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London Planetree (Platanus x acerifolia)



Authors as Published

Alex X. Niemiera, Professor, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech (first published May 2009, last reviewed March 2024)


Foliage: Deciduous broadleaf Height: 100 feet
Spread: 80 feet
Shape: Pyramidal in youth, spreading with age
London planetree is a medium/large species that is very tolerant of adverse conditions. It has ornamental which bark flakes off, exposing tan, greenish and creamy white colors.

Plant Needs:

Zone: 5 to 8
Light: Partial shade to full sun Moisture: Wet to moist to dry Soil Type: Sandy, loam, or clay pH Range: 3.7 to 8.2


Suggested uses for this plant include shade, street tree, and specimen plant.

Planting Notes:

Transplants readily.
Tolerates wide range of conditions, including air pollution.
Plant in a location that will allow the plant ample room to spread. Do not plant where branches will interfere with power lines.


Bark and leaves continuously drop off, causing litter. Tolerates heavy pruning. Prune in the winter.


Some problems include cankerstain, anthracnose, lacebug, and frost cracking of the bark. There are cultivars that exhibit pest resistance. Roots of this species can heave sidewalks. This species is relatively messy due to leaf and fruit litter.


Consult local garden centers, historic or public gardens and arboreta regarding cultivars and related species that grow well in your area.

Cultivars of Platanus x acerifolia:

`Bloodgood' ‘Columbia’ and ‘Liberty’ are reported to be resistant to anthracnose, however, there are conflicting reports on this aspect.

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Publication Date

March 6, 2024