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How to Prune a Sycamore Tree

By C. Giles
Sycamore trees will only grow to their full height if properly cared for.
road between sycamores image by Georgy Shafeev from Fotolia.com

The sycamore is a large, hardy, fast-growing tree with an expansive root system. Although it is a low-maintenance tree, it does require regular watering, fertilizing and pruning, as well as inspection for pest infestations and disease. Proper pruning carried out on an annual basis will help keep the tree's growth under control and maintain its shape. Rather than restrict growth, pruning keeps the tree growing the way you want.

Prune at the right time of year. Prune the tree back before the first springtime buds appear. Wait until fall to remove any live branches, to help the tree as it goes dormant for the winter and give it a boost in the springtime.

Remove diseased or weak branches as soon as you see them; broken limbs can cause severe trauma to the tree. Fast removal of dead branches will keep the tree strong and thriving.

Prune your sycamore tree's branches flush with the branch "collar." Cut each branch right to the notch of the original trunk to leave sufficient area for it to scar over. This is important because open wounds on the tree are easy targets for infestation, which you want to keep to a minimum.

Treat any wounds from pruning by covering the area with tar to repel pests and prevent it from drying out.


Things You Will Need

  • Pruning saw
  • Ladder (optional)
  • Goggles (optional)


  • If your sycamore tree has reached its full height, you will need to use a ladder to reach the top branches; take care when doing so to avoid injury.
  • Wear goggles to protect your eyes when pruning.

About the Author


C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."