Black Poplar (Churchyard & Cemetery)

Black Poplar, Hickling churchyard (2017)
Black Poplar, Hickling churchyard (2017)

At the far end of the Churchyard, directly in front of the path stands a tree, which is about 30 metres tall. Few people give this tree a second glance and would perhaps not know how important this tree is. It has stood looking towards the Church for over 200yrs. In the early 1900’s two trees stood in the churchyard but one has since died.
This tree is the NATIVE BLACK POPLAR TREE [populous nigra aap. Beulifolia], a tree which is now Britain’s most endangered timber tree. It is rarer than the Giant Panda!
The leaves are not as soft as other poplars but are clearly defined by their strong heart shape. They are large round trees with a straight trunk and a smoky grey bark. In their lifetime they grow about 35 metres tall with a 20 metre branch span and live for about 250yrs.
BLACK POPLARS were once a familiar part of the British landscape. It was a component of floodplain woodland. It was found in valleys, besides farm ponds and near to rivers. The landscape artist, John Constable captured this magnificent tree in his famous 1821 painting, ‘The Hay Wain’.read more


Forest Trees of Britain
Forest Trees book extract
Forest Trees book extract
Forest Trees book extract
Forest Trees book extract

Women’s Institute (WI) 70th Anniversary: planting of a new black poplar

In 2017 the WI celebrated their 70th Anniversary and, to commemorate this occasion, decided to plant a black poplar sapling; the black poplar in the churchyard is now very old and will not last forever … It wasn’t easy to find the right location for the new black poplar but in early 2019 the sapling was planted in the cemetery on Clawson Lane in view of the churchyard and its black poplar elder.