Platanus x acerifolia - London Planetree
Family: Platanaceae

Hear the scientific name

Platanus x acerifolia is a tree that can withstand the rigors of the urban environment including streets and parking lot islands. London Planetree has exfoliating bark and solid green summer color. It is a utilitarian tree.

F   E   A   T   U   R   E   S
  form Form

-large tree

-to 80' tall x 60' wide

-upright pyramidal to upright oval in youth, becoming irregular and spreading with age

-rapid rate

foliage2 foliage Foliage

-alternate 3- to 5-lobed, incised, pubescent, light green-gray

-shape resembles a Sugar Maple leaf

-autumn color brown-yellow to yellowish green; unattractive


-monoecious, insignificant, in Apr.


-tan furry balls, typically found in pairs

-many fruits are winter persistent on 3" pendulous peduncles



trunk2 trunk Trunk

-cream and green interior bark, tan-gray exterior exfoliating bark

-green-brown-gray platy lower trunk

-can get to 4' diameter

C   U   L   T   U   R   E


-full sun or partial shade

-prefers moist sites but is very adaptable to a variety of soils, compaction, and moisture conditions as well as restricted root space; considered quite tolerant to urban conditions, including air pollution

-widely planted in Europe and becoming more popular in the U.S.

-anthracnose (Gnomonia veneta) is a potentially serious disease that causes severe dieback of the emerging stems and foliage in afflicted trees in mid- to late-spring, and a resulting "witches' broom" of subsequent whorled stems that emerge in early summer; the London Planetree is believed to be more tolerant of anthracnose than the American Sycamore, but is susceptible to powdery mildew

-widely available in B&B form


-zones 5 to 8


-believed to be of hybrid origin involving a cross of American Sycamore (P. occidentalis) and Oriental Planetree (P. orientalis), which confers anthracnose resistance and pollution tolerance

U   S   A   G   E


-wet or dry site tolerant

-gray-green exfoliating ornamental bark on trunk and limbs

-urban tolerant in general


-poor autumn color

-exfoliating bark litter, especially in mid-summer

-occasional storm damage

-canker stain is a serious fungal disease

-frost cracks on trunks

-may show leaf scorch in very dry summers

-lace bugs may cause premature defoliation, but do not harm the tree


-shade, specimen, or focal point tree in open areas

-street and parking lot island tree


-bold in foliage and when bare

-average density in foliage and open density when bare

S   E   L   E   C   T   I   0   N   S

Varieties and Cultivars - Search OSU PlantFacts for additional plants in this species


-trees with ornamental bark

-large shade trees

-trees for wet sites


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