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Black Poplar | Populus nigra betulifolia | Bareroot Standard Trees
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Populus nigra betulifolia - "Atlantic" Black Poplar, Manchester Poplar
Populus nigra betulifolia is the type of Black Poplar that is usually found in Western Europe and Britain. It is very similar to its close relative Populus nigra nigra. Sometimes called the Atlantic Black Poplar, it is a deciduous, native tree with a thick trunk and branches that are covered in bristly, densely packed twigs. Some of the lower branches arch downwards, which usually tends to help form a nice circular crown, although many trees acquire a much bushier shape that has a charm all of its own.
These are sold as big trees, used for instant impact. You can also buy them when they are smaller Black Poplar saplings.
The name betulifolia means "birch leaf", which refers to the Atlantic Black Poplar's diamond shaped, lightly serrated leaves. This rough edge is one of the tree's distinguishing features: other black poplar varieties have more rounded leaves.
Older trees develop thick, gnarled trunks that often produce large burrs, which are a mass of twisted wood fibres that sticks out from the side of the tree. Burrs are generally quite rare and are are prized by craftspeople who work with wood, especially sculptors, because the swirling lines of the grain can be used to create unique and striking effects.
Historically, they were widely grown for timber because the wood is very heat resistant and was safer to use near a fireplace than other types of wood.
The number of Black Poplars has been falling steadily for many years and there are a few thousand of them left in Britain. Less than 10% of the remaining trees are female and these are increasingly hybridizing with commercially grown poplar cultivars, creating highly variable offspring. It is their ability to regrow new trees from broken branches and roots that keeps the species alive in the wild.
Black Poplar Trees: Planting, Pruning and Caring for Your Trees:
Poplars are in the same family as willow and while they won't quite tolerate being planted in a bog, they will thrive on wet soil near a river and love flood plains. Populus nigra betulifolia will grow in any rich, fertile soil type except chalk. Carry out any pruning in winter, when all the leaves have fallen. They are pollution resistant and were planted in the North so much during the industrial revolution that they came to be known as the Manchester Poplar. Black Poplars will grow to about 25 metres, 80 feet, tall and the canopy can often be a bit wider than that.
Please watch our tree planting video for full planting instructions.
How Standard Trees are Measured:
All the plants in the ornamental trees section are graded as standards, which means that they are measured by their girth in centimetres 1 metre above ground level (basically, their trunk's waist measurement). They aren't measured by their height, which will vary.
So, a 6/8 standard has a trunk with a circumference of 6-8 centimetres and an 8/10 standard has a trunk 8-10 centimetres around.
This measurement makes no difference to the tree's final height. Most standards are between 2 - 3.5 metres tall, but this is just an average. We cannot tell you how tall your trees will be before we deliver them.
Read our full terms and conditions here.
Delivery: The basic delivery charge for orders of bareroot plants is £9.49 + vat, which increases to £12.55 + vat if you add any pot-grown plants, standard trees or fruit trees to the order.
Because couriers sometimes experience delays, we schedule delivery by week, not by day. Therefore, please plan your planting day for the weekend at the end of the delivery week or for the week following delivery, at the earliest.
You can choose the delivery week that suits you during checkout and we will email you the day before your plants are due to arrive.
Payment: We do not charge your card until we begin to prepare your order for packing.
Guarantee: If any plants die within a year, we will replace them. We only ask that you follow our planting & growing instructions and sent us clear photographs of the dead plants in situ, so we can help to make sure that the replacement plants succeed. You only pay for the delivery of the replacements.
Please note that our guarantee is void if there is a hosepipe ban in your area: your newly planted hedging must be watered in dry weather while it is establishing. The best way to water is very thoroughly every few days: at least once a week if there is no heavy rain.
Our nursery has been supplying container grown and bareroot hedging plants to gardeners, farmers and town planners since 1949. Our website started in 2003, so we do understand the concerns that you may have about buying hedging plants online. If any of your plants are damaged when they arrive or if you are otherwise not satisfied with your order after you inspect it, please repackage it and contact us. We will give you a refund or send replacements and send a courier to come and collect the unwanted plants.
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