Sunday, 2 September 2012

Plane Tree - Summer 2012

It has been a while since my last Tree Following/London Plane Update, June to be precise, but finally I've knuckled down to update those interested as to the progress of 'my' Plane tree over the season. In the process of preparing for this post, I've also stumbled across another Plane Tree Follower, and along with links to my updates during this season, I'll also post a link to his very informative 'Experiments with Plants' blog. Furthermore, don't forget to also visit the Loose and Leafy Blog if you'd like to get involved with tree following - it's never too late!
 I’m only going to mention the ‘weather’ word once, but suffice to say that it’s having a very unusual effect on our plants. At least (in opposition to last year) there's been plenty of moisture to go around and keep things green! Plants have survived, as they do, but the knock-on effect has been varied, with some tree species near me being slower to come into leaf earlier in the year and other plants growing very lush and green – the ‘wild’ lawn areas in particular have grown tall, plants having been flattened by the rain only to grow tall again – I’m not sure how you’ve found it near you?
I’ve been ‘following’ a London Plane at Compton Verney, Warwickshire, to track its growth and progress during a full season. The growing year started quite slowly due to the start stop start stop nature of the climate, and, as trees do, the Plane seemed to hold back somewhat until calmer conditions arrived. As the season got going however, the fluctuating temperatures, light and moisture levels made for a slightly scruffy canopy to the tree, with browning leaves refusing to drop from amongst the otherwise vivid green foliage. As with all seasons, plants will do their thing, and a few brown leaves here and there only add to the story. The tree otherwise sports its full crown, and looks majestic in its beautiful setting. 
As far as ‘following’ my tree this year is concerned, the general busy nature of the season has ensured I too often pass my London Plane, giving it little attention but to check for any damaged branches. Tardy I know, but there's so much landscape that surrounds the tree that it’s difficult to breathe it all in sometimes! In the main, the tree continues to nestle perfectly in a corner between the main approach, an ornamental bridge, and lake. Its branches dip down on one side to touch the water, and cause a timely break in the view as new arrivals travel along the approach to the mansion.
My eye for London Plane trees has become sharply tuned now, and I seem to be spotting them most everywhere I go these days. I guess they are widely planted in urban settings due to their tolerance to almost everything a city can throw at them, and also in parks due to their size and elegance, but either way - they are everywhere! I've added a few images at the bottom of this post of a few I have managed to snap whilst out and about, but if you're a London Plane Lover and would like to share your images, do get in touch and I'd be happy to add them to a future post.
 Well that brings this little Plane update almost to a close. The weather over the coming weeks will challenge the tree, so it will be interesting to see how it copes. I'll keep a close eye on how things go, and will be sure to record its progress photographically. Don't forget to get in touch if you've clicked any nice London Plane trees during your travels, I'd love to see and share them!
My previous Plane Tree Posts:
February 2012 Tree Follower.
March 2012 Tree Follower - Plane Update.
April 2012 Plane Tree on the Move.
May 2012 Plane Tree is Go!
June 2012 Plane Trees in London.

Experiments with Plants Blog. b-a-g, London.
Loose and Leafy/Tree Following Blog. Lucy Corrander links to many Tree Followers.




Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Who could not love a London Plane?

Tree stress and brown leaves - what I've noticed where I live is that Sycamore leaves, instead of changing colour throughout the leaf, are going a crisp ginger brown round the edges, making the trees look very tatty. I don't know what stress is causing this - there are so many to choose from this year!

Thanks for letting me know about this post.

Gardener Gary said...

I know exactly what you mean, there can be a number of reasons for leaf damage, but i'd guess the quantity of rainfall may have something to do with it. I suppose once the trees have done their seed dispersal, they'll be looking to turn in for the winter and get those leaves on their way!