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Tree Information x

Identifier: HBR/0210
Historical Reg No: 121l
Tree Type: Single
Registered By: Looij, T.J.
Registration Category: Notable tree – International interest
General Notes:

The largest known plains cottonwood in the world (NZNTT 2011)

Mostly known as necklace poplar in New Zealand and by its former synonym P. deltoides 'Virginiana'. Given its widespread distribution, this female clone remains one of the most common poplars in the country. Perhaps because of this predominance New Zealand botanists have given the clone the local name ‘Frimley’, after Frimley Park, where the prize specimen grows.
The necklace poplar is generally thought to have originated in France in the 1770's as a (female) sport from cuttings planted from Populus deltoides, the American cottonwood. The arrival of the species in New Zealand is, however, not well documented. It has been held that the French brought it with them to Akaroa but, against this possibility, there are no specimens of the tree of requisite age in that area.
The earliest known introduction to New Zealand was a young plant sent to James Deans of Homebush Station near Darfield Canterbury, from Britain in a Wardian Case in 1852. The (Dean) tree growing less than 100 m from the old homestead is the progenitor of the thousands of species throughout New Zealand including the Frimley Park) tree. The earliest distribution recorded, and no doubt responsible for the rapid spread of the tree, was made by the Armed Constabulary about 1865. Cuttings were planted around the blockhouses and redoubts of the Land War period. The old fortifications are usually gone there are large specimens of this species which mark these early sites (Edited notes taken from Burstall and Sale (1984) ‘Great Trees of New Zealand’).

'It seems that the tree suffered from the recent Hawkes Bay drought. The measurements have been checked three times.' Looij 1986.

'This is the largest known deciduous tree in New Zealand and one of the largest poplars in the world. Growth appears to be declining as, since 1969, the diameter has increased by 4cms and there has been little if any height increase'. Burstall 1969. Reference. Burstall SW. FM. Report no. 18; p.53.

Single Tree Details

Genus: Populus
Species: deltoides subsp. monilifera ‘Frimley’
Common names: necklace poplar, eastern cottonwood
Given Name: The Frimley Poplar
Height: 42.10m
Height measurement method: Laser Nikon Forestry 550
Height Comments: The average of 4 sightings taken.
Girth: 1020 cm
Girth measurement height: 1.9 m
Girth Comments: Taken above the root flare.
Diameter: 324.7 cm
Crown Spread A: 36.00m
Crown Spread B: 32.00m
Avg. Crown Spread: 34.00m
Actual Planting Date: actual date not specified
Approx. Planting Date: circa 1875
e.g. circa. 1860
Current Age: 149 years
Tree Health Description: A heavily decayed base and is largely hollow. A recent fire has added further damage (July 2011).
Tree Form Type: Single Trunk
Number of Trunks: 1
Tree Form Comments: A massive open grown specimen.
Champion Tree Score: 568
Local Protection Status: Yes
Tree Present: Yes
STEM Score: 297


Date Observer Action
29 Jul 2011 Cadwallader, B.G.
01 Jan 1986 Looij TJ


Lat/Long: -39.62310458182119 / 176.83220654726028
Location Name: Frimley Park
Address: Frimley Road
Suburb: Frimley
City/Town: Hastings
Region: Hawke's Bay
Location Description: Situated in the middle of the park.
Public Accessibility: Local Council Park
Local Authority: Hastings District Council


Preview Credit Date
Brad Cadwallader 29 Jul 2011
Brad Cadwallader 29 Jul 2011
Brad Cadwallader 29 Jul 2011
Brad Cadwallader 29 Jul 2011
S.W. (Bob) Burstall 18 Jan 1969
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