The species most liable to be struck are oaks, poplars and pear trees; beech trees are exceptionally safe.
Poplars, willows, lime, mountain-ash, maples, are favourite habitats, and it is also found on many other trees, including cedar of Lebanon and larch.
The catkins of the poplars differ from those of the nearly allied willows in the presence of a rudimentary perianth, of obliquely cup-shaped form, within the toothed bracteal scales; the male flowers contain from eight to thirty stamens; the fertile bear a onecelled (nearly divided) ovary, surmounted by the deeply cleft stigmas; the two-valved capsule contains several seeds, each furnished with a long tuft of silky or cotton-like hairs.
The poplars are almost entirely confined to the north temperate zone, but a few approach or even pass its northern limit, and they are widely distributed within that area; they show, like the willows, a partiality for moist ground and often line the river-sides in otherwise treeless districts.
As in all poplars, the catkins expand in early spring, long before the leaves unfold; the ovaries bear four linear stigma lobes; the capsules ripen in May.
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