Small-ish tree with deeply corky younger branches. Main trunk strangely smoother.
No interactions present.
Elm and Field maple of the "usual suspects" but this looks to be at a larger scale than I have seen before
Having a rummage in the leaf litter I believe its leaves were maple-type but not field maple cause the leaves were quite pointy?
As Mark said, corky bark like this usually means either Elm or Field Maple (Acer campestre) but as the latter has opposite buds, I've gone for Elm.
Not prepared to go any further with the ID than that, though!
The leaf litter does appear to be quite compactly around the tree, so a good photo of some of that would be really helpful.
Dawn, if the leaves were at all pointy then you are correct, not Field Maple: but if Elm, they shouldn't be maple-type at all! Unless it's Wych Elm (Ulmus glabra) whose leaves (although not exactly maple-like) should have three points.
I'll be interested to see the leaf litter, if you possibly can get a photo of it!
How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
Ok, thanks so much, I'll post another photo....
I have no idea.... and I see what you meant by "maple-like".
Can't be Elm then: my only other thought was
Quercus suber, (cork oak), but again, not with that leaf.
I shall look forward to other comments and suggestions.
And if all else fails, we'll have to ask you to go back in spring and check out the leaves.
Thanks for adding the extra photo!
I know right! Weird. I did pick up a wet leaf on the ground and flattened it/dried it. 5 points, def mapley!
...although Tim has added an ID of Acer, I have to say that the only Acer which develops corky bark is Acer campestre, Field Maple.
And as far as I can see, this tree has alternate buds, whereas all the Acers have opposite buds. (ie in pairs, opposite each other - and from a distance, you can see the twigs are also opposite each other.)
And Field Maple leaves are small, with rounded points.
Not pointy points!
So I feel that ID is unlikely. (Sorry Tim!)
... it could easily be something exotic.
I have not ecountered a corky version of Liquidamber before, but it certainly fits with the alternate buds and the maple-shaped pointy-tipped leaves.
And as has rightly been said, if it's in Hyde Park it is more than likely to be an ornamental, and probably an unusual one.
That's the one I'm voting for, so well done Stewart, and well done Dawn, for finding such an interesting and challenging subject!
Ha, so glad it has proved difficult - I usually post a photo of something rather obvious to most and feel like a doofus!
..and I shouldn't worry about feeling like a doofus, how else are you going to learn?
And just see how much you have learned about trees in general, just from this one observation!
Get out there and find us some more! *points finger towards door*
I had a look for others online and it looks like it. Well done lavateraguy!
... you can check it out later in the year when it's in leaf.
...the way the common Liquidamber do?
There are none of the typical bristly spheres on this example - which would have been a big help in IDing it, ha ha.
Lat/Lng: 51.5092, -0.1723
OS grid ref: TQ269805