The London Plane is a much loved exotic tree that provides beauty on our streets and in our parks. This large deciduous tree generally grows to a height of 15 m with a crown spread of up to 10 m. However, specimens have been measured at 40 m in height with a trunk circumference of up to 3 m.
The tree has a pyramidal shape and the crown branches upwards and spreads. The leaves are thick and stiff-textured and during autumn they turn from a vibrant green to tawny brown and gold hue, creating a stunning colour display. In winter the bare boned beauty of the skeleton of the tree is exposed and the distinctive bark is showcased. The bark peels off, revealing creamier camouflage patterns as the tree gets older.
During the Industrial Revolution in the United Kingdom, London Planes were in popular use. Through the process of ‘bark exfoliation’, the tree shed its soot encrusted bark, leaving a clean and aesthetically appealing trunk. The tree is very tolerant of atmospheric pollution and root compaction, making it ideal as an urban roadside specimen.