How to Cut Back a Huge Sycamore

Written by hollan johnson
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How to Cut Back a Huge Sycamore
The moulted bark is a trait of the sycamore tree. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

The American Sycamore tree (Platanus occidentalis) is native to the Eastern U.S. and northern Mexico. Sycamore trees can grow from 70 to 100 feet tall, making them huge in the home landscape. They also live for a long period of time and grow relatively quickly. These trees can also handle temperatures down to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Pruning a sycamore tree can keep the growth in check. Exercise caution when pruning a large sycamore tree as the branches will be very heavy.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pruning saw

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  1. 1

    Cut off any dead, damaged or diseased branches from the sycamore tree with the pruning saw. Cut the branch off right at the branch collar -- the bump where the branch meets the tree.

  2. 2

    Remove any crossing branches from the sycamore tree. Cut the branches off at the branch collar with the pruning saw.

  3. 3

    Prune out any branches with weak angles -- less than 45 degrees. Cut the branches out with the pruning saw at the branch collar.

  4. 4

    Cut back any overly long branches on the sycamore tree. Cut the branches ¼ inch before a bud.

Tips and warnings

  • Prune the sycamore tree in the late winter to early spring.
  • Avoid topping the sycamore tree or cutting back more than 30 per cent of the tree's crown.

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