London Planetree

Bark detail

Introduction

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

Leaf
Thick, stiff, broad and superficially maple-like

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

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

Twig/branches
Stout, green-brown color, mostly smooth with occasional follicles

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

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

Size
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.

Type
Large deciduous tree

Seasonal Colors
Leaves turn yellow-brown in fall

Soil
Moist well-drained soil is best for this tree

Light
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
$50

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

wlcutler
Rick Payette
Dendroica cerulea
criggle1