Common Name = London Planetree
Scientific Name = Platanus x acerifolia
Location = Roberts Hall south of main entrance
Height = 63 feet (18.9m)
Trunk Circumference = 67 inches (1.68m)


Unique is an apt descriptor for the London planetree. It is the only tree with maple-looking leaves that is not a maple; it has bark that is very distinctive in its color, texture, and peeling pattern; and it has dry, fuzzy, spherical fruit that hang from its branches like ornaments all winter. A cross between the American sycamore (native to Rhode Island) and the Oriental planetree (a native of the eastern Mediterranean region), this hybrid has been propagated asexually for over 300 years to maintain its unique genetic characteristics. Aesthetics aside, the tree is valued for its tolerance to smoke and other air pollutants and, therefore, is commonly planted along city streets in temperate climates all over the world. London planetrees line the street that passes in front of our first, and still main campus building, Roberts Hall, home of the College’s largest auditorium where audiences have enjoyed many memorable events from remarkable stage performances to pithy convocation addresses.

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