Platanus acerifolia (syn. Platanus x hispanica)

London Plane Tree

This large and long-lived tree has become synonymous with stately avenues and large, expansive parks around the world.

Features: Majestic form. Widely tolerant. Patterned bark. Some autumn foliage colour. Shade.
Applications: A great street and avenue tree for sites with sufficient space. Shade tree. Parks and expansive gardens.
Description The London Plane tree has a proven record in urban landscapes, withstanding urban pollution and being widely tolerant, robust and not generally demanding. The arching habit of a Plane's branches forms a high and spreading crown - an attractive feature in large avenues. Its patterned bark and broad leaves further create a distinctive look that has been used to great effect in significant urban sites around the world. The London Plane is a hybrid of the Oriental Plane (Pl. orientalis) and the American Plane (Pl. occidentalis) and can be long-lived. While the London Plane has larger leaves than the Oriental Plane, all three species can be identified by maple-like leaves, the dappled pattern left by the peeling bark of the trunk and larger branches and by the pendant ball-shaped clusters of seeds that remain after leaf fall and on through winter. Roots are tolerant of covering and flooding though will lift pavement if an space insufficient is provided. It is a large tree with strong branches and tolerates pruning or cutting but is best used where space allows it to realise its full potential.
Availability: Torbay : 45L, 100L
Mature height: 30-35
Mature spread: 15-25
Canopy: Broadly columnar. Dense shade (seasonal).
Growth rate: Fast
Cautions: Leaves and seeds can cause some people respiratory problems. Roots can lift pavement - allow 1.5m opening from stem. Leaf litter is considerable and slow to break down. Leaves can 'burn' in hot, drying winds.
Tolerances: Tolerates urban environments and pollution. Tolerates heat and wind. Tolerates dry periods when established. Roots tolerate covering and flooding.
Sun demands: Best in full sun but can tolerate light shade.
Soil demands: Any well-drained, dry to moist, moderately nutritious soils. Acid to alkaline.
Water demands: Low when established
WA Waterwise Visit Website
Native or Exotic: Exotic
Leaf habit: Deciduous
Family: Platanaceae

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Additional references and recommended reading:

Boland, D. J. et al (2006) "Forest Trees of Australia" 5th Edition, Australia: CSIRO Publishing.

Gilman, Edward F. (1997) "Trees for Urban and Suburban Landscapes", Florida: Delmar Cengage Learning.

Lorenz von Ehren "Von Ehren Manual" 2nd Edition, Hamburg.

Rushforth, K. (2001) "Easy Tree Guide, Britain and Europe", London: Aurum Press.

Urban Forests Ecosystems Institute, "SelecTree - A Tree Selection Guide" retrieved from 2009.

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