Poplar trees

gardenmaid1(Lehi, Utah)February 23, 2005

I really like the looks of the poplar tree...

What do others think about the poplar?

Have you planted them next to your garden area?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
david52 Zone 6

The famous Lombardi Poplar? I understand that the seeds or pods or something are akin to Magic Marker, the stains never come out. The recommendation is to plant them a long ways away from a house.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2005 at 10:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
animas(z5-SW Colo)

I'm not a big fan. The Lombardi poplar was planted as a fast-growing windbreak. You see it all over farm country. But it rots from the inside out. Look at some older stands of this tree. The old ones are hollow. A gust blows them over. Many houses are at risk from these trees. Don't ever use them in a suburban setting or near anything you don't want crushed, like homes, garages, carports, vehicles and children. With so many better trees out there, there's no reason to plant a poplar. They need a lot of water, too, which is why so many can be found along ditches. The poplar family of trees are weak-wooded. I'd avoid them. What specifically do you like about a poplar? I betcha there will be a ton of responses for alternatives.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2005 at 12:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I suspect the main allure to most people is the fast growth. I've never planted one, but 5 years ago a seedling of a poplar (don't know the variety) sprouted in my petunias. On a lark, I didn't pull it up and by the end of the first season in was 5 ft tall. By the end of the next season it was about 12 feet tall. Then we moved. I drove by the home last fall and I could see the tree from the street despite the fact that it was "hidden" behind a two story house with a pitched roof. The tree is at least 30 feet tall and growing quite a crown. From seed to massive tree in 5 growing seasons. Now that's productive.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2005 at 1:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Betz11(8 UT)

You did not say which of the poplars you were interested in. We planted the Hybrid Poplar, also known as cottonless cottonwood, on our property and were very pleased with the trees. Yes, they do grow fast, and they are beautiful trees. If you are wanting to grow your own wood lot they are terrific. They do sucker and they use more water than elm trees. Everything else that we planted ended up dying on us, I think a lot of that was because of our drought and not watering deep enough.

A lot of what you plant will depend on where you live, too. We live on five acres out in the country. If you live in town, you may wish to reconsider what you plant, or do more research.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2005 at 10:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My .02 about poplars...

The question of which variety is the most important question.

My neighbors have Lombardies. They are very pleased with them. I, however, am trying to find some way to poison them from my side of the fence. (Just kidding... well, mostly kidding.) They sucker everywhere... in the grass, in my gardens, under my porch. They push up the flagstones of my patio. Their roots are very shallow and make cultivating difficult. They drop nasty little seed pods everywhere. After even a moderate wind, my lawn and gardens are littered with branches. They have a life expectancy of about 20 years, so there are always several dead ones among the live ones. I have read that their root systems attack water lines, though so far we haven't had water system problems--knock on wood! I do not grow any myself, but I do know these trees are not good neighbors.

The other poplar I have some experience with is populous tremuloides or the Quaking Aspen. There were (and I stress were) several of these growing on our property when we bought it 15 years ago. Most of them succumbed to insects or disease and had to be removed. They have most of the same problems the Lombardy poplar has. The aspen is so beautiful that I was sorry to see them go. However, the extension service here says they just don't make good landscape trees at this altitude (6000'). They say they need a bit higher altitude and room to sucker and spread.

Another reason to choose your variety carefully is that the poplar family can be a major allergy culprit in May and June. The sterile varieties don't have that problem.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 9:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Artful_Gardener(Z4 CO MTN)

Amazing growth story Canyon Home!

I'm sure you've already realized, Lehi, that you should never plant poplars next to a garden area. The roots and shoots they will establish there will make gardening a nightmare.

If you really need the height/growth right away, certainly use only one of the named cultivars which are cottonless and often have better branching and slightly slower growth. The Highland cottonwood is very nice, and the narrowleaf is very popular in our area. I would NEVER use the Lombardy - rife with problems. I'm at a higher altitude and grow Aspens successfully, but you can usually count on losing one out of three to disease over time.

If you don't need the immediate size, there are a few other trees that kind of give the same appearance - some of the lindens, some of the ash trees. You might want to call your local nursery and see what they recommend as a substitute. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 1:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenmaid1(Lehi, Utah)

Thank you for your help, I really don't think the poplar is my kind of tree...
I'm looking at the Red Oak, Sugar Maple,
American Linden...

    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 6:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Whatever you choose, make sure it's appropriate for Utah.

I'm struggling with a mature silver maple that the previous owner planted. A few years ago, it started getting chlorotic, because the soil is too alkaline for the tree to make use of the iron in the soil.

I'm making some progress, but, as somebody on this forum once pointed out, it's much easier to plant trees that are suitable for your soil than to get your soil suitable to your trees (or something like that). If I were starting now, I'd go with something more appropriate to my soil.

I'm out of town right now, but I've got a list of "best trees for Utah" that was published in the SL Trib a few years ago. I kept it in the vain hope that the maple would die of its own volition or my wife would let me cut it down. Even though neither option seems likely, I've held on to the list, and I'll try to remember to post it on Thursday.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 8:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenmaid1(Lehi, Utah)

Thank you...
I would love to get a list of trees, that are suited for our area..
We have just moved from Calif. and are starting over in Utah..

    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 8:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I will probably post on Thursday. I'm working/travelling tomorrow, and I'll get home late tomorrow evening, but I'm usually too tired to get online until the following day.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 10:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't think that any of the three trees that you listed will do well in alkaline soil which I am quite certain that you have. The Burr oak will grow moderately fast and have nice fall color and do well. You might look at the Norwegian Sunset or Pacific sunset maples. They are a hybrid that has nice fall colors and will do well in Utah.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2005 at 3:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The list that I found in the SL Trib and kept for several years is no longer there. I must have either finally given up on needing it or decided that a similar, but fuler list I got from the USU extension service would do better.

I have a handout from the USU extension service that is 8 pages long and lists trees that are well adapted to Utah, and gives a lot of other information about each tree (mature height and width, growth rate, leaf color, flowers, landscape use, and comments). Comments include such things a s succeptibility to chlorosis, insect pests, disease problems, etc. It's too detailed to try to post here, but if you have time to get to an extension office, they probably have something like it.

Here is a link to a pdf I found online that has similar information.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2005 at 12:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenmaid1(Lehi, Utah)

Thank you for the link to the USU extention service it will be very helpful...

    Bookmark   March 3, 2005 at 12:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
delray(z5 UT)


I'm in Alpine Utah. As someone else mentioned the Linden is a good alternative for the Poplar and there are many varieties of Linden to consider. They do well here, flexible branches/less prone to break and smell wonderful when they bloom (and attract bees).
Some varieties of Ash grow as fast as Cottonwood, but like other fast growing trees, they are even weaker branched than Poplar!

We have a good size property, so I did plant some cottonless cottonwood on the edge of my property because I love the flicker of the leaves and the roots there won't be a problem (for neighbors either).

You might look at Mountain Ash (Sorbus) not related to Ash (Fraxinus I think). They do maginficent out here and have beautiful fall color, flowers in late spring, berries into the winter. I love the Bur Oak also, but slow grower. Also I would not recommend Silver Maple as a fast growing tree. They are brittle and don't look so Silver as they do Chlorotic (Chlorosis, sickly yellow).

    Bookmark   March 6, 2005 at 12:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Please dont ever plant these trees! I just had 3 huge ones cut down today. They grow very very fast & appear to be great, but as mine turned about 8 years old, the roots began popping up from the ground and suckers EVERYWHERE! Ruined my driveway, sidewalk and began attacking my neighbors yards . these should not be SOLD ! Also, lots of dead branches all the time. DO NOT PLANT LOMBARDY POPLARS! AWFUL! a very expensive lesson learned.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 12:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have read for ages about lombardies in LM Montgomery books and wondered what they were. Y'all's poplars must be more aggressive than our tulip poplars here (La). We have had some for about 10 years and haven't had the problems you mentioned. BUT - someone mentioned silver maples. Don't plant these unless you want a (beautiful in the wind) forest of them. We have one and have to control the babies by frequent mowing and after 10 years it's roots are above ground and a nuisance to walking. Fortunely ours is just about dead and will have to be removed soon. Lucky us, our neighbors have about 20 in a "groove", so when they mature we can look across the yard and wax nostalgic.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2006 at 5:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
zachslc(6 Salt Lake City)

Did you know that there are so many around the Wasatch Front because pioneers planted them for sources of fast-growing firewood?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 2:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What about the honey locust tree? My friend just planted one, and it's beautiful. My garden center also highly recommended it.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 8:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a neighbors lombardy whose tree is sending out suckers all over my yard. How can I kill these back to the property line? Roundup? It is attacking my other trees. Help!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 1:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here's a little info on growth regulators. They may help but it looks like your neighbors should be seeing this as THEIR problem.

It may require a note from your attorney to bring the issue to their attention but that should be a ways down the road. Look at ways to get information to your neighbors 1st (2nd & 3rd) and to document your efforts to inform and at control on your property.


Here is a link that might be useful: University of Minn. - REMOVING TREES and SHRUBS

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 9:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Hi Flattie,

I have neighborÂs aspen suckers coming up all over my front yard, and another neighborÂs cottonwood suckers coming up all over my back yard. After three years of fighting them, I have finally come up with something that works. When the suckers are in the grass, I spray them with Weed ÂB Gone, and if theyÂre not around grass or other plants, I spray them with Roundup. Both are working very well, and I finally have lawn that doesnÂt look like a baby forest before I mow it every time. You will need to keep spraying every few weeks since more suckers will keep coming up from different places along the roots, but itÂs been more effective than I had hoped for.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 12:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for all the replys.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 1:07AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
How much light for seedlings...
I've started plants indoors as always. I have my seedlings...
I could build that!
Well, why not ? No, that floor isn't sloping. There's...
Online source for Jamesia americana?
I'm a central Washington / eastern Cascade Mountains...
Sagebrush Spring
Raspberry variety advice
I want to plant one of my sunniest garden beds to Raspberrys....
Any Denver metro area nurseries selling seed potatoes?
I am hoping to grow potatoes this year, first time...
Sponsored Products
MANHATTAN Mirror - 20" Black
Palle Presepe Ornament Set by Alessi
$234.00 | Lumens
Hanging Path Lamp by Coe Studios
$590.00 | Lumens
Real Carriage Weathered Z-Brace Barn Door - BDK-THG-3681-Z
$710.00 | Hayneedle
Jade Slate Blue Professional Yoga Mat - 368SB
$62.95 | Hayneedle
Entryways Mather Exotic Wood Mat - E3020
$59.99 | Hayneedle
4-ft. Pre-lit Alpine Tree
Grandin Road
Stiffel Global White Hardback Drum Shade 14x16x10 (Spider)
Lamps Plus
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™