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What is this?

Posted by Thirsty_Dirt_77 3a (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 24, 13 at 11:37

When we moved onto our acreage we found a few of these trees.

They grow extremely fast and don't sucker - my husband tried to remove one but it grew back from the roots the next year and now (3 yrs later) its probably close to 10 feet tall. We have since decided to keep them and try to root cuttings for more. It would be far easier and quick to buy some but I don't want to buy any if I'm not sure what they are!

I think they are a Cottonwood Poplar... what do you think? I can provide more pictures if needed.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What is this?

Definitely some kind of poplar. Are there are were there any mature ones on your property? If so, how tall and what form or shape do they take?


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RE: What is this?

It definitely looks like a cottonwood to me. They are known for growing back from a stump too. Maybe Konrad will chime in, he's a tree guy.


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RE: What is this?

There are no mature trees around. We have four or five that are about 5' - 10' tall and lots of smaller ones. We thought the smaller ones were dead but last year with the perfect combination of rain and heat they started to grow. Based on where they are they were definitely planted and not native to the property.

Over the past few years we have seen them spring up on other arceages (they were planted) in the area. By a lot of research and the fact that Poplar Cottonwood are avialbe through the Alberta Shelter Belt program I have come the conclusion that this is what they are.... but some form of confirmation would be nice.

Here's another picture if it helps


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RE: What is this?

I'm no expert but have to agree with you that it is a poplar species, probalby seeds blown in from the near by bush.


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RE: What is this?

  • Posted by marric Z5a Ontario (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 25, 13 at 8:43

If the undersides of the leaves are sivery grey, it may be Trembling Aspen?


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RE: What is this?

I would say not trembling aspen. They have a very flat leaf with none of the rippling at the edges. Also their leaves aren't shiny.

I really do think it's a cottonwood.


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RE: What is this?

Looks like a Balsam Poplar to me. Had quite a few but had them cut down. Too much fluff and they tend to rot from the inside out and if there are strong winds blow over. Plus they sucker like crazy from the roots which are long.


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RE: What is this?

Definately not a quaking aspen (as we call them here). I have both quakies and cottenwoods....this one is a cottenwood. Or at least a poplar. I have them sprout up in my yard constantly. They're buggers to kill, because they are Super-Turbo-Charged-Suckering trees. Kill it here, it'll be back tomarrow over there!


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RE: What is this?

Perhaps go over and see these poplars in the bush and see what they are.
I find sometimes when they're very young the leaves can be HUGE and a bit misleading.


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RE: What is this?

If they have a strong resinous smell, kind of sweetish-sickly, particularly from the swollen buds at this time of year, then they may well be balsam poplar (also called black poplar). If not, then probably some kind of cottonwood.

"Northwest poplar" is a natural hybrid between plains cottonwood and balsam poplar and grows fast, often used for shelterbelts. It can be good for a big property, though is short-lived.


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RE: What is this?

My neighbours have a big balsam poplar and when there's a storm with a west wind (which is always), the tree sheds branches, twigs, leaves, catkins, sticky sheath things, and stench into my yard. It definitely does have a memorable smell. It also suckers all over their yard, so if you say yours doesn't sucker, I would still go with cottonwood.


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RE: What is this?

I love the spring smell of balsam poplars. :)


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RE: What is this?

The smell is the only thing I like about them....but I do like that. Plus the fact when an invasion of those tent caterpillars comes ( which we haven't had for a while thankfully ) they don't attack the Balsam poplars.


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RE: What is this?

In our area we have what is considered one of the oldest cottonwood trees in the world. It is actually an area of about 500 acres and all trees within it are mostly considered the same tree. Like rhizome plants new trees form off roots, essentially extending the parent tree. So no mature tree really has to be around, just a root system from one however long ago...

While far from an expert I tend to go with the cottonwood grrop


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RE: What is this?

>>There are no mature trees around<<

I see a bush in the back [second picture] ....seeds can fly far.


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