Mexican sycamore tree (Howard Garrett) A better sycamore. A sycamore tree in South Pasadena in 1886. The sycamore's potentially enormous size makes it best suited for large-scale landscapes. Sycamore canker stain is a fungal disease that affects sycamores and London plane trees in California. Some of the most reliable signs of infection include small, yellow leaves throughout the canopy and the presence of depressed cankers on the trunk and primary branches. The sycamore tree is often divided near the ground into several secondary trunks, very free from branches. Are Sycamores of this size safe growing over a house, or should I have those branches pruned back?I hesitate to contact a tree pruner, as I am not confident that they would give me an accurate, unbiased answer since it would be in their interest to suggest that pruning was necessary.MGCC's Help Desk Response:Thank you for contacting the Master Gardener Help Desk.You are right to be concerned about your tree, especially during the drought. Sycamore Tree Report. Your Sycamore tree is probably a California Sycamore (Platanus racemosa), a widely planted residential tree for its beauty and shade which can live for over 150 years. But unfortunately, despite all of these characteristics that make California sycamores so popular, they’re also susceptible to a few diseases. I would guess it's height at 40 to 50 feet. Overview. Sycamore anthracnose is one of the most common diseases that commonly affect California sycamore trees. The biggest downside of American sycamore trees is the litter. It can be very difficult to treat, but it doesn’t typically kill mature, established trees. Well-known to the native Tongva (Gabrielino) people of the region, the western sycamore (Plantanus racemosa) was one of the few trees to shade the lowlands of coastal Southern California. The California sycamore (Platanus racemosa) is an excellent example, as it not only reaches heights in excess of 80 feet, but it has some of the largest leaves of any tree native to the U.S. California sycamores grow wild along the southeastern coast of the state, but they’re often planted by homeowners, landscapers, and commercial property managers, so you can see them just about anywhere. Overall though these are usually minor irritants to the homeowner if the tree is properly cared for, e.g. If you suspect that your sycamore tree is suffering from a disease or is simply not thriving the way you’d like it to, give your friends at Evergreen Arborist Consultants a call. Bob Dluzen. You are currently not signed in. Avoiding Problems with Sycamore Trees. In a land of few trees, the sycamore stood out. Twisted or gnarled branches or twigs. But in some cases, subsidence and structural damage can be linked to tree roots. Optimum conditions for growth. Another peculiarity is the way the leaves grow sticky, green buds. It is native to California and Baja California, where it grows in canyons, floodplains, and along streams in several types of habitat. Some certified arborists are independent consultants while others are associated with specific tree care companies. Behold, the beautiful, but problematic sycamore tree. Anonymous users messages may be delayed. We can also be reached via telephone:  (925) 646-6586, email:, or on the web at Blocked drains and lifted paving may also be a problem. What is wrong and how should I treat it? The modern use for a number of the species in this family is to provide shade in populated areas like parks and sidewalks.Figure 1 Full height image of … There would no doubt be different neighborhoods without our trees. Platanus racemosa is native to California and Baja California, where it grows in riparian areas, canyons, floodplains, at springs and seeps, and along streams and rivers in several types of habitats. Once on line at the ISA page, to find an arborist in our area, use the Search by location function. Unlike sycamore anthracnose and canker stain, which primarily affect sycamore trees, leaf spot disease is caused by more open-minded pathogens (fungi). Because the 1/4- to 1/2-inch insects don't bother healthy trees, their presence indicates that your sycamore is under stress. I have direct experience with this devastating disease which is killing off dozens of mature California Sycamore trees at our new park in Burbank. This is a short overview of the California sycamore including scientific name, leaf identification, and reproductive features. Many of the largest tree species native to California are conifers, but there are a few big broadleaf species that also call the Sunshine State home. Sycamore trees are vulnerable to diseases and insect pests, just like almost every variety of tree you can plant. We’ll have one of our ISA-certified arborists visit your property, inspect the tree in question, and then provide a recommended course of action.,, © 2020 Copyright - Evergreen Arborist Consultants, Asian Citrus Psyllids Threaten Southern California Trees, Pests That Threaten Citrus Trees of Southern California, give your friends at Evergreen Arborist Consultants a call, Bees and Avocado Trees: The Power of Pollinators. Large roots are visible on the surface of the lawn. While generally easy to get along with, Sycamores do have their problems at times, namely Anthracnose and Powdery Mildew (see Special to The Detroit News. Cordate (heart-shaped) large oval leaves that are up to 6” (15 cm) long and with an elongated tip. Newport Beach, Ca. LOS ANGELES AREA: Bel Air, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Hollywood Hills, Hollywood, Hancock Park, Larchmont Village ORANGE COUNTY AREA: Laguna Beach, Anaheim, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, San Juan Capistrano, Trabuco Canyon, Coto de Caza , Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Corona del Mar, Dana Point. Experts advise that you keep your tree healthy, with good cultural practices, as a first line of defense against problems with sycamore trees. The tree is at least 3 storeys high and towers above both properties. The tree uses a natural process called compartmentalization as a defense against decay. Except for a few holidays, we're open every week, Monday through Thursday for walk-ins from 9:00 am to Noon at 75 Santa Barbara Road, 2d Floor, Pleasant Hill, CA  94523. A fungal disease, sycamore anthracnose typically affects the young shoots and leaves of a tree. It has not been pruned except occasionally to keep it out of the power lines. The California sycamore tolerates many soil textures including acidic, alkaline, compacted, and wet. Problems with Sycamore Trees Many problems are associated with sycamore trees. Because of these factors, homeowners taking good care of their trees are usually amply rewarded.Your Sycamore tree is probably a California Sycamore (Platanus racemosa), a widely planted residential tree for its beauty and shade which can live for over 150 years. While the independent consultant's consultation is probably close to a given fee, you should be able to request an estimate from any tree maintenance company for their proposed work. It has an 8 1/2 foot circumference, and many large branches have grown over my house. Sycamore antracnose is more serious. It also kills twigs and, if severe, entire branches. The bark is smooth and pale with patches of tan and gray, sometimes tinged with pink and green; the bark has been likened to army camouflage. I am not sure how old it is, but my guess is that it is at least as old as the house, which is 65 years old. This will bring up a list of certified arborists who work in our area as well as distinguishing who that are associated with and/or an independent consultant. Sycamore is a fast-growing deciduous tree reaching 30 to 40 feet tall. Weather-related disease problem on sycamore trees strikes this year . But there is a better choice: a sycamore that doesn't have these problems. If you have an account, then sign in now! View Comments. Frost damage is nothing to worry about; it turns the entire leaf brown, but the problem passes as new leaves form. It has only moderate tolerance to salt and drought when well established. A. Other sycamore trees in our neighborhood do the same thing, too. It has an aggressive root system. It is caused by Xylella fastidiosa , a bacterial pathogen (disease-causing organism) with … Cottonwood Tree Problems. The sycamore tree is an immense durable tree with a rapid growth rate and expansive root system. While the cost of professional consultation is not insubstantial, the payback in peace-of-mind and protection of your investment in the tree and house could be substantial. Platanus racemosa is a species of plane tree known by several common names, including California sycamore, western sycamore, California plane tree, and in North American Spanish aliso. Courtesy of the USC Libraries - California Historical Society Collection. The disease first affects older leaves on a branch, before moving to newer leaves and eventually killing the entire branch. My search found that there are many certified arborists to choose from in our area.It appears that the tree has been receiving reasonable cultural care. Dry soil can lead to a short life for this native riparian tree. The Sycamore is a mature tree 35’ tall x 25’ wide with a 24” DBH trunk located in the front yard 12’ from the corner of the house. Special to The News Journal. From the pictures of the overhanging branches, it would seem that an assessment of the health and well-being of your Sycamore by a professional arborist is appropriate. Sycamore trees affected by bacterial leaf scorch display brown leaves that often curl upward but do not fall from the tree. Just be sure to do so promptly to give your trees the best possible chance at a recovery. We conceptualized the park three years ago using the existing Sycamore trees as the primary shade tree. However, today as we begin to construct the park these mature trees are gone because of the borer beetle infestation. watering to maintain its health, and some pruning to provide for appropriate growth.However, our research find that Sycamores are known to experience a phenomenon called "Summer Branch Drop". In some cases, you may see portions of the canopy defoliate completely. This disease cannot be prevented, but removal of infected limbs will extend the life of the tree. Sycamore anthracnose is most commonly observed following wet springs. Help and Advice from the Help Desk of the Master Gardeners of Contra CostaClient's Request for Information and Advice:65 year old Sycamore treeI live in central Contra Costa County and have a very large Sycamore tree in my front yard. Common name: California sycamore; Western sycamoreScientific name: Platanus racemosa 1Family: PlatanaceaeThis family of flowering plants includes eight species of tall trees native to temperate and subtropical regions including the London Planetree and the American sycamore. It’s fairly messy, shedding a generous supply of leaves, seed balls, twigs and strips of bark. California sycamore (Platanus racemosa) is a majestic tree, up to 100 feet (32 m) in height and more than five feet (1.5 m) in diameter.A sycamore may have one or several trunks, which may be erect or wildly twisted and bent. It sits approximately 4 meters from our property and a 7 or 8 meters from their property. Read on for information on sycamore tree problems. Roots are fibrous. Your watering schedule may be sufficient, but we recommend that you speak with the arborist about caring for your tree during the drought as well, especially since you have exposed roots.I hope that this information is helpful. Cottonwood tree identification. Formations of dead or … The wood of infected trees is often discolored, yet it doesn’t become soft or rot away as happens with some other canker diseases. It’s easy to understand their popularity: They often exhibit attractive fall color, and they have some of the most attractive tree bark around. Certification of arborists is by the International Society of Arborists (ISA). The ample moisture gives the fungus a chance to disperse, and the new leaves provide an easy and readily available food source for the fungus (mature leaves typically manage to fight off infection more effectively than young leaves do). Moira Sheridan . This week the city of Goleta announced that a California sycamore tree growing near a creek and on closed land slated to be a park is a national champion, a classification given by a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit conservation group to the biggest trees found across the country. Prune back diseased branches with sharp, sterilized pruning tools. At … Most trees growing near buildings cause no damage. It can be very difficult to treat, but it doesn’t typically kill mature, established trees. Fertilizing established trees is usually not necessary. Sycamore trees, also called plane trees, are among the most common shade trees planted in the United States and Europe. Foliage that develops in late spring and early summer shouldn’t become infected as warmer, drier weather suppresses anthracnose. Trees on residential properties can add value to the property, provide a pleasant setting for the house, neighborhood and community, shade from the hot summer sun, and a “sense of place”. Western Sycamore is a species of plane tree known by several other common names, including California sycamore, California plane, and Aliso. Spreading limbs at the top make an irregular, open head. It has an upright, pyramidal crown when young and as it matures develops a rounded, irregular form, with a scaffold of large diameter branches. The exact nature of the illness caused will vary based on which fungi is attacking a given tree, but most produce relatively similar symptoms: Numerous yellow to brown spots appearing on the leaves. The extra rain and … Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. The tree sits on the boundary between the properties. Sycamore anthracnose is one of the most common diseases that commonly affect California sycamore trees. The tiny hairs on the seed balls irritate skin and can cause respiratory distress if inhaled by sensitive people. Please do not hesitate to contact us again if you need further assistance.Help Desk of the Master Gardeners of Contra Costa, Note: The  Master Gardeners of Contra Costa's Help Desk is available year-round to answer your gardening questions. We’ll explain a few of the most noteworthy diseases that afflict these trees, so you can keep an eye out for the first signs of illness and get your trees the prompt care they need. While generally easy to get along with, Sycamores do have their problems at times, namely Anthracnose and Powdery Mildew (see The most unique feature of the sycamore tree is its camouflage-looking bark.