The black poplar (Populus nigra) has the dubious accolade of being the UK’s most endangered native timber tree with an estimated 2,500 individuals left in the wild, only 400 of which are female.
I came across this one rather by accident – using the Wildlife Trust’s Nature Finder App to find somewhere interesting to explore near Thame, I headed out to Wells Farm – a small reserve on farmland where the land owner manages the land in an ecologically sensitive manner.
The black poplar is a species of damp habitats – they like boggy conditions, riversides and flood plains. This one was positioned in a field just beside the brook which runs through the centre of the reserve area.
This Guardian gallery has further photographs and illustrations of this tree, including examples of paintings of the species prominent in an English landscape scene when it was a much more familiar sight.