Have you ever seen a tree that is entirely white and leafless? If so, you probably spotted a dead sycamore. Sycamores that have been dead for several years turn to a bleached, gray-ish white color. But before this bleaching phenomenon occurs, it can actually be very difficult determining whether or not a sycamore tree is dead, especially if it is a large one. Sycamores can grow to massive heights and circumferences, allowing them to withstand inclement weather conditions and changing climates. However, just like all trees, they are vulnerable to disease, pest infestation, and more. Continue reading to learn more about sycamore trees and how you can tell if yours is dead or thriving.
The America sycamore tree is scientifically referred to as Platanus occidentalis, but colloquially known as Occidental plane, buttonwood, and American planetree. Native to North America, the sycamore is most distinguishable by its speckled exfoliating bark and the sticky green buds that grow on its leaves. One of the most common pests that affect the health of sycamores is called the sycamore leaf beetle. Sycamore trees are also susceptible to a fungal disease called Anthracnose Disease. This disease doesn’t kill or seriously harm the tree, but it does cause it to lose a massive amount of foliage. Early spring is when this disease becomes evident, first appearing as frost damage but later identifying itself with signs of leaf curling, wilting, and defoliation.
Determining Sycamore Tree Health
It is feasible to determine if a sycamore tree is alive by simply snapping of a couple of small twigs and checking for healthy green tissue inside. But when it comes to large and mature sycamores, this is not so simple. Instead, other methods are required. Since large ailing trees are extreme hazards to have on or around your property, they must be professionally removed as soon as possible. If you are not sure whether your tree is ill or not, consult a licensed arborist to have its condition professionally assessed. If your tree has no leaves or foliage in the spring and summer, it is dead. Signs of illness can include one or more of the following:
• Consistent Foliage Loss
• No New Production of Leaves
• Cracks or Wounds in the Trunk
• Shoots Growing at Base
• Missing White Bark
If you believe your mature tree is ill or dead, it is imperative to the safety of yourself and your property to have it removed by a licensed tree removal service. Act fast before the tree can fall onto your home, or worse, on a loved one.