Sycamore - Platanus

Sycamore - Platanus

The Platano

The plane tree, common name for platanus, belonging to the Platanaceae family, is a large tree, native to North America for the species called occidentalis and from the Middle Asian areas for the species called orientalis. In our country the plane tree is widespread, especially in the flat areas up to the first hill areas. These trees develop into magnificent specimens of great size. They are also very long-lived, having the ability to reach up to 250 years of age. The plane tree can reach up to 30 meters in height and has a rounded crown with a columnar bearing. Its bark is very decorative: it is brittle and expands in patches. It is green or gray in color and has large plaques that tend to detach over time. Its brown parts when they fall leave a surface with a yellowish or pale green color uncovered. The plane trees are widespread as tree specimens, both in parks and in estates. They are also frequently used for the construction of popular tree-lined avenues, even in urban areas. In fact, if a row of plane trees is designed, they will almost certainly have a growth that will develop at the same pace, so as to reach the same height. The branches will also expand over the same amount of time.

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Leaves, fruits

The leaves of the plane tree are very large, equipped with clearly visible ribs, formed by number 5 or 7 lobes. They have a light green color that turns to golden shades in the autumn season. Its infructescences are round and slightly pedunculated. They have the shape of a hedgehog.


The sowing of the plane tree must take place in April. We prepare bowls already filled with the special compost and it is important to know that to grow rare specimens it is necessary to use a large amount of seeds. Then the transplant is carried out and the culture is carried out. Two or three years later it is time for its final planting.

A second way of cultivation involves taking cuttings at least thirty centimeters long from some vintage branches in October. These are then planted inside a cold box and transferred to the nursery one year later, where they are cultivated for two or three years before finally planting them.


Its predilection goes to deep soils, which are calcareous or clayey, and very rich in organic substances.


The plane tree has great tolerance towards even drastic treatments, which aim to reduce its height and its expansion. However, they do not require regular pruning. The most drastic treatments are usually done on those specimens that grow in inhabited centers. However, it has been said, their tolerance to pruning is one of the salient characteristics of the tree: in fact, it can be maintained, over the years and its growth, always at the desired extent through numerous interventions, even for an indefinite number. of seasons. It is not uncommon for miniature plane trees to have been kept in such condition for several years following this method.


The tree prefers long sunny positions, but it bears without excessive difficulty sudden changes in temperature, even strong ones, therefore both severe cold winters and important hot summer temperatures. Its presence in urban contexts is facilitated by the tolerance towards smog or other negative elements found in the city.


Used mainly for ornamental purposes - it has been said that its presence in parks, estates, tree-lined avenues even in cities, gardens and historic parks is very widespread - the plane tree it also boasts a very valuable timber often used for the construction of furniture. In English its wood is known as "lacewood".


Among the most common enemies for the plane tree we find lepidoptera such as the bombyx, which damages the leaf limb, the bucephalus, which is also harmful to the leaves, and the woodpecker that wedges itself into the branches and trunks, digging annoying tunnels. Attacks to the leaves can also be made by mites such as the red spider and the yellow spider. Among the fungi the most dangerous is certainly the ceratocytis fimbriata which causes the so-called “colored canker of the plane tree,” causing lethal drying of the leaves of the trees and of the entire foliage. In this case the only solution is the felling of the tree and the destruction of the sawdust and the remaining material to avoid contagion of the disease.


The most common species of plane tree are three: the platanus occidentalis, which boasts a height of approximately 45 meters, tri or penta lobed leaves, spherical fruits usually in pairs. Not very widespread in Europe, it is more present in the States where it is usually used for its timber. Platanus orientalis, with heights of 30 meters and imposing foliage, leaves with 5 or 7 dark green lobes and spiny and spherical fruits. Finally, the platanus acerifolia, a hybrid between the orientalis and the occidentalis, native to Great Britain, which can reach 35 meters in height and has five-lobed leaves, pale green flowers and thorny and spherical fruits. Like the previous ones, it has a bark that tends to flake.

Platanus digitata

The plane tree was already used in Roman times, especially the species Platanus orientalis, today, however, the species is used in our avenues P. acerifolia. In reality, the nursery catalogs do not offer many varieties and it is curious to note that in the catalogs of the early 1900s, strangely, the number of varieties available was much greater.

Platanus digitata (on some texts we find it described as Platanus orientalis f. typed) is a species recently introduced into cultivation, although it is not an absolute novelty. Its sale is certainly recent, both because it is difficult to reproduce, and because it is in recent years that the parameters of use of many trees have changed, which follow standards of more contained forms and less demanding as maintenance.

Oriental sycamore, Platanus orientalis

There Platanus orientalis is a palm belonging to the Platanaceae family. It is also known by the common name of Oriental Platano. It has a very high height of over 12 meters and is well suited to large gardens. the width is greater than 9 meters. Before the plant reaches its maximum development, it takes about 20-50 years. The leaves of this species are deciduous. Cultivation can be done in: informal garden, gravel garden, Mediterranean garden, pot or container, architectural garden, terrace or courtyard, rock garden, lawn or open field, flower garden, country garden, coastal garden, sub-garden tropical.

Grow the plane tree

A warm and sunny substrate, very cool and deep. Possibly it is better to choose soils with high fertility, even better if of alluvial origin.

It is not recommended to plant a plane tree near watercourses or swamps, the plant suffers from stagnation. Acidic soils must also be avoided, growth is stunted and rather difficult.

The cold should also be avoided intense, it is a plant capable of growing up to 600 meters on the surface of the sea, at greater heights it is unable to survive.

Platanor Vallis Clausa in the nursery

The plane tree should be planted either in the autumn period, between October and November, or at the end of winter, in February and March.

Before planting the plant it is necessary eliminate all stones present in the ground, any green residues and accumulations of clay. Then you have to make a crack of at least 80 centimeters on each side. To make the plant take root it is suggested to replace part of the excavated soil with universal soil, enriched with compost and slow release fertilizer..

Young plants, at least in their first stage of growth, they need to be supported by guardians, plus it is necessary wet them regularly for the first three years of life.

During the hottest summers it must be watered by slowly flowing large quantities of water. It is advisable to also moisten the under-tree, this will delay the fall of the leaves.

To preserve the growth of younger specimens it is recommended to distribute a layer of protective soil in the sub-foliage, at least until the plant has reached four meters in height. In April there will be a need to supply doses of slow release fertilizer.

Culture of the plane tree

As we have seen, the plane tree is a large tree that will only be planted in gardens that can accommodate it. Remember that your adult tree will be able to reach almost 30 meters high by 25 meters of extension. Also think about its powerful roots and don't plant it not too close to a house or land because he would soon have to lift the tiles or curbs.

The plane tree will be ideal in isolated subjects, not far from a pond or on a large lawn. In the summer it will bring its beneficial shade and you can practice the art of napping there.
Choose a location in full sun, plane trees love the heat!

Plant your tree in the fall in a very deep hole whose edges have been loosened so that the roots can settle well. In heavy soil, add compost and river sand so that it is well drained. The land should be rich, do not hesitate to add chopped horn powder to the plantation.

Water your tree very often 3 years after planting especially in hot and dry periods, it will allow him to recover optimally. So let nature do it except in the event of a prolonged drought.

You can give your tree a beautiful frame prune in February (without ice). This intervention will consist in cutting the branches that intersect and lighten the center of the tree a little to penetrate the maximum light.

Page content


Town Hall: 1
Address: Corso di Porta Romana, via Orti
Entrance from 7 to 22
How to get there: MM3 Crocetta bus: 77
Surface: 6,200 m2
Year of construction: 1970s
Designers: Municipality of Milan Technical Office

What to do in the park

  • playground
  • to stroll
  • stop and relax
  • sports fields: soccer field and volleyball / basketball court
  • dog area

The park in short

Named after the writer from Trieste Bazlen, the garden contains several areas for recreational and motor activities. Among the trees there are maples, poplars and a centuries-old plane tree.


Main tree species:

  • Robinia (Robinia pseudoacacia 'Bessonian')
  • maples (Acer negundo and saccharinum)
  • Judas tree (Cercis siliquastrum)
  • California cedar (Calocedrus decurrens)
  • flowering cherry (Prunus cerasifera 'Pissardii')
  • elm (Ulmus spp)
  • plane tree (Platanus x acerifolia)
  • strobe pine (Pinus strobus)
  • poplars (Populus alba, Populus nigra and Populus x Canadensis).


Culture and Culture
Protagonist trees: among the secular trees there is a plane tree (Platanus x acerifolia) which protects the play area.

Wellness and sport

  • Play area: a fenced play area of ​​about 800 m²
  • Sports fields: a fenced soccer field and a volleyball / basketball court.

Utilities and Services

  • Dog area: 1 at the south entrance
  • Flooring: natural stone and concrete
  • Bike sharing: BikeMi station in Largo della Crocetta.

  • January and February from 7 to 19
  • March from 7 to 20
  • April from 7 to 21
  • from May to September from 7 to 22
  • October from 7 to 21
  • November and December from 7 to 19.


Within the genre Platanus 9 species are currently included:

Despite this, the common plane tree (Platanus x hispanica (Aiton) Willd., also known incorrectly as Platanus acerifolia), which is the most widespread species, is actually a spontaneous hybrid between species P. occidentalis is P. orientalis, probably produced in Spain in the seventeenth century. (it is sometimes instead regarded as a variety of P. orientalis) [2] .

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