The Conservative party have pledged to plant 30 million new trees by 2025. Let’s hope a lot of them get planted in our cities, because trees in towns don’t just help reduce CO2: they lower the risk of death from cancer and heart disease, according to a report released by the Lancet. Trees in towns keep us both “sane and shaded”. None more so than the London plane, which is able to grow in the thinnest soil and puts up with city pollution admirably. These magnificent trees are an integral part of the London scene “absorbing air pollution in their bark before shedding it, along with harmful parasites”. This didn’t stop city planners cutting them down in vast numbers in the 1960’s in favour of smaller, faster-growing trees such as cherries and birches. We would love to see the return of the London plane in large numbers. To honour the Tories’ pledge, bulk tree planting in London and across the country will be required. Planes currently make up just 1.4% of the more than 8.4 million trees in Greater London.