The London Plane

Latin Name : Platanus X hispanica

You are most likely to have come across a London Plane tree in a City street or park. This is because it is a tree that is supremely capable of surviving in highly polluted air, such as that found in City streets.

… and it is this bark, with its capability to shed itself frequently, together with very large shiny leaves that make it a city survivor. Because trees ‘breathe’ not only via their leaves, but via their bark as well. 

So by shedding their bark in random patches from time to time, they ensure their survival.

The London Plane is often confused with Maple Trees, because of the Palmate leaf. Whilst nothing like as dramatic as many Maples, the Platanus does change colour at leaf fall, leaving the speckled branches visible through the winter months.

One fairly unusual thing to note about the leaf of the London Plane, and that is that when still affixed to the tree, the tubular swelling at the twig end of the leaf stalk or petiole encases the following years bud. So this new bud is not visible until leaf fall.