Posted On: September 30, 2016

Tribute to the London Plane

On Wednesday, September 29th, NYC Parks Department removed one London Plane tree at the corner of 24th St and Broadway on the west gravel in Madison Square Park. This 75-foot specimen was installed in the 1930s during Robert Moses’s reign as Parks Commissioner. Removed for structural reasons, the tree’s major leaders had died, creating an unstable canopy and potential for future hazards.

The London Plane had been used primarily as a specimen tree until Moses favored the species as a replacement tree for the American elm. As a floodplain plant, London Planes are known for their tolerance to both flooding and compaction, and can be found in urban plantings worldwide. In fact, London Planes trees make up 26% of Madison Square Park’s tree canopy.

While lamenting the loss of this tree, we are excited for the opportunity to diversify the Park’s tree collection, as called for in our soon-to-be-released tree succession plan. This plan will celebrate the Park’s tree history and offer suggestions for continuing Madison Square Park’s legacy as an immense and prodigious urban forest.

london plane