Common name:  Sycamore
Scientific name:  Acer pseudoplatanus
Management programme:  Site-led

Why is it a pest?

Sycamore is only considered a pest in our Dunedin site-led programmes. Sycamore invades forest and shrubland, short tussock land, fern-land, river systems and bare land. It forms thick stands that stop other species like natives from growing.

What does it look like?

Sycamores are a tree that sheds its leaves every year (deciduous) and can be up to 20m tall. It has smooth grey bark and hairless green shoots with bluish green 5-lobed leaves that are in opposite pairs on reddish stems. It flowers from October to November and flowers come in narrow drooping clusters of many thick green flowers, followed by reddish, winged, ‘helicopter’ seed capsules containing two seeds.

What are the rules?

There are no rules for landowners in Otago regarding sycamore. Under Otago’s pest plan, sycamore is only classified as a pest in the site-led areas; Otago Peninsula, West Harbour/Mt Cargill, Quarantine Island and Goat Island.

The goal is to progressively contain sycamore in these areas to prevent or improve on damage to the indigenous ecosystem values at these sites.

How will we achieve that?

ORC will take a lead role in supporting the goals of community groups and agencies in the site-led areas in relation to sycamore. This may be through advice, education, funding, service delivery or requiring other landowners undertake control when needed.

How can I control it?

  • Small patches can be dug out and disposed of a refuse transfer stations, burned or buried.
  • In summer and autumn months you can use the bore and fill method. Make one hole every 100mm around the trunk and fill or saturate each hold with a suitable herbicide containing metsulfuron-methyl, glyphosate or picloram gel.
  • In summer to autumn months trees can also be cut down. Cut the trunk near to the ground and swab the freshly cut stump with a suitable herbicide containing metsulfuron-methyl, picloram and triclopyr or picloram gel.
  • You can also spray sycamore at the full leaf stage only using a suitable herbicide containing metsulfuron-methyl.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Management programme

Page last updated 26 June 2024.