Plane trees of London

Database of plane trees

Index page

This page is a brief description of, and an introduction to the plane tree database. Click here for the database itself.

The database has records of a selection of large, important, unusual or interesting trees, and the places in which the trees are found. There are photographs for some of the trees.

In many cases, the trees are only a selection of what is in a particular site. For instance, many parks in inner London have numerous large trees, but only a representative few are included here from any one site. Much of London is unrepresented, especially large swathes of the north-west and the south-east.

The database

The database has records of sites (places), trees, and photographs. At any one time, one record can be seen, together with links to those records directly related to it. All the records are arranged in a hierarchy; large sites (such as London) contain other smaller sites (such as parks). The smaller sites contain trees. Trees may have photographs (images), as may some parks. Any record is linked to one record above, and to a variable number of records below.


Each record is linked to its 'parents', that is, to the records above it in the hierarchy. The hierarchy leading down to any record (i.e. links looking up from the record currently being viewed) is shown in a line of clickable links above the large blue pane.

If there are links down, that is, to child records, these are shown further down in the window, arranged in columns below the large blue pane.


For sites and trees, there is also a large pane, on the right of the window, that shows a googlemaps pane. On this map, any trees and sites that are in the area are shown by yellow flags (for sites) or green flags (for trees).

The map box contains a standard Google map. This can be manipulated in the same way that any Google map can. Users can zoom in and out, move the map around, show the aerial photo or just the streets, as necessary.

The maps provide a further means to move between records. Moving the mouse over a yellow or green flag will cause a clickable icon to appear. Click on the label to open up the record of that item.

Botany hierarchy

All of the above refers to the hierarchy of places and trees. However, there is also a separate botany hierarchy. The members of this are species, varieties, or other taxons, brief records of the significant plane trees. This is a small collection, covering just Platanus. It is there to provide a consistent reference structure that the trees database can link to. It also provides means of linking or attaching images to the separate taxons.


The software that this database runs on is written in PHP, for running on a website. It will shortly be made available freely for similar use, after it is fully documented.

Index page