London Plane Tree (Platanus x acerifolia)

London plane trees 533 x 300

The London plane is a very common street tree in New York City. It is resistant to insects, disease and air pollution, making it well-suited to an urban environment.

The London plane tree is a hybrid of the American sycamore and the Oriental plane tree. London plane trees grow quickly, and their mottled look comes from the shedding of older bark, revealing newer, lighter bark underneath. One benefit of losing the outer bark is that it allows the tree to shed the pollutants that may have accumulated on the bark, which helps the tree avoid damage from pollution.

Lace Cap Hydrangea

Why are there so many hydrangeas in Roosevelt Park?

 Lace Cap Hydrangea
Lace Cap Hydrangea

 

Hydrangeas do really well here because the park is built on schist, the bedrock that supports Manhattan’s skyscrapers. The schist under the soil results in very poor drainage, so there is a lot of water available to the plants. Hydrangeas love water; the bigger the leaf, the more water they need.