In the 70s, these trees were highly touted for their fast growth in
any soil. The approximate estimated life was 50 years, far longer
than the junky Lombardy poplar.
I personally planted 300-400, the best variety of which was the
Androscoggin poplar. Within 10 years, they were 50-80 ft, and the
Androscoggin had a wide crown and thick trunk to boot. Some autumns
they yielded a bright, buttery leaf. You could break off a stem,
stick it in the ground, and have a tree in no time. The only chore
with this cloning method of propagation was that you had to keep weeds
away for two years until they were established. If you planted one
that already had roots, no weeding was needed.
OK, that was the good news. If you decide to go with hybrid pops, be
aware that they eventually show thick protruding roots than can mess
up mower blades. Of course, that's the case with lots of trees. But
in 20-25 years, they come down. Sometimes the whole thing comes down
in storms. More often, the top 1/3 of the trunk simply breaks off.
It is dry and dead, while the rest of the tree is still filled with
sap. Strange .. and ugly. This was especially true with the
Except for one humongous Androscoggin at the edge of the property, all
have either come down on their own or I had them taken down. Got
tired of cleaning up hybrid mess in the neighbor's field.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Way Back Jack) says...
Why in the world did you plant them in the first place if you weren't
going to harvest them for biomass? Planting hybrid poplar for
landscaping is about like planting wheat for a lawn. It's just not
going to work, and anybody should have told you that.
Sorry you wasted all that effort.
For email, replace firstnamelastinitial
with my first name and last initial.
On Wed, 22 Aug 2007 19:56:23 -0700, Larry Caldwell wrote:
Windbreak, riparian buffer, wildlife cover/food, stabilize waste areas,
quick screens, and harvest for chipboard and pulp. My guess is that it's
most used in the plains states. In the NorthEast, poplar is an early
succession tree that will eventually be overtaken by other species.
Someone tried a few acres of hybrid poplars about a half-mile from me and
they didn't make it through the first summer/winter.
On Wed, 22 Aug 2007 19:56:23 -0700, Larry Caldwell
My goal was to create a forest from a cow pasture. I knew nothing
about trees and believed the claims and advertising which were
apparently supported by government testing. Books like Wyman's and
Pirone's did not address hybrid popolars because they were apparently
Live and learn.
I planted a half dozen for a screen in a section of my lot also
believing the advertising hype. My experience was the same except I
created problem for new property owner as to what I thought was property
line on vacant lot was over the line. Over 30 years in this house, I've
been able to see what happens from planting seedlings to their maturity.
I have several other trees that I wish I had not planted.
You and I share common experiences:
1) Hybrid poplar fiasco
2) Crossing property lines.
In my case, it was a neighbor who inadvertently planted 50 Eastern
white pines on my property. This seemed great at first, as it
contributed to the goal of changing a cow pasture into a forest.
However, in my youthful ignorance, I overlooked the fact that many of
them were planted directly under power lines that served my house and
a few farms, but not her house. These trees played hell with the
When the tree guys took down the Androscoggins I also had them take
down the pines. The neighbor was livid.
On Thu, 23 Aug 2007 18:47:27 -0700, Larry Caldwell
Those trees were like her babies. Something to remember her husband
by. She enjoyed the privacy screen that she and her late husband
inadvertently planted on our property 30 years earlier. Hey, so did
But when those trees frequently knocked out electricity to our place
and neighboring farms, she didn't care because it didn't affect her
Probably because poplars (hybrid or otherwise) aren't considered
ornamental trees. Look for books/websites about naturalizing, native
plants, and succession.
Beware of any government-promoted plant that is described as "quick
growing", "wildlife food", etc. (Multiflora rose and Autumn Olive are two
examples.) Translation is: "This is a weedy species that wildlife will
spread all over your property."
At least where I live, cow pastures were generally on soil that wasn't
good enough for field crops. I suggest contacting your County Ag-Extension
Agent He/she will be able to suggest species that are right for your
situation. (Caution: Think decades, not years.)
I'm 63 and not thinking of decades.
Yes, the hybrid pops were a failure, but the 800 or red, sugar, and
Norway maples; fast growing red oaks of various species; Austrian
pines; and tuliptrees that I personally planted over an 8-year-period
have been an unqualified success.
On Aug 22, 8:49 am, email@example.com (Way Back Jack) wrote:
I found you information to be most helpful. My husband and I have not
success with poplars. They seem to need a certain soil.
Living in Massachusetts the soil is rich.
Thanks for your info. This is my first time here and spent a few
moments realizing this
is an informative place to share.
On Wed, 22 Aug 2007 12:49:24 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Way Back Jack) wrote:
We have some that are ~25 years old that my Mom and Dad
planted. Only knew them as Hybrid Poplars. They zoomed
upward much as described. Now they are dying. They seem to
be quite susceptible to some sort of canker (you will see a
swollen spot that looks like there was once a branch there
and bark will be missing) that attacks the trunk. On our
trees this is usually 10 to 30 feet from the ground. It
creates a weak spot in the tree and they are prone to
snapping off at this point in high winds. If the wind don't
get them the portion above the canker dies and eventually
the whole tree follows suit. Then the wind will knock the
whole tree over. These are all out in the field so they pose
no danger other than crushing crabapples when they fall.
Any chance you have crabapple trees planted close by? Some
of the Hybrid Poplars were planted with crabs and some in
another area more by themselves. Those amongst the crabs
faired the worst. The other group has much less problem with
the cankers. Most likely just a coincidence...
It is interesting to hear that other people who planted
these are having a similar experience.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.