London Planetree

Bark detail


The London planetree contributes greatly to the urban forest due to its large size and its adaptability to city life. Not only that, but the unique and interesting properties of its bark and branches make it a highly desired urban tree as well.

This tree is eligible for a $50 Tree Rebate. If you’d like help with the planting, check out our RiverSmart Homes program.

Common Name
London planetree

Latin Name
Platanus × acerifolia

Thick, stiff, broad and superficially maple-like

Borne in one to three (most often two) dense spherical inflorescences* on a pendulous stem; male and female flowers on separate stems

Dense spherical cluster of achenes* with numerous stiff hairs that aid wind dispersal

Stout, green-brown color, mostly smooth with occasional follicles

Usually pale grey-green, smooth and exfoliating, or buff-brown and not exfoliating

Pyramidal when young, retaining this shape but becoming slightly more rounded with age

Can grow 75 to 100 feet tall and 65 to 80 feet wide

Native Range
Native to Europe, but widely transplanted and grown in many areas of the U.S.

Large deciduous tree

Seasonal Colors
Leaves turn yellow-brown in fall

Moist well-drained soil is best for this tree

Prefers full to partial sun

Similar Species
American sycamore, Oriental planetree

Pests and Diseases
Cankerstain, anthracnose and lacebug are the most common health hazards to this tree.

Rebate Eligibility

Of Note
The London planetree is very tolerant of atmospheric pollution and root compaction, and for this reason it is a popular urban roadside tree.

The stiff hairs shed by the young leaves and the dispersing seeds are an irritant if breathed in and can exacerbate breathing difficulties for people with asthma.

London planetree is believed to have resulted in a cross between the Oriental planetree and the American sycamore.

Photo Credits

Rick Payette
Dendroica cerulea