Poplar, Black Poplar, Populus nigra - Profile and Care

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Originally the black poplar comes from Asia and is also common in North Africa. The willow plant is very robust in terms of temperatures and can withstand even after several years low temperatures. Black poplars are often planted in the garden as a solitary tree, because they, like other willow trees grow very fast and thus quickly become an imposing tree that provides shade.
The original wild form of black poplars is on the list of threatened species in Germany, as many hybrids displace them and the habitat is increasingly less. In addition, the wood of the poplars is considered popular wood carving, which additionally harmed the stock. With its own black poplar tree you not only have a beautiful tree in the garden, you can also actively contribute to the preservation of the species.

  • German name: Black poplar
  • Scientific name: Populusnigra
  • Family: willow family (Salicaceae)
  • Genus: Poplars (Populus)
  • Flowering time: April
  • Flower color: reddish
  • Leaf color: green in summer; yellow in the fall
  • Growth height: up to 60 meters
  • Crop: capsule fruits
  • Hardiness: up to -24° C
The sunnier the location, the better the poplar can develop. In order to be able to develop well, the tree needs plenty of sun as well as enough heat, which is why it also offers a south-facing location. When choosing a location, however, care should be taken not only to ensure that the tree gets enough sun, but also that the house is not in the shade for half the day, after all, the black poplar can reach a height of up to 60 meters. In good conditions, the poplar alone grows one meter per year. Tip: The black poplar lends itself in the garden as a solitary tree and can also be in the center about a lawn.
In addition to a sunny location, the soil for the black poplar should always be kept moist. In the open air, the tree likes to settle near rivers or streams, but their habitats have become scarce because of river regulations.
  • In the garden care should be taken, especially in the first years of life, to keep the tree moist.
  • The soil for the poplar must be rich in nutrients and especially permeable.
  • When planting the poplar, the substrate should be sprinkled with gravel and sand.
It is important to plan for the long term and to dig out a deeper planting hole and loosen it up with gravel or sand. The gravel or sand is mixed with normal garden compost, which covers the first nutrient needs of the plant. Tip: So that the root ball is spared in the first years of vole muzzles, it can be integrated into a wire mesh.
Pouring and fertilizing
A lot of water is necessary for the survival of the black poplar. If possible, the poplar should therefore be planted in the garden next to a body of water such as a natural pond. Especially in the first years, longer periods of drought can be detrimental, which is why regular watering is required. In addition, in the first years should be covered regularly with a biological fertilizer, the nutrient requirements of the tree. If the black poplar has rooted well in the soil, it is sufficient to provide it regularly with compost around the trunk. In addition, the falling leaves can also compost directly under the tree and thus be used again as a nutrient supplier. If young poplars have developed into a beautiful tree, they are usually no longer prone to prolonged periods of drought, which usually only inhibits growth this year.
Unfortunately, the pruning of the poplars often makes numerous mistakes, which not only costs the tree a lot of strength, it also leads to deformed and unsightly growth forms. However, this is usually due to the wrong location choice, because many do not expect that the tree actually grows so fast. In addition, its roots also spread when they are looking for water, strong, so generally no willow trees should be planted in the immediate vicinity of houses or paths. When pruning attention should be paid to the following points:
  • If the tree is more likely to form a beautiful crown in the upper area and the trunk remain free at the bottom, the lower branches must be regularly cut in the first years.
  • If the branches already line the tree from the ground, a regular shortening of the branches promotes a dense growth.
  • The black poplars are preferably cut when it is not in the "juice" and it is frost-free. Ideal is a pruning in autumn, but no later than in early spring, a pruning should be done.
For many animals, the buds and the bark are a welcome feed in winter, which is why the black poplar should be protected from game bites in the first years.
  • Wrap the trunk well with an old jute sack and tie the sack.As a result, at least the trunk is protected and nibbled branches make fewer problems.
  • Remove the winter protection in early spring.
  • Winter protection is no longer required after the first two to three years, when the tree has already reached a size where it is no longer of interest to animals.
Pests and diseases
Several diseases or pests can be dangerous to the black poplar. However, you do not have to take action immediately when the first signs show, often the tree can regulate the problem itself. Only with a strong attack countermeasures should be taken.
  • Fungus: This fungus is not the typical tree fungus that poses no danger to the poplar, but Nectria galligena, which is also often referred to as "tree crayfish". Affected branches and twigs should be removed and burned immediately as this fungus can spread rapidly.
  • Poplar rust: The poplar rust shows through yellow leaves already in summer. In itself, this is not a problem that forces us to act swiftly, as only growth is inhibited this year.
  • Necrosis: The necrosis leads to dark spots on the leaves, which look visually ugly, but also pose no danger.
frequently asked Questions
  • Can you plant the black poplar in a natural garden? - Yes. The black poplar is a perfect tree in a natural garden. It provides a habitat for several native revelers, including the so-called poplar hawk, which settles only near this tree and needs it as a livelihood.
  • What can be done if the black poplar becomes too big? - The planting of a black poplar should be well planned, because you can not get rid of them so easily. Even after cutting directly above the ground, new poplar shoots can grow out of the remainders, which is why a tree must be completely removed with the roots, or shoots must be continuously dug up.
poplar species
In Germany, the poplar is in the shape of black poplar (Populus nigra), the dithering poplar (Populus tremula) and the silver poplar (Populus alba). The silver poplar and the aspens have crossed in nature and the gray poplar (Populus canescens).
  • The Black poplar certain earlier the image of the river banks on the major European rivers such as the Elbe, Danube, Rhine and Vistula, Loire, Rhône and Po. Individual specimens of the mighty trees, which stand out due to crooked growth and bizarre bark structure, can still be admired on the European river floodplains. These black poplars grow up to 30 meters high, develop a trunk circumference of over 7 meters and are up to 300 years old. In Germany, the Tree of the Year 2006 is on the Red List nationwide, which has, among other things, to do with the fact that its natural habitat (habitats in river floodplains) is becoming increasingly rare.
  • The Aspen We also know by the name of Espe, it is found on forest edges, on brownfields and in sparse forests. Their specialty is the feeding of rare butterflies: The caterpillars of the most endangered butterflies like to live on shrub-shaped young plants along the wayside, so cutting out such shrubs should definitely be avoided. The caterpillars of about 35 butterfly species develop on the Aspen tree.
  • Also the white poplar or white poplar Originally grew on river meadows, but was much planted as an ornamental tree and then feral out of these plantations. Also, it supplies butterfly caterpillars, the caterpillar of endangered silver poplar cane even exclusive.
  • The Gray poplar has proved to be very wind resistant. This fact and the proliferation of shoots make it the ideal shrub to fortify coastal dunes. The gray poplar is also used in avenues and parks.
The wood of the endangered black poplar is not used economically, deposits from leftovers or felled for safety reasons trees are perhaps the most popular carved wood, especially in sculpture carvers. Hybrids of black poplar have been planted for timber production since the 17th century. The pyramidal poplar with the upright growth, which is known from the avenue plantings, is a cultivated form of the black poplar.
The Aspen tree is a common forest tree, its wood is widely used for all products that are said to be lightweight (plywood, table tennis rackets and more). In addition, it is processed into paper and is available as biomass for energy production. The silver poplar and the gray poplar are used similarly.
Poplar active ingredients as a remedy
  • Black poplar buds have been and are being used as an analgesic balm. The aspen poplar contains salicylic acid compounds that have an analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic effect. For this one uses the bark, the leaves and the shoot tips.
  • Beware of allergies - like all willow trees, poplars also have a considerable allergenic potential.
  • Incidentally, the poplar has no cones, although a product of a known crystal processing company is often referred to as poplar cones on the Internet.

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