Poplar trees belong to the Populus genus, which is composed of flowering plants, all of which are deciduous. They are classified in the Salicaceae family, which originates in the northern hemisphere. Between 25 and 35 poplar tree species exist. Poplar trees are highly diverse and can grow 50 to 165 feet high.
Poplar trees have smooth bark that is usually deep gray, whitish or green. They have stout shoots and their leaves are spirally arranged. The leaves can circular or triangular. In rare instances, leaves of poplar trees are lobed. The size of leaves vary and before they drop in the fall, the leaves often turn yellow or bright gold.
Poplar trees have various uses. Some common uses for popular trees include paper manufacturing, pulpwood, hardwood timber (for affordable plywood and pallets), tanning leather (because of its tannic acid levels), wood for panel paintings and violas.
Poplar trees are often cultivated for ornamental purposes. They grow rapidly and can grow to a vast size. The majority of poplars take root from fallen broken branches or from cuttings. Their root systems are invasive, as as a result, it is advised to not plan these trees near ceramic water pipes or residences, which could lead to cracked pipes, walls and houses because of the roots' need for moisture.
The flowers of poplar trees are usually dioecious. In some cases, although unusual, they are monoecious. Their flowers are situated in disks that are shaped similarly to cups. The scales of the flowers are fringed and lobed, and either smooth or hairy. In most cases, they are caducous, which means that they have the tendency to rapidly fall off.
Some well-known varieties of poplar trees include the white poplar (Populus alba), willow-leaved poplar (Populus angustifolia), laurel-leaf poplar (Populus laurifolia), Wilson's poplar (Populus wilsonii), Mexico poplar (Populus Mexicana), Yunnan poplar (Populus yunnanensis) and Simon's poplar (Populus simonii).