Platanus acerifolia – London Plane
(= P. x hybrida)
Habit: A majestic large tree, 25-30 m tall, 15-25 m wide, initially broadly conical, then extensive and with round crown, branches diagonally extended, twigs upright, overhanging; fast-growing, some 50-70 cm a year in the first 15-20 years.
Bark: Peels off in plates, green-white, light brown to dark grey.
Fruits: Persistent into spring in hanging capsules.
Leaves: Like maple leaves, late shoots, initially woolly, dull green, later thick and leathery, medium-green, pale green to brown yellow in autumn; some foliage persistent into winter.
Roots: Cordate, not sensitive to covering and flooding; roots lift pavements, keep base open at least 1.5 m from stem.
Demands: Robust and not demanding; sun or even light shade; tolerates heat, likes warmth, frost hardy, tolerant of urban pollution, wind resistant.
Soil: Dry to moist; in any moderately nutritious, well drained, sandy to loamy soil, neutral to alkaline, can be tolerant of salt.
Note: The most important tree type for roof-shaped crowns. The best proof of their tolerance of cutting is the promenade planes such as those along the banks of Lake Geneva.
Hardiness: Zone 6a