The scientific name for any poplar tree species begins with the Latin "populus", meaning "multitude." The species name follows this genus name, such as in "Populus angusti-folia---the narrow leaf poplar. They belong to the Salicaceae family.
The scientific name for any poplar tree species begins with the Latin “populus”, meaning “multitude.” The species name follows this genus name, such as in “Populus angusti-folia—the narrow leaf poplar. They belong to the Salicaceae family.
Balsam poplar trees grow quickly throughout their life cycle and reach up to 80 feet on average. At 20 years of age balsam poplar trees can reach up to 35 feet in height. Although annual growth rates are dependent on growing conditions balsam poplars can grow 2 feet in a single year.
The rapid growth rate of the white poplar allows it to reach heights of up to 80 feet over a 20-year period. On average these trees reach a maximum height of 100 feet above the ground with roots at least 2 feet deep.
One of the larger forms of poplar tree, the Lombardy poplar can grow up to 190 feet tall. Over a period of 20 years this species of poplar can grow up to 80 feet in height. The roots of the Lombardy poplar grow to a minimum of 32 inches in depth.
The Carolina poplar is another rapidly growing species of poplar tree that grows up to 80 feet in height over a 20-year period. It has a maximum average height of 110 feet and a minimum root depth of 2 feet.
Poplar puts out a low amount of heat when compared to other hardwoods. This variety emits approximately 17,260 BTU or British Thermal Units per cord of wood, according to Woodheat.org. Elm, oak and hickory wood can produce nearly twice that amount.
Ease of Burning
Cottonwood can be a fairly easy wood to burn. It should nonetheless be seasoned, or allowed to cure, for a period before using it. This means the wood should not have any green to it. Dried poplar wood should have a moisture content of 20 percent or less to burn efficiently, according to Woodheat.org.
Poplar can be a safe wood to burn because it does not throw sparks. It tends to emit a moderate amount of smoke, however. The amount of smoke produced is typical of other varieties such as sycamore, elm and chestnut. It does not produce a foul stench when it is burning. It also does not contain a great deal of sap, which can result in less creosote build-up in your chimney.
Poplars are fast-growing trees, with some averaging 3 to 6 feet of growth in one season. The cottonwood is the largest in the poplar group, maturing at around 100 feet tall. Lombardy poplars and quaking aspens are popular for use as a fast growing windbreak or natural screen. Some poplars are able to colonize large areas through proliferate seed drop and their ability to sprout new trees from their roots.
Trees that have fast growth rates tend to have weak wood and be short-lived. They are often considered a nuisance and hazard because of their tendency to lose branches and limbs in storms and high winds. They are prone to developing branch cankers, which can kill off branches throughout the tree, making it unsightly and hazardous.
Poplars are suited for some situations, but are not highly recommended for the urban landscape. Poplars are an excellent choice for natural areas and near water where their spread and mess are not a nuisance.
Look for hair-covered clusters, or webs, on the underside of your poplar tree leaves. The larvae of the webworm are inside.
Put on a pair of gloves and tear the webs open. This allows natural predators of the webworm to get inside and eat the larvae.
Hit the larvae loose with a broom if the natural predators are not doing their job. Be prepared to catch the larvae with a garbage bag. You can then easily toss them out with the trash. This method will work well for smaller poplar trees, or for the lower portion of larger poplar trees.
Purchase an insecticide that contains the ingredient permethrin. Read the label to ensure it specifically lists webworms as a pest it controls.
Mix and apply the insecticide as directed on the product label. Use a hose-end sprayer to reach all parts of the tree efficiently.