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Populus trichocarpa (Western balsam poplar)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
30m
Max height
10m
Max spread
20-50 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Populus trichocarpa

Other names

Western balsam poplar, Black cottonwood, California poplar, Populus balsamifera

Genus

Populus Populus

Species

P. trichocarpa - P. trichocarpa is a vigorous, conical to broadly columnar, deciduous tree with ovate, glossy, aromatic, dark green leaves, grey-white beneath and turning yellow in autumn. Red male catkins and green female catkins bloom in spring.


Populus trichocarpa is: Deciduous

Habit

Broadly columnar, Conical

Flower

Green, Red in Spring

Foliage

Dark-green in Spring; Dark-green in Summer; Yellow in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Leaf beetles (willow and poplar) , Caterpillars , Root aphid , Sawflies Leaf beetles (willow and poplar) , Caterpillars , Root aphid , Sawflies

Bacterial canker , Leaf spot , Rust Bacterial canker , Leaf spot , Rust

General care

Pruning

Pruning group 1 in late summer to minimise bleeding and infection from canker. Needs little or no pruning once established. Remove suckers in autumn or winter.

Propagation

Twigs inserted in the ground may form roots.

Propagation methods

Hardwood cuttings, Suckers


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Where to grow

Populus trichocarpa (Western balsam poplar) will reach a height of 30m and a spread of 10m after 20-50 years.

Suggested uses

Architectural, Coastal, Specimen tree, Wind-breaker

Cultivation

Best grown in cool, northern climates in fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil in full sun but will tolerate a wide range of soil conditions. Does not tolerate heat, humidity, or pollution. Develops an extensive root system so do not grow within 40m of buildings to avoid damaged drains and foundations. In the wild, tends to form large groves with hundreds of clones originating from a single root system.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moisture-retentive, Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Populus trichocarpa

Other names

Western balsam poplar, Black cottonwood, California poplar, Populus balsamifera

Genus

Populus Populus

Species

P. trichocarpa - P. trichocarpa is a vigorous, conical to broadly columnar, deciduous tree with ovate, glossy, aromatic, dark green leaves, grey-white beneath and turning yellow in autumn. Red male catkins and green female catkins bloom in spring.

Native to

Western North America

Foliage

Deciduous

Habit

Broadly columnar, Conical


Colour

Flower

Green, Red in Spring

Foliage

Dark-green in Spring; Dark-green in Summer; Yellow in Autumn


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Leaf beetles (willow and poplar) , Caterpillars , Root aphid , Sawflies

Specific diseases

Bacterial canker , Leaf spot , Rust

General care

Pruning

Pruning group 1 in late summer to minimise bleeding and infection from canker. Needs little or no pruning once established. Remove suckers in autumn or winter.

Propagation

Twigs inserted in the ground may form roots.

Propagation methods

Hardwood cuttings, Suckers


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Populus trichocarpa (Western balsam poplar) will reach a height of 30m and a spread of 10m after 20-50 years.

Suggested uses

Architectural, Coastal, Specimen tree, Wind-breaker

Cultivation

Best grown in cool, northern climates in fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil in full sun but will tolerate a wide range of soil conditions. Does not tolerate heat, humidity, or pollution. Develops an extensive root system so do not grow within 40m of buildings to avoid damaged drains and foundations. In the wild, tends to form large groves with hundreds of clones originating from a single root system.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moisture-retentive, Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 6, Zone 5, Zone 4, Zone 3, Zone 2, Zone 1

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types) Tell us...
Soil drainage: Moisture-retentive, Moist but well-drained, Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: South, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

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