The common plane tree or maple-leaved plane (Platanus acerifolia) is widespread throughout Europe with the exception of the north and north-eastern countries. It is well known as a park and roadside tree. Plane trees are not forested. It is often planted in cities due to its resistance against air pollution.
Its origins are disputed. It is probably a cross between the oriental with the occidental or American plane tree. The oriental plane tree originates from Turkey, Persia and as far away as the Himalayas. It is often planted in southern countries for shading.
The summer green trees can reach 35 metres in height. The leaves of the plane tree are similar to those of the maple. The plane tree is, however, easily recognised due to its characteristic peeling bark and the round form of its blossoms and flower stems.
The heart and sapwood have different colourings: the sapwood is white to light-red or light-brown. The growth rings are easily discernable. When steam-treated, the wood takes on a wine-red colouring. The wood rays are characteristic for the special texture of the wood.
Plane wood is comparatively hard and medium-weight. The wood is hard, tough and elastic. It is prone to considerable shrinkage. When dry it is stable but not particularly durable.
Plane wood is not always easily dried. It is susceptible to cracking and warping. It is moderately easy to work. Veneers can be produced when sliced rather than peeled. Surface finishing is straightforward.
Plane wood is available in limited quantities as round or sawn timber as well as veneer.
- Surface veneer
- Fitting out