Aspen and Poplar Trees

Aspen (Populus species)

Overview

Aspens and poplars are native to North America and grow naturally in moist areas, often near water. Trees in the poplar family grow rapidly and are capable of colonizing large areas through prolific seed drop and through new shoots grown from their roots. Aspens and poplars should be planted with caution. Trees are short lived and prone to problems in the landscape.

Hardiness- zones 1 through 6

Growth Rate- fast

Mature Shape- narrow to rounded

Height- Mature size varies with species, ranging from 50 feet to 100 feet.

Width- Varies with species.

Site Requirements- Native to North America, aspen trees grow naturally in moist sites and full sun.

Features- Aspens develop bright yellow fall leaf color.

Varieties- The backside of leaves of white poplar, (Populus alba) are pure white. Bigtooth aspen, (Populus grandidentata), is an Iowa native that has deeply toothed leaves. Quaking aspen, (Populus tremuloides), is a popular landscape plant that is has small leaves on long stems that tremble in even slight winds. Lombardy polar, (Populus nigra ‘Italica’), was popular for use as natural screens and windbreaks but should be planted with caution, trees are short lived and susceptible to stem and branch cankers.