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How to kill a sycamore

bouicca21 Posts: 6,512 Forumite
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edited 7 May 2022 at 5:08PM in Gardening
There is a patch at the end of the big flower bed, right by a yew tree that you’d think would be pretty dry and infertile.  But no, a sycamore seeded itself, as did my bear’s britches.  I want the bear’s britches; I don’t want the sycamore.  It’s more than a seedling now and is flourishing.   I glyphosated it last year during my attempts to kill the alkanet, but it’s made no difference.   

How do I get rid?

incidentally the original patch of bear’s britches is now huge.  Can I split it and if so when?


  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,488 Forumite
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    I would split the bears britches in the autumn. Give it chance to make new roots through the winter when there's moisture.
    The sycamore if it's become a tree is more difficult. I cut one, roughed up the cut and painted with sump oil and brushwood killer. This must be done in one go.
    It appeared dead for a few years and regenerated. It wasnt in a place I could dig it out.
    Perhaps you could do the tree now when the poisin will do it's job best and try getting it out in autumn when you do the bb,s.
    Otherwise keep it cut low as an ornimental shrub or Japanese style.

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  • Woolsery
    Woolsery Posts: 1,535 Forumite
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    How did you 'glyphosate' it? Spraying the leaves might not kill it, but if you cut the stem, drill it out and put some in there it should die. I have killed a number of stumps after cutting trees down. All I do is make vertical cuts across the stump with the chain saw and then brush some glyposate across it, letting the liquid run into the cuts. Ash, elm, cherry, eucalyptus and even willow have not re-generated with this treatment.
    Twopenny's oil and SBK is fine, but if you have glyphosate there is no need for extra spending.
  • bouicca21
    bouicca21 Posts: 6,512 Forumite
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    edited 8 May 2022 at 8:59AM
    Thanks both.  I have a saw and I bought glyphosate a week or so ago for my annual spring ‘let’s try to kill the alkanet’ session.  Death to the sycamore!
  • bouicca21
    bouicca21 Posts: 6,512 Forumite
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    I had a go at the sycamore this morning - and realised it’s not self seeded it’s actually an old stump that is sending up shoots.  I think I’ll need a proper saw and will see if I can borrow one from a friend, though sadly most of my friends are just as incompetent at diy as I am. 
  • Woolsery
    Woolsery Posts: 1,535 Forumite
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    As long as you can expose enough living wood to the chemical it should be taken up by the plant and arrest photosynthesis.
  • greyteam1959
    greyteam1959 Posts: 4,570 Forumite
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    And use neat glycophosate not the dilute rubbish available in the DIY sheds.

  • ispookie666
    ispookie666 Posts: 1,179 Forumite
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    If not try Ammonium sulphamate and a bit of dish soap 
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  • Chloe_G
    Chloe_G Posts: 316 Forumite
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    My neighbour has a HUGE sycamore.  And I mean huge.  Plus his garden is full of sycamore saplings that have been left to grow.  We have to constantly try to track down any seedlings in our garden.  Anyway, he now has a huge ash tree and my garden is now full of ash tree saplings which seem to grow very fast and are more invasive than the sycamore.
  • Woolsery
    Woolsery Posts: 1,535 Forumite
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    The neighbour's ash tree is likely to die from Ash Die Back disease eventually, but no one can say when. I had no Ash Die Back on my property until last year and it's been around for nearly a decade. In 2020 I noticed a neighbour's tree had it and last year one of mine developed it, so I expect our really large one to start showing symptoms this year. 
  • in_my_wellies
    in_my_wellies Posts: 1,647 Forumite
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    I live in an ash die back hot spot, one of the first areas to be identified. I wish I didn't but I have a huge ash tree in perfect health. Such good health when others around it have died that when the planning folk were surveying nearby land they came and photographed it, took samples and stuck a TPO on it! As with Dutch Elm Disease thankfully some specimens may be immune. I just wish NIMBY

    For the sycamore glycophosate works but keep and eye on it for a few years
    Love living in a village in the country side
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