The London Plane


“When I visit London in summer I always feel much interested in the luxuriant and happy state the Plane trees seem to be in compared with other London trees.” Thomas RiversGardener’s Chronicle (1860)

Last Sunday, fellow UCV member David Macdonald pointed out to me that leaves on plants growing under a plane tree on the church grounds all had a sticky sheen. He said he also noticed his bike tires make a different sound on the pavement under overhanging plane trees. That was news to me … although before moving to Canada I lived in London, where these trees are common.

Apart from being aware that the London plane is an introduced species – it is rare-to-nonexistent in the English countryside – introduced because it survives under conditions that kill other trees, I knew very little about the tree. Now I know much more, thanks to the botany-of-plane-trees page and other pages on I.M. Chengappa’s website aranya.co.uk – where he posted the photo shown above.

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