Although mainly planted as a city shade tree that will withstand excessive levels of air pollution, this huge tree is also a producer of fine timber. Known in the trade as lacewood it commands a very high price. The origin of London plane is not clear. The earliest records are of a specimen in Oxford in the late seventeenth century. Many authorities regard it as a hybrid between eastern (P.orientalis) and Western plane (P.occidentalis). The western plane, (Buttonwood) from America is a sickly tree in Britain, which seems an unlikely parent of the magnificent London plane tree.
A fast growing tree, not only good to look at in summer but with its many twisting branches also a delight in winter. Although the London Plane produces 'bobble like' fruits, these remain on the tree throughout the winter. This is one advantage of planting this tree in pavements.
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