Chromium, copper, cadmium, lead, nickel, iron and zinc contents of a lichen species (Pyxine subcinerea Stirton) and mango bark collected from 12 sites in Haridwar city (Uttarakhand) were compared with soil, sampled from beneath the tree from which lichens were collected. The metal contents in lichen, bark and soil ranged from 1,573 to 18,793, 256 to 590 and 684 to 801 μg g−1, respectively. This clearly indicates that lichens accumulated higher amounts of metal compared to bark or soil. Statistical analysis revealed that metal concentration in lichens did not show significant linear correlation with the bark or soil. Pearsons correlation coefficients revealed negative correlation of Pb (r = −0.2245) and Ni (r = −0.0480) content between lichen and soil, which indicate direct atmospheric input of metals from ambient environment. Quantification and comparison of elemental concentration in lichens, its substratum and soil can provide valuable information about air quality in the collection area.