Poplars / Cottonwoods
Genus: Populus
Family: Salicaceae

Poplars and cottonwoods have distinctive heart- or triangle-shaped leaves. They were once very popular trees to plant for erosion control, but they tend to cause problems in urban areas. The roots are shallow and wide-spreading and they can lift sidewalks or puncture sewer lines. The male trees produce abundant pollen that can cause allergies and the females produce clouds of fluffy white seeds that drift and fall like snow.


Populus deltoides
Eastern Cottonwood


A fast-growing shade tree, this member of the poplar family grows to a height of 100 feet and a diameter of 4 feet. Like all members of this family, the flowers are in the form of catkins, and males and females are on separate trees.

Maps: 29


Populus nigra `Italica'
Lombardy Poplar


The Lombardy Poplar is a tall, thin tree with upward reaching branches to 130 feet. The bright green, triangular leaves turn golden in the fall. A beautiful addition to any skyline, a line of these trees also serves as a windbreaker. Its origin is obscure, but is seems to have come from Italy in the 1700s.

Maps: none