Pros and Cons of the Sycamore Tree

Sycamore trees are fast-growing trees popular for their smooth, cream and olive multicolored bark and their wide, green leaves, which provide ample shade during the growing season. The trees are widely available at most home and garden centers and are inexpensive to purchase. There are many varieties of sycamores, but the pros and cons of the tree remain the same regardless of the species.


Sycamore trees are fast-growing trees, which makes them an excellent choice if you want to plant a shade tree in your landscape. They can grow up to 100 feet tall, which an equally wide canopy. Their large leaves, which vaguely resemble maple tree leaves, provide a lot of shade, even when the trees are quite young.


The beauty of the sycamore tree is a huge pro in its favor. Sycamore trees feature a distinctive pattern on the trunk. The trunk appears mottled in shades of cream, tan and olive. In the winter, the sycamore tree's trunk is stunningly beautiful when contrasted to the trunks of other nearby trees. In some species, the trunk is nearly white. The sycamore tree also has a pleasing, rounded shape, with bright green leaves in the summer that turn golden in the fall.

Pests and Diseases

One con of the sycamore tree is that it is somewhat susceptible to pests and diseases. Anthracnose can kill part or all of a sycamore tree in just one season, depending on the species. Sycamore trees also are a favorite for boring and chewing insects, which can leave unsightly holes in the wood and leaves. Fungal diseases also frequently infect sycamore trees, causing spots to appear on the leaves or mildew to develop.

Mess and Irritation

Sycamore trees can cause quite a mess in your yard. They tend to drop a lot of twigs, and raking up the masses of leaves in the fall can become quite a chore. The fruit of the sycamore tree, which is quite ugly, also drops and can stain sidewalks and pavement. Tiny hairs on the leaves and stems can be irritating to the skin in some people. The roots of the sycamore tree are very aggressive, frequently breaking through lawns and uprooting soil and pavement.

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About this Author

April Sanders has been a writer and educator for 11 years. She is a published curriculum writer and has provided academic content for several subscription databases. Sanders holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in social psychology and a Master's degree in information sciences and technology.