There are few shade trees that can rival the London Plane Tree (Platanus x acerifolia). It has some great features that make it a worthy street tree from small towns to large cities, front yards to city parks.
It is a cross between Platanus occidentalis (American Sycamore) and P. orientalis (Oriental Plane). It was first recorded in Spain in the 1700s where both species were found planted in proximity to each other which explains why it is sometimes refered to as Platanus x hispanica. Unlike the American Sycamore, this hybrid is tolerant of compacted, clay soils (either wet or dry), restricted root growth and urban pollution. In fact, you can find them planted along the streets of London, Paris, and even Sydney, Australia. The wide spreading canopy and large leaves make it a good shade tree, and the exfoliating bark give it interest year round. ‘Yarwood’, seen here, is a cultivar with darker leaves and exfoliating bark that develops quicker than the species and both ‘Yarwood’ and ‘Bloodgood’ have a higher disease resistance than the species. Take a look at the facts:
size: 80′ x 60′, oval to rounded form, fast grower
leaves: Large maple-like leaves up to 10″ across, yellow-brown in fall
fruit: Round, fruiting balls on long stems at branch tips turn from green to brown in October
bark: Exfoliating gray-green exterior reveals cream, green interior
use: Open areas, parks, street tree
culture: Full sun – part shade, average soil, very adaptable
hardiness: Zone 4-9
We currently have a selection of ‘Bloodgood’ and ‘Yarwood’ in stock. Call for sizes and availability.
FYI: Please don’t confuse the London Plane with Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus) which is on the CT Invasive Species list.