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.
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.
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.