How fast do poplar trees grow?

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How fast do poplar trees grow?
Poplars tend to have similar leaf shapes. (hoja y carbón image by Marco Antonio Fdez. from Fotolia.com)

Poplar is a tree name that refers to a group of trees including cottonwood, quaking aspen, Lombardy poplar and white poplar. Poplars are known for their fast growth rate, and their ability to adapt to a wide range of growing conditions.

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Features

Poplars are fast-growing trees, with some averaging 90 to 180 cm (3 to 6 feet) of growth in one season. The cottonwood is the largest in the poplar group, maturing at around 30 metres (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 colonise large areas through proliferate seed drop and their ability to sprout new trees from their roots.

How fast do poplar trees grow?
Large quantities of seeds or "cotton" help cottonwood trees multiple quickly. (poplar image by Omely from Fotolia.com)

Limitations

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.

How fast do poplar trees grow?
Ice storms can cause poplars to lose branches and limbs. (Ice Storm image by Candi from Fotolia.com)

Tips

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.

How fast do poplar trees grow?
Near water is the natural setting for poplars. (boats and poplar image by Aleksandar Jovanovic from Fotolia.com)

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