We reported earlier in the Summer how Newtown’s beloved Black Poplar tree had received a tree survey which would lead to an arboricultural report being carried out.
The specialist arboricultural report has now been produced for The Woodland Trust; the survey was provided free of charge as a result of the tree being runner up as The Woodland Trust Wales Tree of the Year 2019.
The report makes for a fascinating read. It assesses the Black Poplar’s ecological and cultural value, its growing environment, threats, and physiological and structural condition. Recommendations for the future management of the tree are also provided.
It is estimated that the tree is over 350 years old and is the UK’s rarest native tree species. The report also confirms that it is a true native black poplar and not a Hybrid, “with all the features that would be expected of a true native black poplar”.
The gender of the tree will remain unconfirmed until the spring of 2021 when the catkins can be examined. If it is found that it is female native black poplar this would make its genotype unique, which would make it important for the conservation of species diversity.
Although the tree is owned by Powys County Council, cuttings from the tree have been made available to Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn Town Council to nurture for future planting. The hope is that this will preserve the gene-line for future generations of Newtonians and visitors to enjoy. One wonders if their story will be quite as fascinating as the story of this old tree.
The report is available to read here: https://newtowntc.sharepoint.com/:b:/s/NewtownCouncil/EcOBgiZdXENCiwW73e22Sx8B3dOCGtioiPqQF8V1ByBENQ?e=CtpWBc