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How to Stop a Sycamore Tree From Producing the Seed Pods

By Larry Parr ; Updated September 21, 2017
Sycamores are a beautiful landscaping tree, but their seeds can be quite messy.
road between sycamores image by Georgy Shafeev from Fotolia.com

Sycamores are a popular landscaping tree and very common in many parts of the country. Their colorful, straight trunks, large green leaves, feathery flowers and large round seed pods can be seen almost everywhere. Sycamores grow in virtually every state except for Minnesota. The only problem, for many people, is that when the sycamore seed pods open they spread hundreds and hundreds of seeds. If you wish to stop your sycamore from producing seeds, there's really only one way to do so.

Wait until late summer or early fall when your sycamore tree is in full bloom. Use your ladder, pruning shears and tree saw to remove as many blooms as you can. Do not worry about pruning the tree at this point, simply cut off the blooms.

Attach a high-pressure nozzle to a hose and use jets of water to knock off blooms that you were unable to reach with your pruning gear. Climb up on your ladder with the hose to reach the highest blooms. Hit the blooms hard with the water and as often as necessary in order to knock them off the tree.

Wait one week and check the tree for additional blooms. Cut off any new blooms or knock them off with streams of high-pressure water. Remove as many blooms as you possibly can. Without blooms the plant cannot set on the seed pods.

Use your pruning equipment to remove any seed pods that do appear before they turn completely brown and open up. In this way you will prevent any seeds from spreading.


Things You Will Need

  • Ladder
  • Pruning shears
  • Loppers
  • Tree saw
  • Water hose
  • High pressure nozzle


  • Because your sycamore may bloom over a period of a few weeks, continue checking every seven to 10 days for new blooms and remove any that appear.

About the Author


Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for television, everything from "Smurfs" to "Spider-Man." Today Parr train dogs and write articles on a variety of topics for websites worldwide.