London Plane Trees – Platanus x Acerifolia


Platanus x acerifolia, known as the London Plane Tree, is a hybrid species that has been gracing the streets and parks of London and other British cities for centuries. This large, fast-growing tree offers great shade and is highly adaptable to urban conditions, making it a valuable feature in city landscapes.


Platanus x acerifolia, known as the London Plane Tree, is a hybrid species that has been gracing the streets and parks of London and other British cities for centuries. This large, fast-growing tree offers great shade and is highly adaptable to urban conditions, making it a valuable feature in city landscapes.

The London Plane Tree can reach impressive heights of 30-35 metres, or even more, given sufficient time and space. Its robust structure and broad, spreading crown are prominent features that set it apart from other trees found in England. The tree has an expected lifespan of several hundred years, sometimes even surpassing 400 years, demonstrating its longevity.

The bark of the London Plane Tree is perhaps its most distinctive feature, differing significantly from other British trees. The outer bark peels away in large patches, revealing a lighter, cream-coloured inner bark. This exfoliation helps the tree to rid itself of pollutants, a feature that has helped it to thrive in urban environments.

The tree’s leaves resemble those of a maple, thus the species name “acerifolia”, and provide dense shade in summer. In late spring, the tree produces round, spiky seed balls that hang in pairs and remain on the tree across the winter, providing an interesting visual element.

From a garden design perspective, the London Plane Tree’s large size, distinctive bark, and broad canopy make it an excellent choice for larger landscapes where a significant shade tree or high canopy cover is desired. However, due to its large size and root spread, it may not be the best fit for small residential gardens.

Wildlife, particularly birds, benefit from the London Plane Tree’s presence. The tree’s dense foliage offers excellent nesting and roosting opportunities. Additionally, the seed balls, while not a primary food source, are eaten by some birds during the winter months.

One interesting fact about the London Plane Tree is its unknown origin. It’s a hybrid of the American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) and the Oriental plane (Platanus orientalis), but it’s unclear when and where the first hybridisation occurred. Some believe it was a deliberate cross made in Spain or France in the 17th century, while others suggest it may have happened naturally.

In conclusion, the London Plane Tree (Platanus x acerifolia) stands as a testament to adaptability and endurance. Its resilience in urban environments, unique aesthetic qualities, and value to wildlife make it a noteworthy component of British city landscapes and larger garden designs.


Full Standard, Boxhead, Feathered, Multi Stem, Pleached, Half Standard Pleached, Umbrella, Half Standard, Espalier, Mini Standard, Ball, Cone, Spiral, Cube, Cloud Form, Cube Spiral, Cube Multiball, Cube Ball Cone, Pom-pom, Lollipop, Archway, Twisted Stem, Triple Lollipop, Multiball 2, Multiball 3, Dome, Cylinder, Pyramid, Cylindrical Dome, Twisted Stem, Unique, Bonsai, Instant Hedge, Instant Screen, Hedging Plants, Young Tree

Root Type

Pot Grown, Rootball, Bare Root


15-30cm, 30-50cm, 50-70cm, 70-90cm, 90-110cm, 110-130cm, 130-150cm, 150-170cm, 170-200cm, 200-230cm, 230-250cm, 250-270cm, 270-300cm, 300-350cm, 350-400cm, 400-450cm, 450-500cm, 500-600cm, 600-700cm, 700-800cm, 10-20cm, 20-30cm, 30-40cm, 40-50cm, 50-60cm, 60-70cm, 70-80cm, 80-90cm, 90-100cm, 100-110cm, 110-120cm, 120-130cm, 130-140cm, 140-150cm

Stem Girth

4-6cm, 6-8cm, 8-10cm, 10-12cm, 12-14cm, 14-16cm, 16-18cm, 18-20cm, 20-22cm, 22-24cm, 24-26cm, 26-28cm, 28-30cm, 30-35cm, 35-40cm, 40-45cm, 45-50cm, 50-60cm, 60-70cm, N/A, 20-25cm, 25-30cm

Foliage Type



Not Native

Water Requirement

Moderate Watering

Growth Height

Tall Growing

Growth Speed

Fast Growth

Costal Growing






Hard Wood Cutbacks?



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Box/Parcel – Used for plants sized 0-70cm, costs £12. Order £100 worth of plants of that size to qualify for free delivery! Parcel deliveries are always sent for next day delivery unless otherwise specified.

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In all cases you can request a private van delivery, where your plants are delivered by us. Upon your request we can re-evaluate your delivery fee and let you know of the delivery time.

Please note, for pallet and box deliveries we use third party companies to deliver the goods. Not often, but occasionally some delays may happen due to unforeseen circumstances, which are out of our control. For this reason, we ask you to never book gardeners, contractors, or other industry professionals for the estimated delivery date. Please do not book days off work or cancel other commitments specifically for your plant delivery to avoid disappointment.

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Specialized Delivery

If you have any special requirements regarding your delivery, please add it to your order notes or call us on 01603 327269. Always include any delivery restrictions into your order note so appropriate vehicles and good carriers can be used to deliver your plants.

Please note that we currently are unable to deliver to Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland due to Brexit rules and regulations.

For more delivery information refer to our terms and conditions here.

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