HOW TO TELL IF A SYCAMORE TREE IS DYING
Inspect your sycamore in the spring. Both flowers and leaves appear on sycamores as early as March. The bright green leaves look like stars, while the flowers are in tight, ball-shaped clusters. If you see no signs of leaf growth by mid-April, your tree may be dead.
Cut into the bark of a branch with a small knife. If the inner bark layer is green, the sycamore is alive. Brown inner bark indicates that the branch is dead. If many branches are dead, the tree is likely dying.
Inspect the leaves in late summer for irregular scorch patterns between the leaf veins. Red borders separate these brown patches from the rest of the leaf. Scorched leaves curl up. These are symptoms of Bacterial Leaf Scorch. The disease spreads from leaf to leaf, killing entire limbs over time and threatening the life of the tree. No cure exists for this disease, although you can prolong the life of the tree by pruning and burning affected limbs and providing water and fertilizer regularly.
Examine the new leaves on a weekly basis. If young leaves turn brown and wilt, your tree suffers from either frost damage or sycamore anthrac- nose. Frost damage is nothing to worry about; it turns the entire leaf brown, but the problem passes as new leaves form.
Sycamore anthracnose is more serious. This fungal disease turns the leaves brown along the veins. It also kills twigs and, in severe cases, entire branches. Although anthracnose does not typically kill sycamores, it deforms the trees and occasionally proves fatal.