The black poplar is historically a significant tree in Britain and once played a substantial role in local economies and culture. In some parts of the country it was used in traditional village tree dressing events and spring fertility festivals. Black poplar timber is particularly shock and fire resistant. It was widely used in wagon bottoms, for scaffolding, fence posts and in the roofs of buildings. The typical cultivation practice was to cut and plant truncheons from local, usually male, trees. Female trees were less favoured because they produce copious amounts of fluffy seed. The black poplar is dioecious

(Has male and female plants) and Catkins appear before the leaves. The male catkins are crimson and appear in late March or early April. Female catkins are yellow-green and appear shortly afterwards. Black poplars can live for over 250 years and there historical records of extant individuals dating back to before 1715.


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