How To Kill A Sycamore Tree (The Foolproof Way)

While sycamore trees look glorious in your garden, they can be bothersome. They’re deciduous and shed a lot of leaves. Sometimes they can be part of your property but it doesn’t fit the aesthetic. 

Therefore, you might be wondering-  how to kill a sycamore tree?

You’ll need 3 steps to kill a sycamore tree. You need to girdle or frill to expose the cambium. Then apply a chemical agent that will kill the sycamore from the inside. Lastly, you need to remove the tree and get rid of the stump. 

While these methods are simple, there are some extra details you need to pay attention to. For that, we’d love you to spare a few minutes to read our article. We’ve described all the issues below for you. 

So what are we waiting for? Let’s begin!  

How To Kill A Sycamore Tree In 3 Easy Steps

how to kill a sycamore tree

Now, let’s see how you can kill a sycamore tree in 3 steps. You need one external method to expose the transport vessels and one internal method to administer a chemical. The last step is to remove the stump.  

Tools Needed

Although the process is quite lengthy, you’ll need a few tools for this. These include:

  • Icepick
  • Chainsaw
  • Bleach or herbicide 
  • Sprayer
  • Shovel
  • Epsom salt, compost, or fertilizer

Once you have all these at hand, it’s time to kill that sycamore!

Step 1: External Processes- Girdling Or Frilling to Expose The Cambium

To effectively kill a sycamore, you need to make sure it dies all the way through. So you have to start outside and work your way inwards. 

This is where girdling and frilling come in. Each of these methods exposes the cambium of the tree. That’s the transport network of the tree that moves water and nutrients. 

Now, girdling requires time and a bit of experience. If you have both, go for it. If you’re a beginner, opt for frilling. 

Girdling The Bark

Girdling is the process of cutting grooves and removing some of the bark.

To girdle, you’ll need a knife or icepick and a chainsaw. First, use the knife to score and mark out the grooves on the tree trunk. Make sure these grooves are about 2 inches deep into the trunk.

Once you’ve marked the circumference of the trunk, get to work with the chainsaw. 

Cut 1 inch deep notches into the trunk between the grooves with the chainsaw. As you work your way around, the bark should loosen so that you can easily remove it. 

Frilling The Trunk

If you think girdling is too much effort, you can pick frilling. This will expose the cambium just as well. 

The first step to frilling is similar to girdling. You need to make 2 inch deep grooves into the tree trunk. Make sure to cover the entire circumference of the trunk.

In the places you’ve marked the grooves, use the chainsaw to drill through the trunk. Make sure these downward cuts are 2 to 3 inches deep into the trunk. 

As you cut, the bark will fall, exposing the cambium. 

Now that we’ve succeeded in the first step, let’s move on!

Step 2: Internal Processes- Using Bleach Or Herbicide 

Now you have access to the tree’s transport system. 

So prepare your chemicals. You’ll need a bleach solution or water-soluble herbicide. Unsure about which one to use? 

Have a look at the options we think are best suited for the task!

Now, fill up a sprayer bottle with your chosen chemical agent. Then spray directly onto the exposed cambium until it looks completely wet. 

Once sprayed, the chemical agent will travel all around the plant. This will slowly kill the sycamore tree inside out. 

For best results, spray the sycamore tree 3 times a week for 1 month. Depending on the tree’s height, this is more than enough time for the method to work. 

You’ll know the tree is dead when the cambium looks brown and dry. 

Step 3: Remove The Tree And Stump

Now all that’s left is to remove the tree. You can hire a professional if the tree is taller than 15 meters. If it’s shorter, simply use a chainsaw to cut through. 

Once that’s done, you can remove the stump easily in 2 ways.

If the tree stump is smaller than 20 inches in diameter, simply dig it up. Use a shovel and dig out all the major connecting roots. Sometimes, it may even be necessary to cut the roots.

The second method is for wider stumps. Use a drill to drill holes into the stump, about 2 inches deep. After that, cover the entire stump with Epsom salt, compost, or fertilizer and leave it for 1 week.

This will rot the stump and make it soft to handle. After a week, it should be pliable and easy for you to dig out of the soil. Once removed, you’re done with the task. 

With all of that covered, you know all there is about managing a sycamore tree. If all else fails, call a professional. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How long does a sycamore tree live? 

Answer: The sycamore is a hardwood giant that can live for up to 600 years or more. During this lifetime, it reaches a maximum height of 30 meters. 

Question: How far should a sycamore tree be from a house?

Answer: Ideally, your house should be 17 to 20 meters away from a sycamore tree. Have a professional go over and see if the tree is safe and structurally sound. This will clarify most doubts you may have before buying a plot or a cabin. 

Question: Why are sycamore trees disliked? 

Answer:  These giant trees are deciduous. So, if you have one on your property, it will shed leaves from fall till winter. This can be tedious to clean. Additionally, these trees tend to be riddled with diseases so pests become a nuisance to deal with. 

Wrapping Up

And that’s a wrap on how to kill a sycamore tree. All you need to do is follow the 3 simple steps we’ve provided.  We hope these tips help you get your sycamore tree under control. 

If indeed these tips were helpful, leave a comment down below. Good luck with the task at hand!

1 thought on “How To Kill A Sycamore Tree (The Foolproof Way)”

  1. Pingback: What Will Kill a Sycamore Tree? 6 Cities Protecting Sycamore Trees.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *