London Planetree, Plane Tree

Platanus x acerifolia

Family: Platanaceae
Genus: Platanus (PLAT-an-us) (Info)
Species: x acerifolia (ay-ser-ih-FOH-lee-a) (Info)
Synonym:Platanus x hispanica
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Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Scarlet (Dark Red)

Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From hardwood cuttings

From hardwood heel cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

By grafting

By budding

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Prescott, Arizona

Clovis, California

Fontana, California

Salinas, California

San Diego, California

Clifton, Colorado

Muncie, Indiana

Louisville, Kentucky

Thurmont, Maryland

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Lincoln, Nebraska

Brewster, New York

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Grantsville, Utah

Orem, Utah

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 11, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

This is a hybrid between the American Sycamore of eastern North America and the Oriental Planetree from southeast Europe and western Asia, first discovered in London, England in 1663. It is much more planted in Europe than the USA, but is occasionally found in the latter. I find that the leaves are smaller than the American species, usually about 6" wide and so it is less course with foliage. It is less affected by anthracnose fungus disease than the American, but cankerstain disease can be serious.


On Apr 18, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A majestic shade tree, one of the few that tolerate city conditions. A fast grower that can become huge, to 100' or more. A great shade tree where there's room for the massive trunk, and a wonderful tree for formal allees/avenues. Highly sculptural in winter, and a tree whose distinctively ornamental bark lives up to the hype. Tolerates pollarding well.

I see no fall color here in New England, and the flowers are inconspicuous.

Not a tree for the small garden. Few other plants survive in its shade, due to its thirsty roots. Where happy, the trunk quickly grows too massive for the puny planting pits usually provided for street trees.

Tolerates salt, drought, compacted soil, pollution, and poor drainage.

To distinguish this hybrid ... read more


On Jul 2, 2008, DisHammerhand from Fontana, CA wrote:

I am not certain of the precise cultivar that is planted in my area but it is used everywhere! I see it in the middle of parking lots, Parking strips, islands in the middle of streets, parks and schools.Tolerates wind and heat well and it's a fast grower for those who want shade quickly. It is sometimes prone to powdery mildew but this does not seem to harm the tree. When the yukky mildewy leaves drop, they are replaced by nice looking ones. It's a very handsome tree. Outside a business a couple miles away are two that have attained huge size. They're planted in islands in the parking lot. They have not heaved the pavement.

I am surprised that such a well behaved tree is not planted more in yards. It was my pick to replace the old sick mulberry at the front of my house. I en... read more


On Dec 6, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This species is resistant to Anthracnose. It is tolerant of most soil conditions except for dry soil and/or dry winds. It makes a great shade tree. Grows quickly and is very large when mature. Fruits can be somewhat messy, but are also showy.


On Oct 15, 2004, philomel from Castelnau RB Pyrenes
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is a truly remarkable tree, not only for the reasons above, but also for its great beauty of bark and foliage. In my experience it will stand droughl, growing perfectly well across parts of Europe, such as SW France, that experience little rain in the summer months.
As with many trees popular for lining streets and roads, it is often pollarded. When this is done correctly the tree does not suffer, indeed pollards and coppices are capable of a longer life than a naturally grown tree.
The flowers take the form of catkins, the males being yellowish and the females crimson.and rounded.
The leaves do not appear til mid May, but are very beautiful and shaped rather like thiose of an acer - hence the botanical name. They vary greatly in size and shape depending on the cl... read more


On May 30, 2004, angelam from melbourne
Australia wrote:

This is the city tree to beat all others. At one time, before the Clean Air Acts, when London used to vanish for days on end into a dirty, acid smog it is believed over 90% of London's trees were London planes. They will take any amount of pollution and still produce a large canopy and a handsome bark without the relentless assault on pavements and pipes some of their relations make.They will also take the brutal pruning city trees get for wires etc.
If you are prone to despair over the environment then it is worth remembering that the will to act is all it needs. The diversity of trees these days in London is evidence enough. It is less than 50years since Governments accepted they had clean up London's air. The shame was it took thousands of deaths in Britains worse peace time dis... read more