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Cornell University

London Planetree
Platanus acerifolia
(plah-ta-nus a-ser-ih-fo-lee-ah)

Click on thumbnails for larger image.

What about it?

The London Planetree is a large, deciduous tree with alternate buds and leaves. It is a member of the Platanaceae Family. Peeling trunk bark is a characteristic that distinguishes the London Planetree from other trees. The inner bark of the trunk and larger limbs are creamy yellow. Also, the leaves of the London Planetree slightly resemble those of a maple tree although they are usually irregularly toothed.

What is it used for?

The London Planetree is commonly seen on streets or lawns because of the abundance of shade they provide. It has been widely used in urban areas but, due to increased disease problems, it is gradually losing favor.

Where does it grow? How do we grow it?

The American Planetree prefers deep, rich, moist, well-drained soils. However, this tree is tolerant of poor soil conditions and can adapt to other urban conditions. Trees need a good deal of growing room and should be spaced 50 feet apart when planting.

What are its primary problems?

Insects common to this tree include the lace bug and the European plum borer. Anthracnose is a common disease. If you are interested in keeping the planting spot tidy the peeling bark may become a maintenance problem.

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Copyright, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.