Fast-growing tree with a long straight trunk. It is characterised by the bark that flakes off to reveal a light green to yellow-green underground and grey-green, dark green to brown loose flakes. The broad palmately lobed leaf has 3 - 5 sharply serrated lobes and is slightly hairy on the underside. In the autumn the leaves turn colour to a brownish yellow. Fallen leaves do not rot easily and remain on the ground around the tree. The spherical flowers hang in pairs (1 - 3) on long stems, where spiky fruit appears later. These remain hanging on the tree until deep into the winter. Plane trees are very resistant to hard surfaces but surface roots can push the surrounding paving upwards. Takes pruning extremely well, even in old wood. It is important to use a tree stake for support at the sapling stage. Young branches have a tendency to break and the tree does not stand up at all well to sea wind.
The seeds of Platanus x acerifolia are arranged in spherical fruits. They often remain in the tree for a long time until the new flowers appear.