Pruning London Plane (canopy form)

Pruning London Plane (canopy form)

Platanus x Acerifolia

Plane trees lend themselves very well to pruning. They can be pollarded or trained to form an espalier or canopy. Depending on what you want to achieve, these trees can be pruned at various times of the year.

Pruning in June

This is a suitable month to remove the lowermost side branches of the London plane to obtain a nice tall trunk. The branches should be removed in stages. First make a deep cut on the underside of the branch, then saw through from above. Make sure you do not saw too close to the trunk, as you do not want the branches to tear. Very thick branches should be sawn off at a distance of about 10 cm from the trunk, whereas thinner branches can be sawn at about 5 cm from the trunk. The stump can be removed afterwards, although the branch collar should be left intact. Treat the pruning cut with a wound sealant to prevent bleeding and to protect the tree from infection.

Pruning in October – February

This is the best time to refine the shape of the crown and carry out formative pruning. For a canopy form, cut the young shoots that developed during summer back to about 5 cm. Do not prune in freezing weather.

Pruning in September

In September the leaves have not yet fallen, making it easier to assess the effect of a pruning session. If you have a young tree that still needs to be given a definitive shape, it may therefore be a good idea to prune in September just before the tree loses its leaves.