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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Populus alba - White Poplar

The white poplar tree is a very large, fast growing tree reaching heights of 50-70' with a spread almost equal to the height. Often multi-stemmed with large primary branches
forming a broad rounded crown. Since is likes moister soils its not found very often in our area. I have only seen two, but where there is one there are more, as you can see, the clump below are other plants.



Leaves are alternate, simple, 3-5" long, maple-like in shape with 3-5 lobes. Dark green upper surface, but easily distinguished from a maple by the white undersides of the leaves. Like all poplars they have flattened petioles which allow the leaves to flutter in even the lightest breeze. Yellow fall color is pretty fair.




Flowers are dioecious, male and females on the same tree.

Fruit are small green capsules releasing white fuzzy cottony seeds that can cover streets with "snow" in summer.



Long cluster of fruit just about to release the white seeds.



Bark is quite pretty, stems silver when young, with black areas developing in horizontal bands that eventually coalescing turning the stem mostly dark.




Misidentification: Not likely.

Location
Aptos
Corner of Urbin Rd and Mar Vista Dr. off Soquel.

7109 Danko Dr.

Capitola
4645 Portola Dr. Among all the other trees on the overgrown lot.

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