London plane, Platanus × acerifolia #LondonPlane3 #treetrail
Whitworth Park is full of these stately trees which were originally planted in the early 1900s. As the name suggests, this tree accounts for over half of London’s tree population. It’s common enough in Manchester too and most of our leafy Victorian suburbs, like Whalley Range, have streets lined with mature London planes.
For most people, the most distinguishing characteristic from eye level is its khaki camouflage-patterned bark which varies in colour from olive to grey and cream. The ‘tough guy’ character isn’t limited to its appearance. London plane is often planted for its ability to cope with urban conditions such as pollution and compacted soil. Here though, these trees form the backbone of the park as was intended when they were planted a century ago. Old Edwardian photography of the gallery and park show these same trees as tiny youngsters. Now they are the elderly statesmen of the park having spent their life-time keeping watch over the hustle and bustle of park life.