Monday, November 14, 2016

Wisbech's London plane tree

click photo to enlarge
More than half of central London's trees are the London plane (Platanus x acerifolia), a hybrid of the oriental plane and the American plane. The first of these trees was planted over three hundred years ago and the oldest are massive, providing not only the beauty of their leaves and bark, but also shade on hot summer days and fascinating silhouettes in winter. Some of the examples in Berkeley Square (where the nightingale sang) were planted in the 1720s and have very asymmetrical outlines with large, low hanging boughs.

Walking through the main park in the Cambridgeshire town of Wisbech recently I stopped under a large plane tree that I first noted several years ago. On the ground below the canopy were many brown leaves, the first to fall from the tree this autumn, but up above there were still plenty of green leaves clinging on and many hanging fruit balls. This tree has a large, low bough - you can see it on the right of the photograph, and in taking my wide-angle photograph I made sure to include it. The main trunk has lost its attractive pattern of old and new patches of bark, but you can still see this on the low bough. The bright sun piercing the foliage, and blue sky behind, make my photograph look like it was taken in spring. But this is an autumn sight and a fine one too.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo Title: London Plane Tree, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 9mm (18mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/60 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On