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Friday, January 10, 2014

Populus trichocarpa - Western Poplar

Another native California tree you will notice anywhere close to a large source of water. The western poplars are fast growing large deciduous trees growing close to 100 feet by about 50'. There are some really large ones along Soquel Creek behind Michael's on Main.



Leaves are deciduous, simple, alternate, rhomboid to broadly ovate to deltoid, 3-6" long, medium green on upper surface, whitish silver on lowers. You can see the veins really nicely on this plant. Petioles may be flattened, which causes them to flutter in the breeze.





Buds are sticky, good identification characteristic. Distinct lenticles on young stems.



Fruit is a capsule, releasing "cotton" all over the place. Have seen streets looking like there is snow covering the sidewalks and gutters.


Bark is smooth gray when young, later darker gray with deep fissures.



Misidentification:
Cant think of anything.

Location:
Soquel Creek, Aptos Creek

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