Hybrid poplar shade trees are fast-growing shade trees that can reach a spread of 30 feet. In fact, they can reach a height of 60 feet in just years. They are grown for quick yard shade, on property lines and along an edge of the yard to break the wind. Before planting your hybrid poplars, there are several spacing concerns you need to take in account.
Locate all underground utilities, wells, pipes and septic systems. You can call your local utility company to come out and locate the underground utilities as well. Consult previous homeowners about where a well, pipes or septic system may be or get town records to search for past permits. A plumber may also be able to help you.
Space hybrid poplar shade trees at least 20 feet away from underground utilities, septic tanks, wells, sidewalks, driveways and buildings. Their roots can cause damage. In addition, do not plant your tree within 20 feet of any above-ground wires.
Space multiple hybrid poplar trees about 20 feet apart. While they can grow as wide as 30 feet, this will ensure a well-covered area and allow for some overlapping for additional shade.
Alternatively, plant slow-growing shade trees (e.g., maple, oak) in between or in front of your fast-growing hybrid poplars, which have relatively short life spans compared to most trees. This way, when the hybrid poplars die, you will have large established trees already in place. Space all of the trees 20 feet apart.