The sweet sweet smell of . . . balsam poplar

Finally spring feels and smells like it has arrived, heralded in by the sweet smell of balsam poplar.  There aren’t many poplars in Newborough Forest. However, a few balsam poplars were planted as part of a trial.

Poplar - Newborough Forest

Poplar – Newborough Forest

When their sticky buds start to open, they fill the air with a distinctive smell.  It’s hard to describe: it’s very heady and smells quite exotic, not like the usual smells of Wales and pine forests!  Some say it is sickly, and it’s true that it can be.  But for me, it always smells like spring.

These are the male flowers - a beautiful mulberry-like colour. A piece of the bud scale is still attached to the top one

These are the male flowers – a beautiful mulberry-like colour. A piece of the bud scale is still attached to the top one

Poplar flowers, twig and bud

Here you can see the sticky buds on the twig, blown down by last night’s storm.

If you’re visiting the forest in the next few weeks and you smell a strange, sweet, heady smell, there’s a good chance that the poplars are where it’s coming from.

Advertisements

One thought on “The sweet sweet smell of . . . balsam poplar

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s