You are here:

Trees/sycamore tree topping


We have a sycamore tree whose trunk is about 15 feet tall and whose canopy is another 25 feet tall.  It was chopped back about 8 years ago and has sprouted growth all over the place.  What will happen to the tree if we cut the whole canopy off and leave just the 15 foot truck?  Do you think it might sprout new growth that we can then began to prune correctly every year or two?

The American Sycamore is one of the largest hardwood trees, usually growing 60 to 100 feet tall, but sometimes larger. This maybe harsh but if you do not want a large tree then Sycamore is not the tree for this space. IF you cut the top off at 15 feet you will have a 15 foot pole with no foliage and the chance of it being anything else is very slim. I would never recommend cutting the top of a tree it will make it look terrible at the least and die usually. You may get some water sprout on the trunk but will never have a tree again. IF the tree is too large for the space it occupies then take out out and plant a smaller species of tree. Here is an article on tree topping that explains the problems with this practice. Sorry if I was too harsh.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jim Hyland


I am an expert in Forestry, Forest Entomology, Forest Pest Control, and Forest Health. Extensive knowledge in Identification of insects and diseases of trees. Expert on Bark beetles and other insects that attack forests. Also a Registrated Forester with extensive knowledge in the management and care of forests.


34 years as State Pest Management Chief in a Southern state. Extensive knowledge in Forestry.

BS with major in Forest Management and Entomology
Registered Forester
Certified Pesticide Appicator

©2016 All rights reserved.