A range of deciduous trees that grow to a height of 25 metres. The genus name Populus refers to the fact the trees were often planted around Roman meeting places. The wood is light and porous and so used as a growing medium for Shiitake mushrooms. Poplar wood is also used for artificial limbs, stringed instruments, matchsticks, fruit crates, camembert boxes, and paper production. Due to its fast growth, poplar species are widely planted for wind break and energy crop purposes. A range of cultivars/shapes available.
Culture for Poplar
Recognised as a very hardy tree. Plant in full sun, south or west aspect. Grows best at temperatures 15 to 25 C. Tolerates any soil (sand, silt, loam, clay) and pH (prefers 6 to 9 ). Plant between early November and mid May, not during periods of frost into a well drained soil. Low maintenance tree. Prune trees in late summer to avoid infection from bacterial canker and bleeding from pruning cuts.
Concerns about Poplar
Willow leaf beetle, caterpillars which eat the foliage or bore into the bark, root aphids, hornet moth. Poplar scab, bacterial canker, honey fungus, silver leaf, peach leaf curl, rust, and fungal leaf spots.
Management Practices for Poplar
Trichoderma soil injections at the first signs of honey fungus. Incorporate Biochar during RC . Spray with Signum April/May/June for foliar and flower diseases. Winter wash (Oct to Feb) if bacterial canker is problematic. Apply Bandu + spray oil at the first signs of insect attack, generally early mid April. Promote tree vitality by appropriate fertilisation, mulching, and irrigation.