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  • Writer's pictureCrone

Popular trees

I know. I'm so dull. Ian told me to give it up when all I could talk about was whether my tree was indeed a rare Black Poplar or instead an Aspen or a Balsam Poplar.

I still don't know.

But I do know that while my twig from a week or so ago is still moderately happy in its vase, today's six cuttings look incredibly miserable in pots. There was me thinking I had an affinity with the things.

Anyway, I popped in to see the possible Black Poplars - and take three twigs.

But then, on the other side of the copse, I stopped. Instead of a green flush, these trees were kind of coppery with fluttering leaves. So I climbed the fence, waded through the stinging nettles, and inspected.

First thing, the leaves do not have that lemon sherbert smell. They smell pleasantly... woody.

Though the leaves emerge green, they soon turn sort of cinnamon. And I am sure that I read that about the Aspen - yes, they're described as 'coppery'.

The buds also fit the description - so pointy they are almost painful to poke!

The bark looks much like the bark of the other trees - but it felt more ridged, less smooth.

The canopy is different, of course, because of the colour but also because these have come into leaf later, which is true of Aspens.

And I think you can see the quivering, trembling look they have - which is a feature of the Populus tremula.

I took three twigs - which look like they are dying almost as fast as the three from the other trees.

But of course this reminds me of a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins - 'Binsey Poplars' - which you can read here and hear read here. That sentence shows what a crazy language English is...

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1 Comment

May 01, 2022

I'd never come across GMH's poplar poem before. It is very appropriate. And I like the video with the sounds and motions. Poplar/aspen trees sing sing sing. And that's a great photo of the buds. Cool.

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