Sycamore, a native in many states including Mississippi, grows in most areas of the continental United States. The sycamore tree can reach a height of 70 to 100 feet on a trunk 10 to 14 feet in diameter, making it a good shade tree choice. The seeds are contained in 1-inch balls that appear in late summer and drop the following spring. The bark sheds, leaving smooth, white bark in the winter. Plant sycamore in late fall or early spring while the tree is dormant.
Choose a full sun to part shade location. The location should be at least 6 feet from sidewalks, foundations or driveways to avoid damage from the sycamore root system. A sycamore can reach widths up to 75 feet and needs lots of room to expand.
Dig the hole twice as wide as the root ball and as deep as the root ball is tall. Sycamore will grow in most soil types and is tolerant of wet soil conditions, so amending the soil is not necessary. If planting in heavy clay, jab the shovel at 1-foot intervals around the dug-out sides of the hole to loosen the soil and help root penetration.
Remove the tree from the container if applicable. If planting a ball and burlap (B&B) tree, leave the burlap in place. Place the tree in the center of the hole.
Backfill the hole halfway with the soil remove for the hole. Water to settle the soil. If planting a B&B, loosen the burlap and pull it down to expose the sides of the root ball.
Finish backfilling the hole and water again. Prune off any limbs damaged during planting.
Apply 2 to 3 inches of mulch, like wood chips, around the base of the tree, covering the soil that was returned to the hole. Keep the mulch at least 3 inches from the trunk of the tree.
Water deeply every seven to 10 days during the first year if there is no rainfall.
Prune in the winter to control the shape. Dead or damaged wood can be cut anytime of the year.
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