Sycamore Tree Pruning Tips

a large sycamore tree on a grassy hillside
What You'll Need
Pruning shears
Tar or other plant wound sealant
What You'll Need
Pruning shears
Tar or other plant wound sealant

The sycamore tree is a very large, very hardy tree that is fast growing. This species of tree also has a large, expansive root system. When young, the sycamore has a beautiful looking pyramid shape to it. When it gets older, more mature, it has a rounded irregular shape with a thick scaffolding of branches.

Sycamore trees are pretty carefree. However, they do regular a routine of regular watering, fertilizing, and pruning. Keeping an eye on any insects, deformities, or rotting areas of the tree will help to keep it healthy as it grows to its immense height. Newly planted sycamore trees will require a little more maintenance during their first few years, but will need less as it grows. Pruning your sycamore is something that should always be done each year. Here are a few tips when pruning your tree.

1. Why Prune?

Sycamore trees can grow with some very irregular shapes as it matures. The branches can droop, have drastic angles, and even wrap around the tree. Pruning will help you to not only manage the growth of the tree, but also keep its shape. When you prune your sycamore you are also keeping it energized for new growth. It might seem like you are keeping it from growing, but pruning the tree will keep it growing in the direction you want.

2. Prune Dead And Weak Limbs

looking up the base of a sycamore tree

One of the ways to keep the new growth strong is to remove the dead and weak limbs. When you see that the limbs are not going to carry the weight of the leaves, and other branches, you should remove it. Not only is this unsafe, but a break could cause some serious stress to the tree. Remove any dead branches as you see them so the sycamore does not exert any more energy into them.

3. Prune Flush

When your prune your branch you should always keep them so that they are flush with the "branch collar". This means that whichever branch you cut off, you take to the notch of the original trunk. This way you will leave a better area for it to scar over. An open wounds on the tree are major points of infestation. Pruning your sycamore will require that you keep this to a minimum.

4. Cover Pruning Wounds

Since a tree is a living thing, it will have wounds when you remove the branches. Cover the area with tar, or other substance to keep bugs away. It will also keep it from drying out, or "bleeding" nutrients from it.

5. Prune In Spring or Fall

It is important when you prune your sycamore tree that you get an early start on it. Prune back your sycamore before the first buds start to come out in the spring. If you do not make it in time, then you can still remove the dead branches. Wait until the fall, though, to remove any live branches. This will help the tree as it goes dormant for the winter and give it a boost in the springtime the next year.