Black Poplar

Populus nigra

There are many forms of Poplar in the UK – this is the Black Poplar which I’m using to illustrate the typical structure of most Poplars. The Black Poplar makes a large tree, and the variety ‘Italica’ is the well known Lombardy Poplar.

Typically the buds are pointed and held close to the twig.

The flowers are in the form of catkins, and quite visible.

The catkins give way to clouds of white ‘cotton wool-like’ seed which, when you come across it on the ground for the first time looks like snow.

And this is the well know ‘tall tree’ that we all know – Populus nigra ‘Italica’ – the Lombardy Poplar. Often used as a ‘wind-break’ in exposed aspects.

But if you’re looking for something slightly different, why not go for this one? Called Populus candicans ‘Aurora’, it comes into leaf like this, fading to a green and cream colour. But like all Poplars, it grows like the clappers and you will need to cut this one back to a framework every year. This will keep it in check, and it will also stimulate vigorous new growth for the next season.