The White poplar, or Populus alba, is a Eurasian native that is now found growing throughout the temperate regions of the world. It is a medium-sized deciduous tree, with an attractive oval shape and grows to a height of up to 60 feet.

In some areas White poplars are considered to be invasive or disease prone and are not encouraged. There are many situations however where a White poplar is a highly desirable choice. White poplars, for example, are fast growing and can thrive on poor and disturbed soils, a characteristic that has made it very popular for new sites such as office and industrial sites as well as housing developments. On rural properties it naturalizes well and forms attractive groves, especially on damp sites where other trees may not thrive. White poplar is also cold tolerant and is a good choice for exposed locations. Also it is salt tolerant and will thrive at seaside locations. White poplar also grows on chalky and alkaline soils and is drought tolerant and a good choice for xeriscaping. All of this adds up to making White poplar one tough tree but that would be irrelevant if it lacked any aesthetic values, but fortunately, White poplar is a lovely ornamental shade tree. Its most beautiful characteristic is the foliage with stunning leaves that shimmer in the slightest breeze. The leaves are dark green above and silvery below with a downy texture and the effect of flashing green and silver against a blue summer sky is truly beautiful and must be seen to be fully appreciated. These leaves may develop some yellow autumn color but not usually as bright as its cousin the Aspen. But another attractive characteristic is the white to pale grey trunk. In youth it is smooth and light and with age becomes darker and furrowed.

This tree does best when grown in full sunlight with steady moisture and under those conditions it can be expected to live for 50 years or more. It does well across much of Canada, most of the US, the UK, temperate Australia and New Zealand.

White poplar


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