The TreeThe plane grows to a height of 30m with a clear bole of some 9m and a diameter of 1m.
The TimberThe timber resembles beech in colour, the heartwood being light reddish-brown, usually clearly defined from the lighter- coloured sapwood. The rays however, are broader and more numerous than those of beech, and produce on quarter-sawn surfaces, an attractive fleck figure, the reddish-brown rays contrasting with the lighter-coloured background, thus giving rise to the term lacewood. The wood is straight grained, with a fine to medium texture, and weighs about 640 kg/m3 when dried. Occasional logs appear much lighter in colour, a pinkish-brown, with a fairly small, and irregular, darker-coloured core.
DryingDries fairly rapidly and well, but with a tendency to distort.
StrengthAlthough some 30 per cent less stiff, plane has similar strength properties to European oak.
Working QualitiesMedium - Works fairly readily with both hand and machine tools. It is capable of a good smooth finish, but sharp cutters are required in planing and moulding in order to avoid chipping out in the vicinity of the rays on quarter-sawn stock. The wood stains, polishes and glues reasonably well.
Latin NamePlatanus hybrida, Platanus acerifolia, Platanus orientalis
Also known asEuropen plane (According to origin), London plane, French plane, English plane, lacewood (quarter-sawn wood only), platane (France, Germany)
OriginUK, South-east Europe, West Asia