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Populus Alba, more commonly known as the White Poplar Tree, is a large and spreading deciduous tree that is native to Southern Europe, but has grown strongly in the UK for centuries. People love the White Poplar Tree for its large maple-shaped leaves which measure up to 10 cm. These leaves have a glossy green shade on top with a woolly, felted white underside which shimmers when caught by the breeze. White felting emerges on the new shoots and buds, and it remains beneath mature leaves throughout the growing season.
In spring red male catkins and green female catkins emerge. Seeds develop on female catkins in a mass of fluff that blows away with the winds. In autumn the fuzzy white leaves begin to turn a golden yellow, before falling with the first frosts. In winter a strong framework of white and grey bark with diamond-shaped markings remains behind to lend a ridged and textured effect throughout the cold months
Populus Alba is a large tree that needs some space to grow. It will reach heights of 20 metres, so best suits a larger space.
How Hardy Is Populus Alba This is a very hardy tree that is capable of withstanding sub-zero temperatures throughout the UK. It is pollution and wind tolerant, even growing well in breezy coastal locations where its white foliage is shown off to good effect in the seaside breezes.
How To Use Populus Alba This is an excellent boundary tree that quickly grows to a large height often with 20 years. It will tolerate some water-logging, making it a good alternative to willow trees. Pollution and salt tolerance means its great placed near a busy road and in coastal gardens. Poplar trees find a happy home in most soils. Poplars don’t cast a heavy shade so it possible to under-plant all woodland flowers, such as snowdrops an bluebells, as well as willow shrubs such as Salix Gracilistyla Mount Aso or Salix Sachalinensis Golden Sunshine, particularly if you have planted your Populus Alba in a moist spot.
How To Care For Populus Alba You do not need to prune this tree as it grows in a multi-stem shape with a neat open crown. We supply White Poplar Trees as multi-stemmed specimens for a naturalistic look that shows off the pale bark to good effect. New trees will need water until they are established, and a good thick layer of mulch will ensure young trees grow healthily.
If you want a tough, hardy tree that also has glorious foliage and interesting catkins then poplars are hard to beat. This variety is able to grow in most roomy garden situations, making it the perfect choice for time-pressed gardeners. See also deciduous trees.