Leaves: Green, medium to dark, yellow-brown in fall, hairless when mature; alternate; simple; large (6" to 7" long and 8" to 10" wide), maple-like, with 3 to 5 lobes; lobes triangular, sparingly toothed, and have sinuses reaching a depth 1/3 as long as the blade; base heart-shaped; petiole 2" to 4" long; smaller and more deeply lobed than P. occidentalis.
Twigs/buds: Twigs and buds like P. occidentalis: twigs moderately slender; orange-brown; zigzag. No terminal bud; lateral buds reddish, conical, resinous, covered by a single cap-like scale and hidden under hollow petiole base.
Flowers/fruit: Flowers monoecious; not showy, occur in April with leaves; ball-like structures, in peduncles. Fruits attached to stalk - 2 per stalk (rarely 1 or 3 to 6); fruit rounded, bristly, and 1" in diameter - somewhat smaller than P. occidentalis; persist in winter.
Bark: Light brown, exfoliating, multicolored; exfoliation in plates reveals creamy, silver, or olive (yellowish-green) to yellow patches; ornamentally attractive.
Wood: Trees of the Platanus genus have hard, tough, and dense wood and are used to make furniture and as butcher's blocks; little information available on P. x acerifolia. Called "planetree" because the wood can be used to make the bodies of woodworking planes because of its stability and hardness.
General: A cross between American sycamore (P. occidentalis) and Oriental planetree (P. orientalis ), it originates in Europe. This is a large, stately tree, reaching heights of 70'. Its appearance is similar to that of sycamore, though its fruits usually occur 2 or 3 to a stalk. Anthracnose is a fungal disease that can affect both of these species, causing early season leaf drop or twig dieback. Trees grow new leaves, however, and usually are not severely affected. Tolerates urban conditions.
Landscape Use: Often planted in Utah (more in the past than now). The main streets of Brigham City and Farmington are good examples. A beautiful tree for a large site. Can overgrow a small site and break sidewalks and curbs, though less prone to this than some smaller trees like lindens and maples. Zones 4-9.
Cultivars: 'Bloodgood', 'Columbia', 'Liberty', 'Mirkovec', 'Yarwood'.