Jump to content
  • 0
Scottish sycamore

Sycamore in shared garden

Question

Hello,

I'm looking for some general advice. I live in a flat with a very large shared city garden in Scotland. Amongst other (smaller) mature trees including rowans and willows, we have a large sycamore which has become the object of some attention recently. It's hard to get a great pic, but this is it standing tall amongst the other trees (please note a couple of smaller trees in pots are now being removed). Some neighbours would like it removed to allow more light to their flats, others would like to keep the tree. It is 18-20m tall, its crown has been lifted and it doesn't have the fullest canopy as it has been trimmed and reduced some years ago, but it does still give a lovely leafy aspect to the garden. A few suggestions have been made about what to do with it - including:

  • a 25% trim to allow more light
  • removing the tree completely
  • bringing it down to a 12-foot 'stump', using eco-plugs to prevent further growth.

 

My questions are: 

  1. I understand sycamores can live a long time, but should we expect it to continue at the same rate of growth indefinitely? Will its roots continue to expand and disturb the paving of the garden (which we have recently started to replace)? or will its growth (above and below) slow down at some point, as it is a mature tree? 
  2. some of us do not want any glyphosate-containing herbicides used in the garden - is there any other way to retain the 'stump' - perhaps allowing a pollarded-style growth - without using eco plugs or herbicide that would give us fewer issues in terms of root disturbance etc? or might we just as well keep it tall and maintain regularly? 
  3. if we take the whole tree out, are we likely to see any settling etc of the paving as a result of the end of the tree's draw on the ground water? 

 

Thank you to anyone who has the patience to read this and reply! We have an arborist who is ready to do work, but we are just trying to work out all the implications of whatever action we take. 

IMG_0391.thumb.JPG.6817f5525d49e364f06b130ea1c03be9.JPG

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

7 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0
3 minutes ago, Scottish sycamore said:

Hello,

I'm looking for some general advice. I live in a flat with a very large shared city garden in Scotland. Amongst other (smaller) mature trees including rowans and willows, we have a large sycamore which has become the object of some attention recently. It's hard to get a great pic, but this is it standing tall amongst the other trees (please note a couple of smaller trees in pots are now being removed). Some neighbours would like it removed to allow more light to their flats, others would like to keep the tree. It is 18-20m tall, its crown has been lifted and it doesn't have the fullest canopy as it has been trimmed and reduced some years ago, but it does still give a lovely leafy aspect to the garden. A few suggestions have been made about what to do with it - including:

  • a 25% trim to allow more light
  • removing the tree completely
  • bringing it down to a 12-foot 'stump', using eco-plugs to prevent further growth.

 

My questions are: 

  1. I understand sycamores can live a long time, but should we expect it to continue at the same rate of growth indefinitely? Will its roots continue to expand and disturb the paving of the garden (which we have recently started to replace)? or will its growth (above and below) slow down at some point, as it is a mature tree? 
  2. some of us do not want any glyphosate-containing herbicides used in the garden - is there any other way to retain the 'stump' - perhaps allowing a pollarded-style growth - without using eco plugs or herbicide that would give us fewer issues in terms of root disturbance etc? or might we just as well keep it tall and maintain regularly? 
  3. if we take the whole tree out, are we likely to see any settling etc of the paving as a result of the end of the tree's draw on the ground water? 

 

Thank you to anyone who has the patience to read this and reply! We have an arborist who is ready to do work, but we are just trying to work out all the implications of whatever action we take. 

IMG_0391.thumb.JPG.6817f5525d49e364f06b130ea1c03be9.JPG

 

Not a great photo...you said it had been reduced previously? If so it was done very well form what I can tell as its hard to see any substantial pruning wounds. If you are going to keep it the worst thing you could do is reduce it by 25%. It will throw out a massive amount of shoots from every pruning point and you'll end up with an even darker tree as a result.

 

My advice would be either fell it, or if you want to retain it just give it a light thin, pull some of the limbs away from the building, and definetly strip the ivy. That on its own will make it a far more attractive tree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
20 minutes ago, Mick Dempsey said:

Light thinning of a sycamore Steve? 
 

Are you being held against your will? If so post emojis.

as an alternative to felling it :) What would you do? Reducing it isn't going to give the desired affect, not in the long term anyway

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Why worry about the long term? A sycamore is a short term tree anyway.

 

Reduce it, re-reduce it a couple of times, then have it out in maybe 15/20 years, why is that so unacceptable?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Thank you both, it's helpful (I think?). I can understand what you're saying about the thinning - another neighbour instructed a big reduction of a lime in the front of our building. I was very unhappy as it looked terrible at first. But seven years later it looks lovely , a better shape, and very full! Personally I love what these big trees bring to a city area, but I understand the light issue. On the other hand, I think the cost of maintaining it isn't such a big deal when shared - a price worth paying. 

Why do you say it's a short term tree? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Featured Adverts

About

Arbtalk.co.uk is a hub for the arboriculture industry in the UK.  
If you're just starting out and you need business, equipment, tech or training support you're in the right place.  If you've done it, made it, got a van load of oily t-shirts and have decided to give something back by sharing your knowledge or wisdom,  then you're welcome too.
If you would like to contribute to making this industry more effective and safe then welcome.
Just like a living tree, it'll always be a work in progress.
Please have a look around, sign up, share and contribute the best you have.

See you inside.

The Arbtalk Team

Follow us

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.