Hainault Forest Website

Tree identification

Black (Water) Poplar  Populus nigra ssp. betulifolia,

Berlin Poplar P. berolinensis and Balsam Poplar P. trichocarpa

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Twig of Black Poplar showing pointed buds pressed against the stem

Male catkins Black poplar branches turn upwards at the ends Black poplar bole deeply fissured with prominent bosses. Near the lake outflow.

Leaf of BLACK POPLAR  with long tip.

Leaf stalk flattened laterally.

Leaf of BERLIN POPLAR Populus berolinensis. Diamond shaped.

Several in the plantation

WESTERN BALSAM POPLAR leaves

Populus trichocarpa

Leaf edges sticky with 'balsam scented' secretion in the spring. Underside lighter. On Dog Kennel Hill.

Black poplar tree in winter near the lake outflow. One of several planted in 1910 around the lake when it was created by the LCC.

 

BLACK or WATER POPLAR Populus nigra ssp. betulifolia

Black or Water Poplar is an uncommon tree in Britain, but there are plenty in Hainault Forest thanks to planting by the London County Council in 1910 when the lake was created. They typically lean and have upward pointing tips to the branches. Few female trees exist and there are none in Hainault. They readily regenerate from a twig pushed into moist earth. They can be seen by the lake outfall where a couple have fallen in the past. On and alongside the mounds at the north end of the lake are several more. A spiral gall on the leaf stalk can be seen most years. In the plantation is a row of four or five Berlin poplars P. berolinensis which have small diamond-shaped leaves on pendulous branches. They don't appear to be doing well and may be dying back. A small Western balsam poplar P. trichocarpa is found along the footpath on Dog Kennel Hill. It can be recognised in the spring by the balsam scent when the buds open.