What Kind of Root System Does a Sycamore Tree Have? A Must Know!

Learning about the sycamore tree root system is vital. The root system is critical to the success of any tree or plant. Growers with extensive experience will tell you that a good return on planting equals a healthy root system. When you have healthy plant roots, you are creating a vital thing. It is because nutrients flow from the plant’s roots to the leaves, and so it goes on. You may have many questions about the sycamore root system, and you’ll get them answered as you keep reading.


What Kind of Root System Does a Sycamore Tree Have?

During its early life, a young sycamore tree develops a long taproot. Then it grows, and it adds more roots called feeder roots. Trees and plants’ root systems remain underground in the soil. As a result, it provides the growing shoot system with strength and rigidity in the face of adversity. Roots are septate branched structures that lack nodes and internodes.

The root cap, primary root meristem, and root hairs are the three components of a root. The growth of the root system gets influenced by:

  • Species of the plant
  • The composition of the soil
  • Its soil type
  • The growing conditions

Do Sycamore Trees Have Deep Roots?

Yes, sycamore trees have deep roots. The majority of its roots are no more than 60 cm below the soil’s surface. They also spread to all sides of the tree, well past the dripline. Also, the tree often forms large surface roots.

Here is a list of other trees with deep roots.

  • Black gum
  • Butternut
  • Hickories 
  • Japanese  tree
  • Pagoda
  • Sassafras
  • Sweetgum
  • Walnut tree
  • White oak

A large collection of healthy trees can be sourced from Plants By Mail.

Do Sycamore Trees Have Invasive Roots?

Yes, a sycamore tree is invasive, and it will be because it thrives in disturbed areas. Their invasive roots cause damage to pavements and other structures. The sycamore tree is resilient and can withstand wind and a few situations. They grow fast, almost two feet per year. It gets associated with an aggressive system due to its natural tendency to have a strong trunk. If you want to plant a sycamore tree, keep in mind that it grows to be quite large, making it unsuitable for most home landscapes. Regardless, they grow magnificent shade trees for parks, stream banks, and other open spaces.

Does a Sycamore Tree Have a Taproot?

Yes, it has a taproot. The taproot allows plants to get water from their surroundings. Once the bottom is dry, this method permits plants to soak up water at deep levels. Also, it is a primary food and chemical element source for plants.

Every plant has a tap root system. The taproot root is the most vital part of the plant because it transports water, nutrients, and chemical elements to the plant.

How Far Do the Roots of a Sycamore Tree Spread?

The surface roots of the sycamore can spread out as far as the canopy. From about 50 to 70 feet, a sycamore root spreads that wide as it grows. Depending on the available space, it spreads wide from one side to the other.

Are Sycamore Roots Destructive?

Yes, sycamore roots can be destructive. The sycamore’s aggressive growth pattern will cause problems for homeowners, as it can affect property and make movement hard. The simplest way to avoid this disadvantage is to plant sycamore trees at least twenty-five feet away from pavements or twelve feet away from the curb for street tree plantings.

Some of the things that sycamore roots can destroy are:

  • Destruction of property
  • Pipe destruction

Destruction of property

These roots may cause damage to your home, sidewalks, and other property. Depending on the extent of the tree root damage, you may face damage to a good amount of your property. After the damage gets done, you may need to adjust the design in your yard. The consequences of this tree causing damage to your home can be severe. It has the potential to depreciate your home’s value. Take the appropriate action for your situation if you notice this.

Here are a few of the damages to your home that you might notice.

  • You may see a break in your windows or discover them in pieces.
  • Frames for doors and windows that do not appear to be consistent.
  • Your foundation’s floor has cracks. The most common type of foundation wall break is a vertical crack.
  • The surface of your floor is buckling.

pipe destruction

Pipes provide water and oxygen, both of which are essential to plants. Even the tiniest openings on your pipe surface will allow tree roots to grow.

One way to detect this is through clogged drains. Drains that get clogged take an extended period to drain. As a result, drains will become clogged. There may also be sputtering water noises coming from the drains and toilets.

Are Sycamore Tree Roots Shallow?

Yes, they have shallow roots. The root system has many of its roots growing on the surface brink. The sycamore tree has a dense concentration of shallow roots in the top layer of soil. These shallow roots might disrupt cutting the grass in the surrounding field or hinder other things. Even though it matures shallow, it has a widespread root system.

One reason may be that sycamore trees often grow in areas with shallow soils. It can give the impression that their roots are shallow when in reality, they are just adapted to growing in shallow soils. Another reason may be that sycamore trees are often the first to be uprooted in strong winds. It may lead people to believe that their roots are shallow when in fact, they are just fewer anchors.

Sycamore trees are often known for their large, shallow roots. This characteristic often leads to problems with sidewalks, driveways, and other paved surfaces, as the roots can cause them to buckle and crack. While the roots of sycamore trees are indeed shallow, they are not as shallow as some other tree species.

The shallow roots of sycamore trees are due to a few different factors. First, sycamore trees have a high rate of evapotranspiration, which means they lose a lot of water through their leaves. This causes the roots to grow closer to the surface in order to better access water. Additionally, sycamore trees have a shallow root system because they are fast-growing trees. Their rapid growth rate means that their roots don’t have time to grow deep into the ground.

How Much Water Does a Sycamore Tree Need?

You should provide enough water to allow at least the top 12 inches of soil to penetrate. Different factors affect the amount of water needed to water your tree. These are some of them:

  • The tree’s height.
  • The tree’s width.
  • The size of the tree matters because big trees need more water than smaller trees.
  • Because hot weather causes water to evaporate from the soil and tree foliage, you should water more in the summer than in the cooler seasons.
  • The root’s system.

Watering your sycamore will keep it healthy. Sycamore trees are susceptible to drought if they do not get watered well. Also, it opens room for pests. The goal is to avoid the tree succumbing to severe plant water stress.

Here are some suggestions for watering your sycamore tree.

  • In hot weather, water the roots twice a week.
  • You can also see if a tree needs water by poking it in the ground with a sharp stick or long tool. The tree does not need to get watered if it easily fits in. The soil will suffer if it does not.
  • Provide adequate water to the tree at regular intervals.
  • Watch for signs that the soil is drying out and give it the water it needs.
  • Water mature trees at least once a week during droughts.

How Do I Prevent Sycamore Tree Roots Near My House?

Here are three ways to keep sycamore roots from causing damage near your home.

  • Install root barriers.
  • Remove the offending roots.
  • Remove the tree.

Install root barriers.

Roots get pushed deeper into the ground and away from properties. Installing a root barrier before planting them will help prevent future damage to your properties.

Remove the offending roots.

You can try to remove the offensive roots. But, use this tip with caution. Even if a part of the tree’s roots gets cut, it can cause it to die. This step is possible with a skilled tree-trimming professional who has the knowledge and skills to do so without causing damage to the tree. While the remaining tree heals, install root barriers and continue feeding it.

Remove the tree.

By felling the tree, you can get rid of as much of the root system as possible. The root grows fast and too deep for you to manage. To avoid wasting your property, you will need to hire a tree removal expert to cut down these trees.

Will Cutting Sycamore Tree Roots Cause It to Die?

It all depends on how you cut the roots. If you cut the tree’s roots down, it will die.

Here are some guidelines to follow if you want to cut down the tree’s roots without killing the tree.

  • You can shave the top of the root.
  • Make clean cuts.
  • Do not cut below 25% of the root system.
  • Leave the large roots when cutting.
  • Avoid the small fine roots.

You can shave the top of the root.

The amount that gets shaved should be small. Shave no more than one-third of the way up the root.

Make clean cuts.

Use a sharp hand saw to get clean cuts. Leave no ragged edges on the root ends. Cut them off where there are root junctions, like how you would prune a tree branch back to the branch collar. Clean cuts aid in the healing and sealing to keep disease at bay.

Do not cut below 25% of the root system.

Concerning what extent to cut, when cutting tree roots, try not to cut more than 25% of the root system. To do so, measure the trunk’s diameter about 4 feet from the ground. Multiply that measurement by 6. Then, mark the trunk’s distance, and you have your 25%.

Leave the large roots when cutting.

Make an effort not to cut any of the big roots. They also provide structural stability to the tree. Cutting the large roots on only one side of the tree increases the risk of the tree falling in that direction during a violent wind storm.

Avoid the small fine roots.

Nutrient uptake is possible through the small fine roots found in the top 18 inches of soil. By digging with equipment, try not to harm any of these roots. Keep a layer of leaf litter on top of the fine roots near the drip line. It helps keep the soil moist, and the breakdown of organic matter produces much-needed soil nutrients.