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Planetree, London Platanus x acerifolia

London Planetree - Platanus x acerifolia
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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)

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Zones 5 - 9 Zones 5 - 9
Hardiness Zones 5 - 9
The London Planetree can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the arborday.org zone map. View Map
Shade Tree Shade Tree
Type of tree
Shade Trees
75' - 100' High 75' - 100' High
Mature Height
The London Planetree grows to be 75' - 100' feet in height.
80' Spread 80' Spread
Mature Spread
The London Planetree has a spread of about 80' at full maturity.
Medium Growth Medium Growth
Growth Rate
This tree grows at a medium growth rate. More about this.
Full Sun Full Sun
Sun
This planetree does well in full sun, partial shade.
Various Soils Various Soils
Soil
The London Planetree grows in acidic, alkaline, drought tolerant, loamy, moist, sandy, well drained, wet, wide range, clay soils.
Pyramidal Shape Pyramidal Shape
Shape
This planetree has pyramidal, rounded shape.
Attributes

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.

Description

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)

Wildlife Value

The pendant seed balls are used by purple finches, goldfinches and squirrels.

History/Lore/Use

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.

Moisture

Moist well-drained soil is best for this tree.

Leaves

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.

Flower Color

Deep red.

Bloom Time

Flowers bloom in April.

Fruit Description

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.