”’Scientific Name”’: ”Platanus X acerifolia”
”’Also known as”’: London planetree, hybrid plane
”’Habitat”’: The most common tree in London, London plane copes well with pollution and compacted soils and is often found growing on streets and city parks.
”’Description”’: The London plane is a large deciduous tree growing 20–30 m, exceptionally over 40 m tall, with a trunk up to 3 m or more in circumference. They can live for several hundred years.
It shares many visual similarities with Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore), of which it is derived; however, the two species are relatively easy to distinguish, considering the London plane is almost exclusively planted in urban habitats, while P. occidentalis is most commonly found growing in lowlands and alluvial soils along streams.
* ”’Bark”’ – The bark is olive green to grey, with large scaly plates that peel off to reveal a creamy bark beneath. Where the scaly plates have peeled off, it gives the bark a camouflaged appearance. Older trees can be gnarly and deeply fissured at the bottom, with their usual pattern higher up.
* ”’Twigs”’ – Young twigs are green-brown.
* ”’Buds”’ – The leaf buds are round and have two to three scales with a leaf scar almost surrounding the bud.
* ”’Leaves”’ – The leaves are thick and stiff-textured, broad, palmately lobed, superficially maple-like, the leaf blade 10–20 cm long and 12–25 cm broad, with a petiole 3–10 cm long. They are arranged alternately with palmate leaf venation and dentate leaf margins. The young leaves in spring are coated with minute, fine, stiff hairs at first, but these wear off and by late summer the leaves are hairless or nearly so.
* ”’Flowers”’ – The flowers are borne in one to three (most often two) dense spherical inflorescences on a pendulous stem, with male and female flowers on separate stems.
* ”’Fruits”’ – The fruit matures in about 6 months, to 2–3 cm diameter, and comprises a dense spherical cluster of achenes with numerous stiff hairs which aid wind dispersal; the cluster breaks up slowly over the winter to release the numerous 2–3 mm seeds.
==Pictures throughout the year==
File:20170220_130909.jpg|London Plane fruit
File:20170220_130951.jpg|London Plane bark
File:20170220_131014.jpg|London Plane old bark
Very little wildlife is associated with London plane, although the seeds may be eaten by grey squirrels.
”’How we use London plane”’
The tree is widely planted as a street tree in large cities, particularly London. The wood used to be popular for making veneers, as it is an attractive golden brown colour with dark brown flecks.
The London Plane is one of the most efficient trees in removing small particulate pollutants in urban areas.
*Tree & Plant ID Course from Foundation Bushcraft – http://identificationmasterclass.com/
*Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platanus_×_acerifolia
*Woodland Trust – https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/common-non-native-trees/london-plane/