Planetree, London Platanus x acerifolia
Red-brown scales flake to show cream-colored inner bark. Large distinctive leaves with lighter undersides. Fast growing, resistant to anthracnose. Prefers moist, well-drained soil and full sun to light shade. Grows to 75' to 100', 80' spread. (zones 5-9)Pricing Information
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Hardiness Zones 5 - 9The London Planetree can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the arborday.org zone map. View Map
Type of treeShade Trees
Mature HeightThe London Planetree grows to be 75' - 100' feet in height.
Mature SpreadThe London Planetree has a spread of about 80' at full maturity.
SunThis planetree does well in full sun, partial shade.
SoilThe London Planetree grows in acidic, alkaline, drought tolerant, loamy, moist, sandy, well drained, wet, wide range, clay soils.
ShapeThis planetree has pyramidal, rounded shape.
The London Planetree is a widely planted street tree, and for good reason. Its attributes were discovered in London where the new hybrid first appeared around 1645. It was found to thrive in the sooty air and provide wonderful shade. Its ability to withstand air pollution, drought and other adversities assures its popularity as an urban tree. Its strong limbs also help make it a good choice where site conditions allow for its large size.
Red-brown scales flake to show cream-colored inner bark. Large distinctive leaves with lighter undersides. Fast growing, resistant to anthracnose. Prefers moist, well-drained soil and full sun to light shade. Grows to 75' to 100', 80' spread. (zones 5-9)
The pendant seed balls are used by purple finches, goldfinches and squirrels.
The scientific name for this tree comes from the Greek platys, which means "ample" or "broad," and can be applied to either its individual leaves or its spreading crown. Acerifolia clearly refers to the leaves which are maple-like in appearance. The London Planetree is believed to have resulted in a cross between the Oriental Planetree from Asia - southeastern Europe and our American Sycamore.
Moist well-drained soil is best for this tree.
The leaves resemble some Maples, but are alternate on the stem whereas Maples are opposite. They are large, about 6 to 7 inches long and up to 10 inches wide. Sparingly toothed along the edges.
Flowers bloom in April.
Round balls about 1 inch in diameter and made up of tightly compacted seeds. Usually 2 per stalk, but sometimes 3 or single. Multiple seed balls distinguish the London Planetree from the American Sycamore, which is characterized by only one seed ball.
Rate of growth refers to the vertical increase in growth unless specified differently. Rate, as is true for size, is influenced by numerous variables such as soil, drainage, water, fertility, light, exposure, ad infinitum. The designation slow means the plant grows 12” or less per year; medium refers to 13 to 24” of growth per year; and fast to 25” or greater.Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, by Michael Dirr.