Lombardy Poplar

There several fine examples south of West Lodge on the Cell Barnes side of the park.

Latin/Botanical Name: Populus nigra ‘italica’

Range: Native to parts of central and western Europe.

Height: up to 30m

Uses: Widely planted as an avenue and ornamental tree. For a while, in Italy, the timber was used to make crates for grapes.

Description: A deciduous tree with a narrow columnar (fastigiate) shape. Bark is grey-green when young turning black, thick and furrowed over time. Leaves are ovate, sharp pointed, dark green above, paler below. Flowering in March – April as leaves emerge, the male catkins are narrow, about 5cm long and crimson.

Interesting fact: The Lombardy Poplar is a mutant of the male black poplar thought to have arisen around 1700 in Italy. As a male clone it is propagated by cuttings, the first example in England was planted at Blenheim. It became very important in landscaped gardens due to its rapid growth and upright growth habit.