|Plane trees of London
The following list is of some plane trees in London that
cannot be fitted into one of the described taxons. In some
cases this may be because they have not been properly identified.
Some other noteworthy trees that I am not certain of the name of
are also included here.
- Angel, Islington. A number of somewhat unusual young trees can
be seen in the group at the junction of City Road and Goswell Street.
These have thick fissured bark, and leaves that are not as hairy as most planes.
- Barking. in Rippleside Cemetery, there is a tree near the main entrance,
probably a form of the Oriental plane, with distinctive deeply cut leaves.
- Brookmill Park, Lewisham. Contains a single young upright
or semi-fastigiate tree, in a shrub bed near the playground.
- Chelsea. Along Chelsea Embankment many of the trees
appear to be seed raised variants, few of any distinction, but
different from the more commonly seen forms. This has been referred to by Bean,
who suggests that these might be seed-raised specimens imported from France,
and planted in the 1860s and 1870s.
- Eccleston Square, Belgravia.
Within the gardens of the square a very distinctive, pendulous
form can be seen. This square is private but the tree can be
seen from the surrounding roads, from a few yards away.
- Edmonton, N18.
On the housing estate car park areas on the
west side of Tanners End Lane, N18 are
trees of distinct appearance. They have leaves with many teeth, sometimes doubly
toothed. The leaves are large, to 40cm across, thick, matt and
rough, pale green below, deeper green above. The leaves and
shoots and are covered with a very dense coating of down or
hairs, the down remaining on the mature leaves in June. Stipules
are prominent. Shoots are thick and straight, light olive brown
to green in winter, with green buds. The branches are sinuous to
contorted. Bark does not peel and fall away but remains on the
tree, with all branches and trunk more than 5cm thick being
covered in bark fissured into small squares. Fruits about 25mm
across, 2-5 on a stem. Some similar trees can be seen elsewhere, including
specimens of similar age at St. Mary's Garden
in Pearson Street, E2, both on the roadside frontage, and in the
grounds behind the site building.
- Greenwich. The grounds of the National Maritime Museum
contain a number of distinct forms, probably derived from seed
raised specimens. Most of these have been pollarded, so that their
true shape can no longer be seen.
- Highgate. Pond Square, off Pond Street, in Highgate
Village contains some young unusual forms. In particular, there
is a densely foliaged, deeply lobed form, resembling P. orientalis
Digitata somewhat in leaf shape, but clearly distinct from this in many
- Hyde Park. On the south side of Serpentine Road, opposite the
Cavalry memorial, there is a
young mature tree
columnar shape. Location approximately at 52807,180014 (OS coordinates). As seen
in the photo, it has a major fork, but still does not grow outward
at that point as most planes do.
- Hyde Park Corner. On the island in the traffic
roundabout there are a mixture of different varieties, some
probably variants of the oriental plane. I believe that most of
these were originally a part of the Green Park plantings.
- Kensington. In Kensington Road by the junction with
Palace Road, southeast corner, there is a line of 4 trees in the
pavement. These have branches sinuous or even contorted, leaves
palmate with deep sinuses and some appearing seven lobed, lobes
narrowed at the base and with many teeth. There is also a line of
distinctive trees immediately adjacent to the above in Palace
Road but behind the property line and pruned too high to be sure
if they are the same variety. Possibily P. orientalis.
- Kew. Kew Road in Kew and Richmond has several uncommon
forms, likely to be seed raised forms, some rather resembling the Oriental plane.
- Kew (Royal Botanic Garden). The tree identified by
Bean, as possibily being the variety 'Palmata' and standing to
the north of King Williams Temple is a clearly distinct form,
perhaps of P. orientalis. The old oriental plane tree by the Orangery (to its west),
has foliage resembling that of P. orientalis Digitata, but is not
the same clone.
- Highbury Fields. Contains some distinctive and notable
hybrid plane trees. Includes especially a clone with a fine shaped crown,
undulating branches, and deeply lobed leaves. Specimens on the
east side opposite Ronalds Road, and on the west side by
- Richmond. On the Thames towpath, by Petersham Meadows.
A group of three close-set massive specimens, dark foliage,
distinct from other types. These trees are quite tall, and make a
single prominent mass, clearly visible from King Henry's mound in
Richmond Park. Other similar trees can be found along this towpath.
These may correspond to the form 'Westminster'.
- Victoria Embankment, Westminster. A young tree on Victoria Embankment, by
the police station near Westminster underground station, has
distinctive features; rugged bark even on younger wood; leaves
are broad lobed like Platanus occidentalis. This may be the same
clone as the Edmonton trees. A number of distinct
forms can be seen elsewhere on Victoria Embankment, some of these resembling
P. orientalis. See also Chelsea Embankment, above.
- Westminster Cemetery, East Finchley.
Two distinct oriental plane trees standing in the middle of this
cemetery. Both have leaves of which the shape is typical of
oriental plane, but they are glossy and thick unlike some other
forms in London. The eastern specimen of the two is rather
yellower in foliage, strong growing. Both had low branched contorted crowns and the trunks
suckering even in heavy shade. Unfortunately the trunks of both are covered in ivy.
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