Trees:Fighting the Dublin city pollution

It is a deciduous tree mainly planted for the shade it provides in cities, on the streets and in parks, and its resistance to heavy pollution levels – some experts claim it actually absorbs CO2 gases, but it is difficult to confirm this. At any rate its maple-shaped leaves (acerifolia) are shiny, causing the rain to run off them and so they don't absorb the pollution.

It is a good-looking tree in summer with its shiny, very green leaves and in autumn when they turn yellow and orange. But in winter it excels itself for its stark, dramatic shape against wintry skies. It is fast growing and frost resistant and can be easily transplanted.

It is very adaptable but grows best in deep, moist, fertile soil, and grows well in difficult sites where another less hardy tree might not survive.

One of its most attractive features is its ornamental bark which peels off in large flakes to reveal a creamy yellow inner bark. This example in the park at the King's Inns in Dublin shows that its bark is clearly as bad as its bite.

Jenny Wright

Platanus Acerifolia – The London Plane