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Lombardy Poplar (Populus nigra 'Italica') | by Peter Orchard
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Lombardy Poplar (Populus nigra 'Italica')

This line of Poplar trees is quite a landmark in Wareham and is quite typical of how Poplar's have been planted; a preference for rows and presumably this is to use them as a wind break or shelter belt?


There are three sorts of Poplar but this tall, elegant version is the most well known and most common. The Lombardy Poplar is not our native Poplar, the native tree is the Black Poplar but that is now quite unusual.


The Lombardy was introduced from Italy in about 1758. There are more male trees than female tress for some reason.


The bark starts smooth but as the tree ages it soon takes on a rugged appearance, quite often black at the base but much greyer higher up. The ruggedness helps lichens to readily colonise it.


The wood is virtually useless for timber as it is riddled with knots and that is probably why they usually get the chance to grow so big and tall.


Both in winter in silhouette like this or in summer dressed in shimmering pale green leaves, they are a lovely sight.

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Taken on December 16, 2009