Plane trees of London

Platanus 'Augustine Henry' specimens

Index page

 

Description of tree

Specimens of Augustine Henry of various ages can be found across London, sometimes in unexpected places. They appear to have regularly entered public parks and roadside planting programs. They are often mixed with other forms, and may have not been deliberately chosen or selected. Many are in less than ideal locations and sometimes have been lopped, losing much of their natural form. However there are some good specimens.

The list below starts with the most notable tree at Kew Gardens. Then there are some selected trees across the city that best display the shape or other characteristics. Click on the heading link to see the location (on Google maps in new browser tab or window).

Reference tree at Kew Gardens

This is one of the oldest known trees, older than any of the others described here. It was the one used by William Bean as the reference for the original description of the clone. This probably means that it is well over a century since planting now. It is a large well formed specimen. By comparison most of the others on this page may be best described as 'young mature'.

Younger tree at Kew Gardens

This younger but large specimen is near the near Princess of Wales Conservatory. Dating from the late 1980's, about the time the Conservatory was first opened, it is now of substantial size with minimal pruning.

St. James' Park, north of the station

Tree to the north and west of the footbridge in St. James's Park, behind the toilets and a short distance south of The Mall. This clearly shows the foliage but the general shape is not so clear in this tree.

St. Nicholas Churchyard, Plumstead

Tree on the east side of the churchyard, on Church Manor Way, opposite Bannockburn Primary School, roughly in line with the south wall of the church. A well shaped tree, of largely natural shape and branching, with minimal lifting.

Group of trees including other forms at Wandle Park
Trees at Wandle Park
Group of trees at Wandle Park, Colliers Wood

There are at least three trees here together in a larger group, mixed with other types. They are between the pub at Baltic Close and the nearest footbridge in the park. The largest Augustine Henry tree is the furthest away from Baltic Close, by the footbridge over the brook. The trunks of these are not straight as they usually are, possibly due to competition.

Torrington Place, in Bloomsbury / Fitzrovia

At this point there is a well shaped tree, one of several young roadside trees in this area. The form been retained to 2021 in this road despite it being surrounded by moderately high buildings.

West Green Road / Ducketts Common, near Turnpike Lane

Good specimen with typical straight trunk, by the pavement of West Green Road, opposite pillar box. This is a young mature tree, around maybe 40 years or so old.

Victoria Park, Bethnal Green

A young tree, planted in a row with other older trees of other clones. The difference in the more slender trunk and upright habit can be seen clearly, though some if it might be affected by competition from its neighbours. Others of similar age can be found elsewhere in similar situations in this park.


Index page

27-July-2021