Plant canopies act as absorbers of air-borne dust particles. Characterization of the dusts present over the leaf surfaces can indicate the nature of contaminant present in the surrounding area and possible sources as well. Dust particulates get adsorbed on both the surfaces of leaves, however more dust particulates get deposited on the upper surface. These dusts contain many inorganic elements, which were analyzed in the present study. For the present investigation, SEMEDS technique used to characterize the dusts adsorbed over the leaf surfaces. Using SEMEDS the samples were analyzed by two types of methods i.e. point analysis and elemental mapping. Both the methods showed the presence of elements like Si, Al, Fe, Mg, and Ca in the dusts adsorbed over the leaf surfaces. Thus, SEMEDS can be used for in situ air pollution monitoring using tree leaves from the area concerned. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.