The oriental plane is believed to have been brought to England in about 1562, although John Evelyn believed it was earlier. It was reported that the finest specimen known belonged to Bishop Gunning at Ely in 1674.
It seems likely that the oriental plane at Kew came from a neighbouring estate at Whitton which belonged to the Duke of Argyll, although they were widely available from nurseries. It is believed that quite a few trees were brought from the Argyll estate at Whitton to supplement the new arboretum being laid out at Kew. Argyll certainly had oriental plans and the date of the Kew plane is widely believed to be 1762, when the Argyll trees arrived. This tree sits next to the position where the east wall of the White House once stood, on the lawn in front of Kew Palace. To be placed in such a position suggests their belief that the tree may not have been fully hardy and needed the protection of the wall of the main house. There is a hint from previous research that this tree was planted by the previous owners of Kew (the Capell and Molyneux families), but without tree dating or contemporary evidence it seems more plausible to believe the plant came from Whitton and was placed by the White House in 1762 as a young tree. Early map evidence suggests this was one of three trees planted in a row.
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Search Kew's electronic Plant Information Centre for scientific information about Platanus orientalis