28 December 2012

Gower Black Poplars

Black Poplar (Populus nigra subsp. betulifolia) is a rare species in Britain and identification is confused by the multitude of hybrid poplars commonly planted in both urban and rural situations. Ian Morgan made me aware of two trees in the Swansea area, the most photogenic of the two being found in Parc-y-Werin, Gorseinon, which until August 1996 had a companion that was inexplicably removed. The girth of the existing tree was measured at 3.03m this year and the stump of the felled tree is of a similar size – one day I shall take some sandpaper down to clean up the stump and count the rings.
Parc-y-Werin Black Poplar 05-Nov-12
Alfie sniffing the old stump
Another tree is located in a hedgerow in Cwm Ivy. This is a much more difficult tree to photograph and measure as the trunk is gnarled and twisted, but a girth measurement at 70cm height of 3.38m suggests this may be the older of the two trees.  Earlier this year I also saw a tree on the Neath Canal, Melincryddan, though no measurements were taken.
Veronica Shenston at the
Cwm Ivy Black Poplar 27-Dec-12
To put these humble trees in context, yesterday we visited Brecon where Britain’s largest Black Polar grows – we measured the girth of this spectacular Champion tree as 7.03m.
Sand at Brecon Black Poplar 26-Dec-12
Brecon Black Poplar 26-Dec-12

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