Tuesday 6 June 2023

Green London: The Great Plane in Brunswick Square

The Brunswick Plane, in the photos, is one of the Great Trees of London. It's thought to be the second oldest plane in the centre of the capital. The tree was planted in 1796, when Brunswick Square Gardens were created as a green space for children in the Foundling Hospital to enjoy open air and nature. 

Berkeley Square contains probably the only older plane in central London, planted just a few years earlier in 1789.  These are London planes, a natural hybrid. The original hybridisation might have taken place in Spain or possibly in South London's Vauxhall Gardens, where John Tradescant the Younger discovered one growing in the mid-17th century. 

Planes are now found all over the city and are an important helper in keeping air clean. Pollution is trapped on the bark, which the tree naturally sheds. However, there's a slight downside in that planes produce a chemical which, in very hot weather, can combine with nitrous oxide from car exhaust fumes to produce ozone. This is why it's a really good idea to keep car emissions low and let our beautiful trees provide oxygen and tackle other air pollution as well as give us lovely green shade in the summer.

Brunswick Square Gardens are in London WC1N and a short walk from Bramber Green, which I blogged about last week, as well as being close to Lincoln's Inn Fields and the Sir John Soane's Museum.

This is part of my Green London series of posts, showing that the city as a whole is full of public parks, gardens, nature reserves and even forests where trees and other plants thrive. 

Other previous related posts


Brenda said...

Thank you so much for your blogs and such interesting info around London. I am a Londoner born and bred but your knowledge puts me to shame.
Thank You Brenda

Badwitch said...

Oh thank you Brenda. London is such a huge city that it is impossible to know everything about it. I'm a Londoner born and bred but I'm still learning things about the place too!