Trees of London
The Tower of London

Black Poplar
Sadly this tree has been felled.

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              The black poplar is one of the native trees, i.e. it arrived in Britain, naturally, before the English channel formed. It has fewer branches than the London planes, which can be seen nearby, but what branches there are, are more powerful. The leaves are triangular or pear shaped. In the case of this example, beside the Tower, they are large, but generally their size is proportional to the size of the tree.

See picure at the bottom of this page.

              It is apt to find one here on the bank of the Thames, because its natural habitat is beside streams and ponds.

              It used to be a much more common tree in Britain, hence it is featured in Constable's famous painting: the Hay Wain.

the haywain

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Other Trees at Tower Hill

London plane      Norway maple     acacia

sycamore     rowan      bird cherry

ginkgo     honey locust

Tower of London
Tower bridge behind a black poplar

In the winter without leaves, the black poplar presents an awesome silhouette.

Tree Identification

Populus nigra.

Poplar leaf

Vary in size depending on the size of the tree; triangular shaped, dark green above, light green underneath; alternate.

Poplar fruit
Poplar fruit

capsules; when they split, they reveal a cotton wool type substance which can be seen on the ground around the tree.

the flowers are not conspicuous.

don't last long in the spring and appear before the leaves.
Poplar bark bark: rough, dark brown with strong ridges.
grows to about 35 metres
Sometimes with very strong branches which form a Y shape with the trunk.
general: something of a rarity in London but the ones that are about are good examples. There is also one in Russell Square.

Of the row of trees along the river,
it is the last one along;
at the end nearest the souvenir shop.

Trees of London        A James Wilkinson Publication ©