Because of their size and their tendency to drip bark, seed balls, and even leaves nearly all season, sycamores have limited uses. They are most appropriate as specimen trees in spacious yards of estate proportions because full-grown, they tend to dwarf small houses and render small yards useless for other purposes. Planted in a row along property lines, or along drives as an allee they look striking. Most experts recommend that they be used for public areas like parks, since there are many other excellent trees that are better suited to residential yards.
Although their leaves do not show attractive fall colors, their bark is wonderful. The distinctive, smooth, marbled bark of sycamores becomes most obvious after the leaves fall and winter sets in. It provides a strikingly beautiful feature in otherwise bare, harsh winter landscapes.
While Sycamore leaves tend to be toxic to turfgrass, chopped up and used as mulch, the leaves and bark litter, hasn’t caused any problems in my garden over the years. One mature sycamore tree gives us a lot of chopped leaf mulch each fall.