Introducing Trinity tree of the month - the London Plane

Posted on: 02 December 2022

In a new venture for Trinity, we are introducing our community to the most remarkable trees on campus, month by month. For December we are featuring a London Plane (Platanus x hispanica) located in the Provost’s courtyard on the corner of Grafton and Nassau Street.

This tree is approximately 200 years old with an estimated planting date around the early 1800’s as a 10-15year old standard tree and it appears on the tree map of Trinity College from 1892 (pictured below).  It is 31 metres tall, 4.64 metres girth and a canopy spread of almost 30 metres.  The estimated carbon currently stored in this tree is 10,010kg. 

The London Plane along with other trees along the Grafton Street Luas line were recently pruned by an external specialist to prevent interference with the operation of the LUAS.  Other works carried out also involved routine dead wooding, formative pruning and an overall health check.  Works can only take place between the hours of 00:00-03:30 in the morning when the Luas lines have been isolated and full traffic management has been set up to divert pedestrians and traffic. Interestingly, this tree has been pruned many times over its lifetime to ensure it doesn’t affect public transport, as the first Dublin tram service began in 1872 with one line running along College Green and Nassau Street.


Our Estates and Facilities team started mapping and surveying Trinity’s trees to measure and evaluate their ecological benefits, especially carbon storage.  This tree provides many essential ecosystem services such as providing a habitat, shade, producing oxygen, filtering particulate matter, providing storm water attenuation along with sequestering and storing carbon.  London Plane trees, while not native, are perfect trees for a city environment as they can tolerate high pollution levels, hard pruning and compaction while shedding off most of this pollution in their bark.  A single tree can absorb 4.65kg of air pollutants per year.  

Trees not only provide us with essential ecosystem services, but they also benefit our mental wellbeing, especially trees located in urban areas. One study found that people living in proximity to trees had better “amygdala integrity”—meaning, a brain structure better able to handle stressors. All in all we are very proud to share our campus with this mature and historic London Plane tree.

Media Contact:

Katie Byrne | Public Affairs and Communications | | +353 1 896 4168