October 15th, 2008

batik talon

London plane trees

From a paper I'm reading today:
The London plane tree (Platanus x acerifolia) is a hybrid of the American sycamore (P. occidentalis) and oriental plane (P. orientalis), both of which were introduced to England in the seventeenth century, and it is well known as a majestic tree particularly tolerant of coal dust, smoke, compacted soils, and other aspects of the urban environment. It is found in many large cities both inside and outside the ranges of both parental species, often where neither parental species can survive. If a tree grows in Brooklyn, it is most likely a London plane.
The only kind of tree that will grow in Brooklyn is a hybrid supertree, and yet we consider this habitat suitable for humans? Heh, this is part of why I'm not a city person...