A cross between the Eastern poplar and the Black poplar, the Hybrid poplar is a member of the Populus family of trees that also includes cottonwoods and aspens. Hybrid poplars are among the fastest growing, often growing 5 to 8 feet a year and, at maturity, reaching heights up to 50 feet. Because of their shallow, traveling root system, these trees should not be planted within 100 feet of sewer lines, sidewalks, driveways or buildings. Hardy in zones 3 to 9, they prefer full sun and almost any soil type as long as it's moist.
Planting and Care
Plant your container-grown poplar tree in the spring or fall. Choose a site well away from patios, sewer lines and other potential obstacles. Make sure the site has full sun and moist soil.
Dig a hole at least three times the diameter of the root ball and just as deep. Remove your tree from its container. Make sure to handle the tree by the roots only, not the trunk.
Loosen the sides of your hole with the shovel to give the roots room to spread. Place the tree into the hole so it stands level. Backfill about halfway with soil and add water, which will get rid of any air pockets.
Continue to backfill with the remainder of the soil, compact the earth and water thoroughly. Place a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch or compost around the base of the tree, making sure to leave a 3-inch space around the trunk. The mulch will help to retain moisture.
Water regularly until your tree has become established, and during periods of drought or excessive heat. Monthly fertilizing with an all-purpose fertilizer during the first year is also recommended.