Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Stop a Sycamore Tree From Producing the Seed Pods

road between sycamores image by Georgy Shafeev from

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.

Trim A Sycamore

Trim off shorter branches and twigs with loppers or pruning shears. Make the second cut about an inch from the first on the upper side of the branch. Cut until the branch falls from the tree. Follow your sycamore's natural form when pruning for a more attractive appearance. Sycamores grow quite quickly, often up to 36 inches per season, frequently stimulating irregular branch growth. Trim off any unwanted or unsightly branches. Spider mites are tiny, dark green or red-brown insects that feed on the upper surface of the leaves. Anthracnose diseasecauses lesions to form on major leaf veins. Trim your sycamore tree to reduce hazards to property and people.


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.

Garden Guides