How Can I Keep Poplar Wood Green in Color?


Poplar trees are large, fast-growing trees that require proper nutrition and watering to grow. Gardeners who maintain a healthy balance of soil, nutrients and water are able to produce well-grown trees with a rich green lumber that can be later harvested for carpentry. Keeping the naturally green color in poplar is done by giving the tree considerable nutrients while growing, stopping the growth of resource-stealing weeds, and finishing the harvest wood with clear finishes that won't stain the wood.

Step 1

Plant the tree in full sunlight with a moist loam soil. Keep the plant isolated by at least 4 feet to achieve proper root growth. Backfill the planting hole with the displaced soil.

Step 2

Water the poplar tree regularly after planting to eliminate air pockets around the roots.

Step 3

Fertilize the tree every other week with an NPK of 10-10-10 to provide the tree with the greatest amount of nutrients.

Step 4

Water the tree once every week during periods when rainfall is less than 1 inch. This will help keep the tree's trunk from rotting and fight against aging.

Step 5

Mulch with wood chips until there is at least 3 inches covering the root zone the following spring to dissuade infestation by weeds and insects.

Step 6

Spray the growing tree once a year in early summer with insecticide to prevent damage to the tree from invading pests.

Step 7

Finish harvested lumber with 12 oz. of gloss lacquer, being careful not to apply more than a few coats, which will damage the color.

Tips and Warnings

  • Harvested poplar wood should not be finished with stained coatings, as they will discolor the green sapwood.

Things You'll Need

  • Poplar tree
  • Shovel
  • Garden hose
  • Wood-chip mulch
  • Insecticide spray
  • 12 oz. of gloss lacquer


  • "The Fastest Growing Plants - A Planter's guide to planting the fastest growing plants"; Editors of SmithRiley; 2005
  • "Understanding Wood Finishing"; Bob Flexner; 1998
Keywords: poplar growing tips, finishing poplar wood, troubleshooting poplar

About this Author

Jonathan Budzinski started his writing career in 2007. His work appears on websites such as eHow and WordGigs. Budzinski specializes in nonprofit topics, as he spent two years with Basic Rights Oregon and WomanSpace. He has received recognition as a Shining Star Talent Scholar in English while studying English at the University of Oregon.