Today we were reducing a Sycamore in Oxford. This was in the neighbours garden and because of how quickly Sycamores can grow, it was blocking a lot of light out of what was a narrow and small garden.

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We had actually reduced this tree about 3 years ago and for the sake of the tree had suggested a 30% reduction and a thin, if we had taken any more off, it would have caused to much epicormic growth or water shoots.

This time, the owner wanted a really heavy reduction, in effect a pollard and were happy to lose the shape of the tree in order to gain more light and sun into their garden. Their chickens agreed to.

Sycamores like the Ash grow like weeds in this country and one of the reasons that they self seed so easily is because of the way their seeds disperse and settle to put down roots elsewhere. They have “helicopters” which can travel quite a distance and one tree can have several hundred seed pods. This is why you see them self set along hedge lines and shooting up in lawns given half a chance.

Like ash, Sycamore is a very good burning wood, here is a little poem I enjoy about the Ash and other woods and their burning goodness

Birch wood fires burn bright and clear,
If the logs are kept a year.
Oaken logs burn steadily,
If the wood is old and dry.
But ashdry or green,
Makes a fire fit for a queen.

Logs of Birch wood burn to fast
That’s a fire that will not last!
Chestnut is only good they say
If for long it’s laid away
But ash new or ash old
Is fit for a queen with a crown of gold