growing and care

Poplar trees demand quality soil and good water, and can grow to between 50 and 165 feet high. They feature wide sturdy trunks that measure up to eight feet in diameter. Lifespan of a Poplar tree is about 50 years.

preferred soil conditions?

The ideal soil is rich soil that can retain moisture. The rich soil should be quite abundant in composted organic matter such as leaves, manure and other natural composts. About one inch thick layer of mulch should be around Poplars at all time, but never resting up against the trunks.

The mulch used should include organic fertilizer added twice a month from February until end of May, then once a month through June until beginning of October, then nothing until February again.

The ideal soil pH is 5.5 to 7.8, and anything outside of this, acidic or alkaline, will probably kill the trees quickly..

Never plant Poplars on slopes as they tend to fall too easily on them.

Poplars can adapt to extreme weather temperatures from severe freezing temperatures in the winter to very hot summer days.

Constant humidity can challenge the trees, hence why they are not seen much in Ireland, where they are listed as native, but more abundant in the drier air of South East England.

Being a quick growing tree, poplar wood can become week. Tall Poplar trees tend to snap in high winds and cause a lot of damage, so Poplar trees should ideally be kept trimmed.

preferred light, shade and water conditions?

Grows well in full to partial sunlight, but not too shaded.

Poplars need frequent watering. The ideal place for Poplars is where the water table is as close to 2 to 3 feet below the surface of the soil. If the water table is below this, then frequent watering will be necessary. Make sure Poplars are not planted near water or sewer pipes otherwise these are like a magnet to its roots.

Young Poplar plants need between 1 to 3 inches of water per week from rainfall or hand waterinf. A rain gauge placed near a Poplar tree can help determine how much water has fallen.


Leaves appear in late April, after blossoms and fruits have formed..


Poplar trees host both male and female pretty yellow flowers, in hanging clusters, that bloom during early March well before the leaves appear in late April.


Popularity of coppicing Poplar is on a rapid increase, due to recent biofuel demands. Several farmers are growing both willow and Poplar due to similarities.

Yield from both is about 8 tons of dried per year per hectare,, which is not a fortune but to a small farmer very useful.

Both willow and Poplar like and need well watered land
Willow can take soil a bit more acidy and less fertile than Poplar
Willow can be coppiced as a crop every 2 to 3 years
Poplar can be coppiced as a crop every 3 to 4 years.
Poplar gives off a bit better heat as a wood chip fuel.

fruit and seeds

The small, thick-skinned capsule shaped fruits appear green in late March and turn to reddish-brown capsules as the leaves break open from the buds in late April.  

The capsules contain dozens of tiny seeds covered with silky white hairs. The hairs help the seeds disperse on windy days.

for the healing and nourishment qualities of Poplar, please click here