Looking for fast-growing shade trees? Poplar Trees create shade in a hurry. They adapt easily to a wide variety of soils and growing conditions - you'll love the low maintenance of these drought-tolerant and disease- and pest-resistant trees.
Poplars are large, deciduous trees that come with different leaf shapes, from rounded to triangular. They can grow very tall, ranging from 50 and 160 feet in height. This makes them ideal for creating focal points in your landscape. On top of their height, Poplar Trees are beloved for their good looks - their upward growth and thick foliage delivers a remarkable view from early spring through fall.
Considering adding this classic tree to your yard? Read on to learn more!
Different Types of Poplar Trees
Poplar trees come in many shapes and sizes, with over 30 different types. Here are some of the most common Poplar trees:
White Poplar (Populus alba): Also known as silver poplar, this large tree grows up to 60-90 feet tall, with silvery-bottomed leaves. White Poplars are not often recommended for landscape planting, because of their tendency to quickly spread with "suckers" around the base of the tree.
Hybrid Poplar (Populus):Similar to the White Poplar, the Hybrid Poplar grows rapidly, with triangular leaves that have silvery-white undersides. It is more common in landscapes and residential planting, with easy growth and an ability to thrive nearly anywhere in the country.
Lombardy or Black Poplar (Populus nigra): Growing up to 50 ft high, this tree is native to Europe and western Asia. It features triangular shiny green leaves, and its flowers form catkins. Branches grow up rather than out, making this a popular choice for privacy screens.
Balsam Poplar (Populus balsamifera): The Balsam Poplar Tree grows up to 60-90 feet tall, with an herbal scent reminiscent of the Balsam Fir. Its bark is gray when fully mature, and it features alternate deciduous leaves.
Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera): Also known as the Tulip Poplar, the Yellow Poplar Tree is the tallest of all Poplar species, growing to over 100 feet. It’s loved for its large, bright green leaves that turn gold in fall, as well as bright yellow, tulip-shaped blooms. Though it's commonly known as a Poplar, the Yellow Poplar actually isn't a member of the Poplar family at all - rather, it's a genus in the Magnolia family!
All Poplar varieties are large, fast-growing trees, and there are many other options, including Canadian and necklace poplars.
Benefits and Considerations for Poplar Trees
As we noted before, Poplar Trees are loved for the shade they provide, and their natural beauty. They are great for specimen planting, thanks to their tall growth. And some varieties, such as the Yellow Poplar, transform your landscape with bright blooms and a change of color.
They’re also incredibly hardy and easy to grow, reaching tall heights without much work. They're tolerant of both cold and heat, and can withstand drought. They're also resistant to most pests and disease.
There are a few things to look out for when planting Poplar trees. First, since they are such fast growers, some Poplar trees have a shorter lifespan than other hardwood trees. They can also be susceptible to broken branches. However, if you purchase a landscape-quality Poplar from a reputable nursery, your Poplar should be healthy and long-lived.
Poplar Tree Care
Growing and caring for your Poplar tree is relatively easy. Like most trees, they thrive in well-drained, moist soil, but they can grow well in most soil types. Most of the species thrive in USDA Hardiness Zones 2-9, so they can tolerate both extreme cold and heat and humidity.
They prefer full sun, and, when planting, you'll want to ensure they have adequate room to grow. And though they're relatively drought-tolerant, they prefer sufficient water, particularly if you live in dry areas or during hot seasons - in fact, they grow best along riverbeds and water-rich regions. Adequate watering reduces the expansion of roots, which can grow bigger in search of water.
Prune your Poplar trees yearly to remove dead or diseased branches and control shape as needed. Since Poplar trees are fast-growing, fertilization is not necessary, although you can mulch around the base to conserve moisture and protect against weeds and grass.
Get Impressive Height and Fast-Growing Shade in Your Landscape!
Poplar trees make ideal shade and specimen trees due to their tall height - while many varieties grow 50-60 feet tall, others can reach more than 100 feet! If you have a large landscape, you can even plant several Poplar trees to create a neat, attractive privacy screen.
The best Poplar trees will have healthy, vigorous root systems upon purchase -and they'll be landscape quality for a longer life. At BrighterBlooms.com, we hold our Poplars in the nursery a full year longer than most other nurseries. That means your Poplar trees will arrive happy, healthy and ready to go to work in your yard. Get yours today!
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