Problems With a Sycamore Tree

Written by nicole skubal
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Problems With a Sycamore Tree
As a sycamore tree matures, its bark turns white. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

According to East Tennessee State University (ETSU), the American Sycamore tree is native to the central and eastern parts of the United States. It's botanical name is Platanus occidentalis. Sycamore trees are plentiful, and while they offer many benefits, there are also problems associated with the trees.

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ETSU notes sycamores have the broadest tree trunk of any native American tree species. A sycamore trunk can grow to be more than 10 feet in diameter four feet above ground. Healthy sycamore trees grow fast and can be difficult to maintain for people not equipped to deal with larger trees. Additionally, dangers from storm damage can increase with the large trees on your property.


Two common sycamore tree diseases are sycamore anthracnose and powdery mildew. Sycamore anthracnose may be mistaken for frost damage; it kills twigs and causes the leaves to fall from the tree. Powdery mildew leaves white spores on leaves and twigs and can impede the growth of the tree.


The sycamore lace bug eats the sap from a tree by eating the underside of the leaves. This makes the leaves turn yellow and can interfere with the growth of the tree. Sycamore lace bugs are so named because of the lacy pattern found on their wings, chest and head.

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