal will further protect the wounds on your sycamore tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Rag
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Pruning seal


  • Auburn University: Establishment and Early Care of Sycamore Plantations
  • Clemson Cooperative Extension: Sycamore Diseases & Insect Pests
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Pruning Trees & Shrubs
  • Wisconsin's Basin Education Initiative: Sycamore
Keywords: pruning sycamores, trimming sycamores, sycamore care

About this Author

Sarah Morse recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature. She has been freelancing for three months and got her start writing for an environmental website.