Sycamore Tree Diseases: Warning Signs of a Sick Tree

An image of several sycamore trees during autumn.

The sycamore is an elegant tree, which is famed for showing its white, green and tan coloured inner bark as the trunk expands. The well-loved sycamore tree is a common feature in both public and private outdoor spaces.

As with many trees, the sycamore is not immune to common tree diseases which can spread if left untreated.


Interestingly, anthracnose disease can be fatal to American varieties of sycamore, but will only cause more minor damage to other varieties.

Sometimes called “leaf and twig blight”, anthracnose often begins by killing twig tips and expands to buds, new shoots and then leaves.

One of the most noticeable signs of this sycamore tree disease is crinkling and browning of the leaves.

As spores from the fungus can spread via rain and wind, this sycamore tree disease often strikes when the weather is wet and cool. By ensuring the tree has sufficient water and fertiliser levels, you can often avoid this type of sycamore tree disease.

Bacterial Leaf Scorch

Another tree disease which can affect sycamores is bacterial leaf scorch. Whilst the symptoms of this tree disease may be slow to show at first, the consequences can not only affect the beauty of this shade tree, but also its overall health.

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for this disease if it takes hold of a tree, however, there are a few steps you can take to ensure the beauty of the tree for the last few years of its life. Should you notice the signs of bacterial leaf scorch, make sure to prune well below the scorched leaves as soon as these signs appear. Additionally, a certified tree surgeon may carry out root injections of antibiotic treatments which can suppress the pathogen and reduce the symptoms of this disease.

Powdery Mildew Fungus

Powdery mildew typically shows as circular or irregular patches of white/grey powder on leaves and twigs. Any affected leaves will typically become distorted, droop or turn yellow and new growth is often stunted.

For larger trees, spraying with fungicides is not often warranted. However, where this is necessary, using a fungicide spray can help to keep this tree disease under control. Remember, if fungicide sprays are used excessively, powdery mildew fungi can develop resistance and consequently become less effective in treating the disease.

Treesaw: Professional Tree Surgeons

If you have a sycamore tree on your property and are concerned about its health, it’s wise to seek help straight away. Many tree diseases can be treated, but if left untreated can spread or cause other issues such as stunted growth.

Call the trusted team at Treesaw on 0113 239 1271 or send your enquiry through to our online contact form and we’ll be in touch with your shortly.