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Plane tree, a symbol of southern French villages

Plane tree leaves

The plane tree is one of the the most typical trees of certain regions like French Provence.

Plane facts for your perusal

Type – tree

Height – 85 to 130 feet (25 to 40 meters)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – ordinary, well drained

Foliage – deciduous

Its ornamental value is appreciated, all the more so because it provides refreshing shade.

Planting plane tree

The most promising season to plant plane tree is fall, in order to promote root growth and settling in.

It is also possible to plant plane in spring but then you must be in a position to water it all summer long the 1st year of planting.

  • Plane loves sunbathed locations.
  • It requires well drained soil, which is to say, soil in which water isn’t retained.
  • Refer to our guidelines for planting shrubs

Pruning and caring for plane

Plane copes very well with pruning. It is one of those trees that can be pruned and trimmed to your heart’s desire.

If you need proof of this, simply check on how loggers work in large cities during the annual fall pruning work.

Take note though that wounds should be cared for, because even small wounds can quickly lead an entire tree to die if contaminated with fungus.

For that, apply pruning paste after cutting off each branch, and avoid wounding the tree: make your cuts clean and sharp.

Learn more about plane trees

The plane tree is part of the Platanaceae family, which numbers about ten species. The most famous one is the common plane tree, often used in Southern France to line streets or village plazas.

But the plane tree is quite hardy and can also grow in colder climates.

What is unique to plane compared to other trees is its bark: multicolored slabs peel off. Its large palmate leaves are quite nice, too.

Its rapid growth will quickly make your garden feel like you’re in French Provence!

But be careful because plane can reach over 65 feet (20 meters) tall and it will need space to develop well.

Diseases and parasites that attack plane trees

Today, a specific fungus is threatening plane trees in general because it can kill an entire tree in just a few years. It is called Canker stain or “sycamore canker”.

It forms violet blue stains that are necrotic, and this canker wedges itself in the wood, on the trunk and branches and cut off the sap flow. These stains turn brown and make the bark burst. They spread and in short notice will kill the plane tree.

Treating against plane tree canker stain

As of now, there is no know cure. The only solution is to cut the plane tree down, in the hope of stopping the infection reaching to the neighboring plane trees.

Some countries mandate cutting down all plane trees within a radius of 115 feet (35 meters) around the infected tree. In France, over 50,000 plane trees were infected by this disease.

Another pest that attacks plane trees is the sycamore lace bug. This is a stink bug that also spreads canker stain and hides where leaves attach to the branch.

Smart tip about plane

If you live in town, feel free to plant this tree because it adapts well to urban environments!

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