Overview

Brief Summary

Salicaceae -- Willow family

    Maurice E. Demeritt, Jr.

    Poplar hybrids (Populus spp.) are the result of natural and  manmade crosses among poplar species. The genus is further  divided into five sections of which four are represented in North  America: Leuce (aspen type), to which P.  grandidentata and P. tremuloides (bigtooth  aspen and quaking aspen) belong; Aigeiros (cottonwood or  poplar type), to which P. deltoides, P. sargentii, P.  fremontii, and P. wislizeni (eastern, plains,  Fremont, and Rio Grande cottonwood) belong; Tacamahaca (balsam  poplar type), to which P. balsamifera, R trichocarpa,  and P. angustifolia (balsam poplar, black, and  narrowleaf cottonwood) belong, and Leucoides (swamp  poplar type), to which P. heterophylla belongs.  P. balsamifera subsp. trichocarpa has been  reported as the correct status of P. trichocarpa (44).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Maurice E. Demeritt

Source: Silvics of North America

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Comprehensive Description

Description

Trees. Buds with several clearly visible unequal outer scales. Flowers appearing before the leaves, in pendulous catkins, bracts toothed or laciniate; each flower with a cup-like disk; stamens 4-many.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Distribution

White poplar is nonnative to but has been widely planted in North America [68,88]. It is most widely escaped in the eastern United States and Canada [68]. White poplar populations are generally restricted to planting sites in the West [49,78] but have spread from planting sites in states and provinces east of the Great Plains [7,35,77,84,92]. White poplar's native range includes central, southern, and eastern Europe, the Mediterranean islands, temperate Asia, and northern Africa [34,120].

In North America, white poplar hybrids are known only east of the Great Plains. Populus alba × P. tremula is the most widely distributed hybrid; it occurs in nearly all states and provinces east of the north-south area from western Ontario to Louisiana [114]. Hybrids with native aspens (quaking aspen and bigtooth aspen) occur primarily in the Great Lakes region [101], although P. alba × P. grandidentata has been reported in West Virginia [114]. Populus alba × P. tremuloides is less widely distributed and less common than P. alba × P. grandidentata [100,114,119]. Plants Database provides distributional maps of white poplar and its hybrids.

White poplar was reported in New England by 1785 (Cutler 1785 cited in [102]), and after its introduction, planting was widespread. By the late 1800s, it was noted in many US floras. White poplar occurred in Michigan by 1876 (Almendinger 1876 cited in [102]), in southwestern Texas by 1879 (Watson 1883 cited in [102]), and on Block Island, Rhode Island, by 1892 [4]. In North Dakota and Montana, it was planted by ranchers and farmers for windbreaks [111].

Because white poplar spread is generally limited to clonal growth in the absence of hybridization (see Seed production), the distribution and spread of white poplar is directly related to human plantings [100]. Widespread planting has given white poplar a wider distribution than native aspens in the United States (Barnes personal communication cited in [102]). In northern Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, white poplar is largely restricted to areas where it was planted as an ornamental. It persists through vegetative sprouting [103]. In Farmington, western Maine, the spread of escaped white poplars was easily traced back to areas where white poplar was planted [6]. Throughout the Georgia Piedmont, the distribution of white poplar was directly correlated with the relative number of residences [23]. The composition of the deciduous Black Rock Forest in southeastern New York was compared from 1930 to 2006. White poplar was first reported in the study area in the 1990s. Although researchers indicated that white poplar "invaded naturally", they did not speculate on the establishment method and failed to report the location of the nearest white poplar population [90].

  • 35. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 49. Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1973. Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 730 p. [1168]
  • 84. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 4. Bailey, W. W.; Collins, J. F. 1893. A list of plants found on Block Island, R.I., in July and August. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 20(6): 231-239. [73907]
  • 6. Barton, Andrew M.; Brewster, Lauri B.; Cox, Anne N.; Prentiss, Nancy K. 2004. Non-indigenous woody invasive plants in a rural New England town. Biological Invasions. 6: 205-211. [47715]
  • 7. Braun, E. Lucy. 1989. The woody plants of Ohio. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press. 362 p. [12914]
  • 23. Duncan, Wilbur H. 1950. Preliminary reports on the flora of Georgia. 2. Distribution of 87 trees. The American Midland Naturalist. 43(3): 742-761. [75535]
  • 34. Glass, William. 1996. Populus alba--white poplar. In: Randall, John M.; Marinelli, Janet, eds. Invasive plants: Weeds of the global garden. Handbook #149. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Botanic Garden: 39. [72853]
  • 68. Little, Elbert L. 1961. Sixty trees from foreign lands. Agricultural Handbook No. 212. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 30 p. [53217]
  • 78. Munz, Philip A. 1974. A flora of southern California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1086 p. [4924]
  • 88. Roland, A. E.; Smith, E. C. 1969. The flora of Nova Scotia. Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Museum. 746 p. [13158]
  • 90. Schuster, W. S. F.; Griffin, K. L.; Roth, H.; Turnbull, M. H.; Whitehead, D.; Tissue, D. T. 2008. Changes in composition, structure and aboveground biomass over seventy-six years (1930-2006) in the Black Rock Forest, Hudson Highlands, southeastern New York State. Tree Physiology. 28(12): 537-549. [73136]
  • 92. Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2nd ed. Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L. Moldenke. 611 p. [7604]
  • 100. Spies, T. A.; Barnes, B. V. 1981. A morphological analysis of Populus alba, Populus grandidentata and their natural hybrids in southeastern Michigan. Silvae Genetica. 30(2-3): 102-106. [77765]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 103. Stapleton, C. A.; McCorquodale, D. B.; Sneddon, C.; Williams, M.; Bridgland, J. 1998. The distribution and potential for invasiveness of some non-native vascular plants in northern Cape Breton. Technical Report in Ecosystem Science No. 015. Ottawa: Parks Canada, Canadian Heritage, Atlantic Region. 68 p. [77812]
  • 111. Tuskan, Gerald A.; Laughlin, Kevin. 1991. Windbreak species performance and management practices as reported by Montana and North Dakota landowners. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 46(3): 225-228. [15084]
  • 119. Voss, Edward G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae--Cornaceae). Bulletin 59. Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Herbarium. 724 p. [11472]
  • 120. Weber, Ewald. 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. Cambridge, MA: CABI Publishing. 548 p. [71904]
  • 77. Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 1986. [Revised edition]. Guide to the vascular flora of Illinois. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. 507 p. [17383]
  • 114. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. 2010. PLANTS Database, [Online]. Available: http://plants.usda.gov/. [34262]

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White poplar is nonnative to but has been widely planted in North America [68,88]. It is most widely escaped in the eastern United States and Canada [68]. White poplar populations are generally restricted to planting sites in the West [49,78] but have spread from planting sites in states and provinces east of the Great Plains [7,35,77,84,92]. White poplar's native range includes central, southern, and eastern Europe, the Mediterranean islands, temperate Asia, and northern Africa [34,120].

In North America, white poplar hybrids are known only east of the Great Plains. Populus alba × P. tremula is the most widely distributed hybrid; it occurs in nearly all states and provinces east of the north-south area from western Ontario to Louisiana [114]. Hybrids with native aspens (quaking aspen and bigtooth aspen) occur primarily in the Great Lakes region [101], although P. alba × P. grandidentata has been reported in West Virginia [114]. Populus alba × P. tremuloides is less widely distributed and less common than P. alba × P. grandidentata [100,114,119]. Plants Database provides distributional maps of white poplar and its hybrids.

White poplar was reported in New England by 1785 (Cutler 1785 cited in [102]), and after its introduction, planting was widespread. By the late 1800s, it was noted in many US floras. White poplar occurred in Michigan by 1876 (Almendinger 1876 cited in [102]), in southwestern Texas by 1879 (Watson 1883 cited in [102]), and on Block Island, Rhode Island, by 1892 [4]. In North Dakota and Montana, it was planted by ranchers and farmers for windbreaks [111].

Because white poplar spread is generally limited to clonal growth in the absence of hybridization (see Seed production), the distribution and spread of white poplar is directly related to human plantings [100]. Widespread planting has given white poplar a wider distribution than native aspens in the United States (Barnes personal communication cited in [102]). In northern Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, white poplar is largely restricted to areas where it was planted as an ornamental. It persists through vegetative sprouting [103]. In Farmington, western Maine, the spread of escaped white poplars was easily traced back to areas where white poplar was planted [6]. Throughout the Georgia Piedmont, the distribution of white poplar was directly correlated with the relative number of residences [23]. The composition of the deciduous Black Rock Forest in southeastern New York was compared from 1930 to 2006. White poplar was first reported in the study area in the 1990s. Although researchers indicated that white poplar "invaded naturally", they did not speculate on the establishment method and failed to report the location of the nearest white poplar population [90].

  • 35. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 49. Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1973. Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 730 p. [1168]
  • 84. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 4. Bailey, W. W.; Collins, J. F. 1893. A list of plants found on Block Island, R.I., in July and August. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 20(6): 231-239. [73907]
  • 6. Barton, Andrew M.; Brewster, Lauri B.; Cox, Anne N.; Prentiss, Nancy K. 2004. Non-indigenous woody invasive plants in a rural New England town. Biological Invasions. 6: 205-211. [47715]
  • 7. Braun, E. Lucy. 1989. The woody plants of Ohio. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press. 362 p. [12914]
  • 23. Duncan, Wilbur H. 1950. Preliminary reports on the flora of Georgia. 2. Distribution of 87 trees. The American Midland Naturalist. 43(3): 742-761. [75535]
  • 34. Glass, William. 1996. Populus alba--white poplar. In: Randall, John M.; Marinelli, Janet, eds. Invasive plants: Weeds of the global garden. Handbook #149. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Botanic Garden: 39. [72853]
  • 68. Little, Elbert L. 1961. Sixty trees from foreign lands. Agricultural Handbook No. 212. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 30 p. [53217]
  • 78. Munz, Philip A. 1974. A flora of southern California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1086 p. [4924]
  • 88. Roland, A. E.; Smith, E. C. 1969. The flora of Nova Scotia. Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Museum. 746 p. [13158]
  • 90. Schuster, W. S. F.; Griffin, K. L.; Roth, H.; Turnbull, M. H.; Whitehead, D.; Tissue, D. T. 2008. Changes in composition, structure and aboveground biomass over seventy-six years (1930-2006) in the Black Rock Forest, Hudson Highlands, southeastern New York State. Tree Physiology. 28(12): 537-549. [73136]
  • 92. Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2nd ed. Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L. Moldenke. 611 p. [7604]
  • 100. Spies, T. A.; Barnes, B. V. 1981. A morphological analysis of Populus alba, Populus grandidentata and their natural hybrids in southeastern Michigan. Silvae Genetica. 30(2-3): 102-106. [77765]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 103. Stapleton, C. A.; McCorquodale, D. B.; Sneddon, C.; Williams, M.; Bridgland, J. 1998. The distribution and potential for invasiveness of some non-native vascular plants in northern Cape Breton. Technical Report in Ecosystem Science No. 015. Ottawa: Parks Canada, Canadian Heritage, Atlantic Region. 68 p. [77812]
  • 111. Tuskan, Gerald A.; Laughlin, Kevin. 1991. Windbreak species performance and management practices as reported by Montana and North Dakota landowners. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 46(3): 225-228. [15084]
  • 119. Voss, Edward G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae--Cornaceae). Bulletin 59. Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Herbarium. 724 p. [11472]
  • 120. Weber, Ewald. 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. Cambridge, MA: CABI Publishing. 548 p. [71904]
  • 77. Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 1986. [Revised edition]. Guide to the vascular flora of Illinois. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. 507 p. [17383]
  • 114. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. 2010. PLANTS Database, [Online]. Available: http://plants.usda.gov/. [34262]

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Default rating: 2.5 of 5

White poplar is nonnative to but has been widely planted in North America [68,88]. It is most widely escaped in the eastern United States and Canada [68]. White poplar populations are generally restricted to planting sites in the West [49,78] but have spread from planting sites in states and provinces east of the Great Plains [7,35,77,84,92]. White poplar's native range includes central, southern, and eastern Europe, the Mediterranean islands, temperate Asia, and northern Africa [34,120].

In North America, white poplar hybrids are known only east of the Great Plains. Populus alba × P. tremula is the most widely distributed hybrid; it occurs in nearly all states and provinces east of the north-south area from western Ontario to Louisiana [114]. Hybrids with native aspens (quaking aspen and bigtooth aspen) occur primarily in the Great Lakes region [101], although P. alba × P. grandidentata has been reported in West Virginia [114]. Populus alba × P. tremuloides is less widely distributed and less common than P. alba × P. grandidentata [100,114,119]. Plants Database provides distributional maps of white poplar and its hybrids.

White poplar was reported in New England by 1785 (Cutler 1785 cited in [102]), and after its introduction, planting was widespread. By the late 1800s, it was noted in many US floras. White poplar occurred in Michigan by 1876 (Almendinger 1876 cited in [102]), in southwestern Texas by 1879 (Watson 1883 cited in [102]), and on Block Island, Rhode Island, by 1892 [4]. In North Dakota and Montana, it was planted by ranchers and farmers for windbreaks [111].

Because white poplar spread is generally limited to clonal growth in the absence of hybridization (see Seed production), the distribution and spread of white poplar is directly related to human plantings [100]. Widespread planting has given white poplar a wider distribution than native aspens in the United States (Barnes personal communication cited in [102]). In northern Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, white poplar is largely restricted to areas where it was planted as an ornamental. It persists through vegetative sprouting [103]. In Farmington, western Maine, the spread of escaped white poplars was easily traced back to areas where white poplar was planted [6]. Throughout the Georgia Piedmont, the distribution of white poplar was directly correlated with the relative number of residences [23]. The composition of the deciduous Black Rock Forest in southeastern New York was compared from 1930 to 2006. White poplar was first reported in the study area in the 1990s. Although researchers indicated that white poplar "invaded naturally", they did not speculate on the establishment method and failed to report the location of the nearest white poplar population [90].

  • 35. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 49. Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1973. Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 730 p. [1168]
  • 84. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 4. Bailey, W. W.; Collins, J. F. 1893. A list of plants found on Block Island, R.I., in July and August. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 20(6): 231-239. [73907]
  • 6. Barton, Andrew M.; Brewster, Lauri B.; Cox, Anne N.; Prentiss, Nancy K. 2004. Non-indigenous woody invasive plants in a rural New England town. Biological Invasions. 6: 205-211. [47715]
  • 7. Braun, E. Lucy. 1989. The woody plants of Ohio. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press. 362 p. [12914]
  • 23. Duncan, Wilbur H. 1950. Preliminary reports on the flora of Georgia. 2. Distribution of 87 trees. The American Midland Naturalist. 43(3): 742-761. [75535]
  • 34. Glass, William. 1996. Populus alba--white poplar. In: Randall, John M.; Marinelli, Janet, eds. Invasive plants: Weeds of the global garden. Handbook #149. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Botanic Garden: 39. [72853]
  • 68. Little, Elbert L. 1961. Sixty trees from foreign lands. Agricultural Handbook No. 212. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 30 p. [53217]
  • 78. Munz, Philip A. 1974. A flora of southern California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1086 p. [4924]
  • 88. Roland, A. E.; Smith, E. C. 1969. The flora of Nova Scotia. Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Museum. 746 p. [13158]
  • 90. Schuster, W. S. F.; Griffin, K. L.; Roth, H.; Turnbull, M. H.; Whitehead, D.; Tissue, D. T. 2008. Changes in composition, structure and aboveground biomass over seventy-six years (1930-2006) in the Black Rock Forest, Hudson Highlands, southeastern New York State. Tree Physiology. 28(12): 537-549. [73136]
  • 92. Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2nd ed. Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L. Moldenke. 611 p. [7604]
  • 100. Spies, T. A.; Barnes, B. V. 1981. A morphological analysis of Populus alba, Populus grandidentata and their natural hybrids in southeastern Michigan. Silvae Genetica. 30(2-3): 102-106. [77765]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 103. Stapleton, C. A.; McCorquodale, D. B.; Sneddon, C.; Williams, M.; Bridgland, J. 1998. The distribution and potential for invasiveness of some non-native vascular plants in northern Cape Breton. Technical Report in Ecosystem Science No. 015. Ottawa: Parks Canada, Canadian Heritage, Atlantic Region. 68 p. [77812]
  • 111. Tuskan, Gerald A.; Laughlin, Kevin. 1991. Windbreak species performance and management practices as reported by Montana and North Dakota landowners. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 46(3): 225-228. [15084]
  • 119. Voss, Edward G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae--Cornaceae). Bulletin 59. Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Herbarium. 724 p. [11472]
  • 120. Weber, Ewald. 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. Cambridge, MA: CABI Publishing. 548 p. [71904]
  • 77. Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 1986. [Revised edition]. Guide to the vascular flora of Illinois. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. 507 p. [17383]
  • 114. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. 2010. PLANTS Database, [Online]. Available: http://plants.usda.gov/. [34262]

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Default rating: 2.5 of 5

White poplar is nonnative to but has been widely planted in North America [68,88]. It is most widely escaped in the eastern United States and Canada [68]. White poplar populations are generally restricted to planting sites in the West [49,78] but have spread from planting sites in states and provinces east of the Great Plains [7,35,77,84,92]. White poplar's native range includes central, southern, and eastern Europe, the Mediterranean islands, temperate Asia, and northern Africa [34,120].

In North America, white poplar hybrids are known only east of the Great Plains. Populus alba × P. tremula is the most widely distributed hybrid; it occurs in nearly all states and provinces east of the north-south area from western Ontario to Louisiana [114]. Hybrids with native aspens (quaking aspen and bigtooth aspen) occur primarily in the Great Lakes region [101], although P. alba × P. grandidentata has been reported in West Virginia [114]. Populus alba × P. tremuloides is less widely distributed and less common than P. alba × P. grandidentata [100,114,119]. Plants Database provides distributional maps of white poplar and its hybrids.

White poplar was reported in New England by 1785 (Cutler 1785 cited in [102]), and after its introduction, planting was widespread. By the late 1800s, it was noted in many US floras. White poplar occurred in Michigan by 1876 (Almendinger 1876 cited in [102]), in southwestern Texas by 1879 (Watson 1883 cited in [102]), and on Block Island, Rhode Island, by 1892 [4]. In North Dakota and Montana, it was planted by ranchers and farmers for windbreaks [111].

Because white poplar spread is generally limited to clonal growth in the absence of hybridization (see Seed production), the distribution and spread of white poplar is directly related to human plantings [100]. Widespread planting has given white poplar a wider distribution than native aspens in the United States (Barnes personal communication cited in [102]). In northern Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, white poplar is largely restricted to areas where it was planted as an ornamental. It persists through vegetative sprouting [103]. In Farmington, western Maine, the spread of escaped white poplars was easily traced back to areas where white poplar was planted [6]. Throughout the Georgia Piedmont, the distribution of white poplar was directly correlated with the relative number of residences [23]. The composition of the deciduous Black Rock Forest in southeastern New York was compared from 1930 to 2006. White poplar was first reported in the study area in the 1990s. Although researchers indicated that white poplar "invaded naturally", they did not speculate on the establishment method and failed to report the location of the nearest white poplar population [90].

  • 35. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 49. Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1973. Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 730 p. [1168]
  • 84. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 4. Bailey, W. W.; Collins, J. F. 1893. A list of plants found on Block Island, R.I., in July and August. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 20(6): 231-239. [73907]
  • 6. Barton, Andrew M.; Brewster, Lauri B.; Cox, Anne N.; Prentiss, Nancy K. 2004. Non-indigenous woody invasive plants in a rural New England town. Biological Invasions. 6: 205-211. [47715]
  • 7. Braun, E. Lucy. 1989. The woody plants of Ohio. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press. 362 p. [12914]
  • 23. Duncan, Wilbur H. 1950. Preliminary reports on the flora of Georgia. 2. Distribution of 87 trees. The American Midland Naturalist. 43(3): 742-761. [75535]
  • 34. Glass, William. 1996. Populus alba--white poplar. In: Randall, John M.; Marinelli, Janet, eds. Invasive plants: Weeds of the global garden. Handbook #149. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Botanic Garden: 39. [72853]
  • 68. Little, Elbert L. 1961. Sixty trees from foreign lands. Agricultural Handbook No. 212. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 30 p. [53217]
  • 78. Munz, Philip A. 1974. A flora of southern California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1086 p. [4924]
  • 88. Roland, A. E.; Smith, E. C. 1969. The flora of Nova Scotia. Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Museum. 746 p. [13158]
  • 90. Schuster, W. S. F.; Griffin, K. L.; Roth, H.; Turnbull, M. H.; Whitehead, D.; Tissue, D. T. 2008. Changes in composition, structure and aboveground biomass over seventy-six years (1930-2006) in the Black Rock Forest, Hudson Highlands, southeastern New York State. Tree Physiology. 28(12): 537-549. [73136]
  • 92. Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2nd ed. Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L. Moldenke. 611 p. [7604]
  • 100. Spies, T. A.; Barnes, B. V. 1981. A morphological analysis of Populus alba, Populus grandidentata and their natural hybrids in southeastern Michigan. Silvae Genetica. 30(2-3): 102-106. [77765]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 103. Stapleton, C. A.; McCorquodale, D. B.; Sneddon, C.; Williams, M.; Bridgland, J. 1998. The distribution and potential for invasiveness of some non-native vascular plants in northern Cape Breton. Technical Report in Ecosystem Science No. 015. Ottawa: Parks Canada, Canadian Heritage, Atlantic Region. 68 p. [77812]
  • 111. Tuskan, Gerald A.; Laughlin, Kevin. 1991. Windbreak species performance and management practices as reported by Montana and North Dakota landowners. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 46(3): 225-228. [15084]
  • 119. Voss, Edward G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae--Cornaceae). Bulletin 59. Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Herbarium. 724 p. [11472]
  • 120. Weber, Ewald. 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. Cambridge, MA: CABI Publishing. 548 p. [71904]
  • 77. Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 1986. [Revised edition]. Guide to the vascular flora of Illinois. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. 507 p. [17383]
  • 114. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. 2010. PLANTS Database, [Online]. Available: http://plants.usda.gov/. [34262]

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Poplar hybrids occur naturally throughout the U.S. and Canada  wherever compatible species come into close proximity (table 1).  Most poplar hybrids, however, result from artificial  hybridization and subsequent planting. The first large-scale  hybridization project with poplars in the United States was begun  in 1925 (41,42). An unknown number of hybrids also form  between native species and introduced clones, cultivars, and  species. The Jackii poplar is a natural hybrid between P.  balsamifera females and P. deltoides males.  Populus x Smithii is a natural hybrid between  P. tremuloides and P. grandidentata. Hybridization  between P. balsamifera and P. trichocarpa  occurs in the interior of southeastern Alaska and in the Cook  Inlet region. Also, the trihybrid among P. deltoidesP. balsamifera, and P. angustifolia has been  reported in southern Alberta.

                       Table 1- Naturally occuring hybrids among  native populus species (5,9,35)          Parentage  Hybrid  designation  Common name            P.  alba x P. grandidentata  P.  x roulwauiana Boivin         P.  alba x P. tremula  P.  x canescens Sm.         P.  alba x P. tremuloides  P.  x heimburgeri Boivin         P..  angustifolia x P. deltoides  P.  x acuminata Rydb.
  (P. x andrewsii Sarg.)  Lanceleaf  Cottonwood      P.  angustifolia x P. tremuloides  P.  x sennii Boivin         P.  balsamifera x P. deltoides  P.  x jackii Sarg.  Jackii  poplars      P.  balsamifera x P. tremuloides  P.  x dutillyi Lepage         P.  deltoides x P. nigra  P.  x euramericana (Dode)
  Guinier (P. x canadensis Moench) .    Euramerican  poplars       P.  deltoides x P. tremuloides  P.  x bernardii Boivin  Bernard  poplars      P.  deltoides x P. trichocarpa
  (and reciprocal)  P.  x generosa Henry
  (P. x interamericana Brockh.)  Interamerican  poplars      P.  fremontii x P. trichocarpa  P.  x parryi Sarg.  Parry  cottonwood      P.  grandidentata x P. tremuloides  P.  x smithii Boivin         P.  laurifolia x P. nigra  P.  x berolinensis Dippel
  (P. rasumowskyana Schr. and
  P. x petrowskyana Schr.)  Berlin  or Russian poplars      P.  deltoides x P. balsamifera x
  P. angustifolia
  (natural trihybrid)  Unnamed  Unnamed
  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Maurice E. Demeritt

Source: Silvics of North America

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the terms: density, dioecious, mesic, tree

Botanical description: This description covers characteristics that may be relevant to fire ecology and is not meant for identification. Keys for identification are available (e.g., [39,60,84,107,122]).

White poplar is typically a small tree but may reach 130 feet (40 m) tall and 7 feet (2 m) in diameter [24,47,107]. The crown is open, wide, and rounded [18,47,105,122]. Low branches are reportedly very persistent [102]. Sometimes the white poplar trunk is divided at the base [39], and often it is crooked [102]. Bark is smooth on young trunks [39] but becomes rough on the lower portion of mature trunks [51]. White poplar is short-lived [13,18,117], and its wood is weak and prone to storm breakage [13].

White poplar leaves are alternate, glossy blue-green above, and white with dense hairs below [18,24,47,91,105]. Early leaves are nearly oval and have margins with rounded teeth [28]; mature leaves have 3 to 7 blunt lobes [35,91] with toothed to wavy margins [39,105]. Leaves measure 1 to 5 inches (3-12 cm) long and are longer than they are wide [71,122], but leaf morphology can be variable [117]. White poplar hybrids produced smaller leaves on dry sandy sites than on mesic or wet sites [102].

White poplar is dioecious. Most white poplars introduced to North America are female. Catkins are dense and support about 50 individual flowers [26]. Pistillate catkins measure 1.5 to 3 inches (4-7 cm) long; staminate catkins measure 2 to 4 inches (5-10 cm) long [105]. Because male white poplar trees are rare and generally not available to fertilize female trees, fruit and seed production are typically restricted to white poplar hybrids in North America [101]. White poplar fruits, although not typically produced outside of hybridization, are 3- to 5-mm capsules that typically contain 2 seeds [39,71]. White poplar seeds are tiny (up to 1.5 mm long) with long, fine hairs at the base [26,105].

Hybrids: White poplar hybrids are difficult to distinguish from parents in the field. Molecular markers are the best way to avoid misclassification of white poplar hybrids [31]. Descriptions of P. alba × P. grandidentata and P. alba × P. tremuloides hybrids are available in the following references: [5,30,102]. Populus alba × P. adenopoda is described in the Flora of North America [30].

 

Belowground description: Researchers excavated and described the root system of white poplars growing on Rhinau Island in eastern France. Root density was greatest at 12- to 24-inch (30-60 cm) depths. At these depths, some roots were greater than 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. Root abundance in the top 4 inches (10 cm) of soil increased with increasing distance from the trunk. Three feet (1 m) away from the trunk, white poplar roots reached the gravel layer, which was 43 inches (110 cm) deep. Excavation did not occur beyond the gravel layer [89].

White poplar is capable of prolific root sprouting, which allows for long-term persistence [13,18].
Photo © Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
  • 35. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 39. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 107. Strausbaugh, P. D.; Core, Earl L. 1977. Flora of West Virginia. 2nd ed. Morgantown, WV: Seneca Books, Inc. 1079 p. [23213]
  • 47. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 84. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 13. Carter, Jack L. 1997. Trees and shrubs of New Mexico. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books. 534 p. [72647]
  • 5. Barnes, Burton V. 1961. Hybrid aspens in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Rhodora. 63: 311-324. [79397]
  • 18. Diggs, George M., Jr.; Lipscomb, Barney L.; O'Kennon, Robert J. 1999. Illustrated flora of north-central Texas. Sida Botanical Miscellany, No. 16. Fort Worth, TX: Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 1626 p. [35698]
  • 24. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1987. The Smithsonian guide to seaside plants of the Gulf and Atlantic coasts from Louisiana to Massachusetts, exclusive of lower peninsular Florida. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. 409 p. [12906]
  • 26. Edlin, Herbert L. 1968. Know your broadleaves. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 20. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 142 p. [20459]
  • 28. Farrar, John Laird. 1995. Trees of the northern United States and Canada. Ames, IA: Blackwell Publishing. 502 p. [60614]
  • 31. Fossati, T.; Patrignani, G.; Zapelli, I.; Sabatti, M.; Sala, F.; Castiglione, S. 2004. Development of molecular markers to assess the level of introgression of Populus tremula into P. alba natural populations. Plant Breeding. 123(4): 382-385. [77745]
  • 51. Holmgren, Noel H.; Holmgren, Patricia K.; Cronquist, Arthur. 2005. Intermountain flora: Vascular plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Vol. 2, Part B: Subclass Dilleniidae. New York: The New York Botanical Garden. 488 p. [63251]
  • 71. Martin, William C.; Hutchins, Charles R. 1981. A flora of New Mexico. Volume 2. Germany: J. Cramer. 2589 p. [37176]
  • 89. Sanchez-Perez, Jose Miguel; Lucot, Eric; Bariac, Thierry; Tremolieres, Michele. 2008. Water uptake by trees in a riparian hardwood forest (Rhine floodplain, France). Hydrological Processes. 22(3): 366-375. [77729]
  • 91. Scoggan, H. J. 1978. The flora of Canada. Part 3: Dicotyledoneae (Saururaceae to Violaceae). National Museum of Natural Sciences: Publications in Botany, No. 7(3). Ottawa: National Museums of Canada. 1115 p. [75493]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 105. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the north Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
  • 117. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707]
  • 122. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 30. Flora of North America Association. 2010. Flora of North America: The flora, [Online]. Flora of North America Association (Producer). Available: http://www.fna.org/FNA. [36990]
  • 60. Kartesz, John Thomas. 1988. A flora of Nevada. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 1729 p. [In 2 volumes]. Dissertation. [42426]

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Description

More info for the terms: density, dioecious, mesic, tree

Botanical description: This description covers characteristics that may be relevant to fire ecology and is not meant for identification. Keys for identification are available (e.g., [39,60,84,107,122]).

White poplar is typically a small tree but may reach 130 feet (40 m) tall and 7 feet (2 m) in diameter [24,47,107]. The crown is open, wide, and rounded [18,47,105,122]. Low branches are reportedly very persistent [102]. Sometimes the white poplar trunk is divided at the base [39], and often it is crooked [102]. Bark is smooth on young trunks [39] but becomes rough on the lower portion of mature trunks [51]. White poplar is short-lived [13,18,117], and its wood is weak and prone to storm breakage [13].

White poplar leaves are alternate, glossy blue-green above, and white with dense hairs below [18,24,47,91,105]. Early leaves are nearly oval and have margins with rounded teeth [28]; mature leaves have 3 to 7 blunt lobes [35,91] with toothed to wavy margins [39,105]. Leaves measure 1 to 5 inches (3-12 cm) long and are longer than they are wide [71,122], but leaf morphology can be variable [117]. White poplar hybrids produced smaller leaves on dry sandy sites than on mesic or wet sites [102].

White poplar is dioecious. Most white poplars introduced to North America are female. Catkins are dense and support about 50 individual flowers [26]. Pistillate catkins measure 1.5 to 3 inches (4-7 cm) long; staminate catkins measure 2 to 4 inches (5-10 cm) long [105]. Because male white poplar trees are rare and generally not available to fertilize female trees, fruit and seed production are typically restricted to white poplar hybrids in North America [101]. White poplar fruits, although not typically produced outside of hybridization, are 3- to 5-mm capsules that typically contain 2 seeds [39,71]. White poplar seeds are tiny (up to 1.5 mm long) with long, fine hairs at the base [26,105].

Hybrids: White poplar hybrids are difficult to distinguish from parents in the field. Molecular markers are the best way to avoid misclassification of white poplar hybrids [31]. Descriptions of P. alba × P. grandidentata and P. alba × P. tremuloides hybrids are available in the following references: [5,30,102]. Populus alba × P. adenopoda is described in the Flora of North America [30].

 

Belowground description: Researchers excavated and described the root system of white poplars growing on Rhinau Island in eastern France. Root density was greatest at 12- to 24-inch (30-60 cm) depths. At these depths, some roots were greater than 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. Root abundance in the top 4 inches (10 cm) of soil increased with increasing distance from the trunk. Three feet (1 m) away from the trunk, white poplar roots reached the gravel layer, which was 43 inches (110 cm) deep. Excavation did not occur beyond the gravel layer [89].

White poplar is capable of prolific root sprouting, which allows for long-term persistence [13,18].
Photo © Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
  • 35. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 39. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 107. Strausbaugh, P. D.; Core, Earl L. 1977. Flora of West Virginia. 2nd ed. Morgantown, WV: Seneca Books, Inc. 1079 p. [23213]
  • 47. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 84. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 13. Carter, Jack L. 1997. Trees and shrubs of New Mexico. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books. 534 p. [72647]
  • 5. Barnes, Burton V. 1961. Hybrid aspens in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Rhodora. 63: 311-324. [79397]
  • 18. Diggs, George M., Jr.; Lipscomb, Barney L.; O'Kennon, Robert J. 1999. Illustrated flora of north-central Texas. Sida Botanical Miscellany, No. 16. Fort Worth, TX: Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 1626 p. [35698]
  • 24. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1987. The Smithsonian guide to seaside plants of the Gulf and Atlantic coasts from Louisiana to Massachusetts, exclusive of lower peninsular Florida. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. 409 p. [12906]
  • 26. Edlin, Herbert L. 1968. Know your broadleaves. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 20. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 142 p. [20459]
  • 28. Farrar, John Laird. 1995. Trees of the northern United States and Canada. Ames, IA: Blackwell Publishing. 502 p. [60614]
  • 31. Fossati, T.; Patrignani, G.; Zapelli, I.; Sabatti, M.; Sala, F.; Castiglione, S. 2004. Development of molecular markers to assess the level of introgression of Populus tremula into P. alba natural populations. Plant Breeding. 123(4): 382-385. [77745]
  • 51. Holmgren, Noel H.; Holmgren, Patricia K.; Cronquist, Arthur. 2005. Intermountain flora: Vascular plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Vol. 2, Part B: Subclass Dilleniidae. New York: The New York Botanical Garden. 488 p. [63251]
  • 71. Martin, William C.; Hutchins, Charles R. 1981. A flora of New Mexico. Volume 2. Germany: J. Cramer. 2589 p. [37176]
  • 89. Sanchez-Perez, Jose Miguel; Lucot, Eric; Bariac, Thierry; Tremolieres, Michele. 2008. Water uptake by trees in a riparian hardwood forest (Rhine floodplain, France). Hydrological Processes. 22(3): 366-375. [77729]
  • 91. Scoggan, H. J. 1978. The flora of Canada. Part 3: Dicotyledoneae (Saururaceae to Violaceae). National Museum of Natural Sciences: Publications in Botany, No. 7(3). Ottawa: National Museums of Canada. 1115 p. [75493]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 105. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the north Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
  • 117. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707]
  • 122. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 30. Flora of North America Association. 2010. Flora of North America: The flora, [Online]. Flora of North America Association (Producer). Available: http://www.fna.org/FNA. [36990]
  • 60. Kartesz, John Thomas. 1988. A flora of Nevada. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 1729 p. [In 2 volumes]. Dissertation. [42426]

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Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Description

More info for the terms: density, dioecious, mesic, tree

Botanical description: This description covers characteristics that may be relevant to fire ecology and is not meant for identification. Keys for identification are available (e.g., [39,60,84,107,122]).

White poplar is typically a small tree but may reach 130 feet (40 m) tall and 7 feet (2 m) in diameter [24,47,107]. The crown is open, wide, and rounded [18,47,105,122]. Low branches are reportedly very persistent [102]. Sometimes the white poplar trunk is divided at the base [39], and often it is crooked [102]. Bark is smooth on young trunks [39] but becomes rough on the lower portion of mature trunks [51]. White poplar is short-lived [13,18,117], and its wood is weak and prone to storm breakage [13].

White poplar leaves are alternate, glossy blue-green above, and white with dense hairs below [18,24,47,91,105]. Early leaves are nearly oval and have margins with rounded teeth [28]; mature leaves have 3 to 7 blunt lobes [35,91] with toothed to wavy margins [39,105]. Leaves measure 1 to 5 inches (3-12 cm) long and are longer than they are wide [71,122], but leaf morphology can be variable [117]. White poplar hybrids produced smaller leaves on dry sandy sites than on mesic or wet sites [102].

White poplar is dioecious. Most white poplars introduced to North America are female. Catkins are dense and support about 50 individual flowers [26]. Pistillate catkins measure 1.5 to 3 inches (4-7 cm) long; staminate catkins measure 2 to 4 inches (5-10 cm) long [105]. Because male white poplar trees are rare and generally not available to fertilize female trees, fruit and seed production are typically restricted to white poplar hybrids in North America [101]. White poplar fruits, although not typically produced outside of hybridization, are 3- to 5-mm capsules that typically contain 2 seeds [39,71]. White poplar seeds are tiny (up to 1.5 mm long) with long, fine hairs at the base [26,105].

Hybrids: White poplar hybrids are difficult to distinguish from parents in the field. Molecular markers are the best way to avoid misclassification of white poplar hybrids [31]. Descriptions of P. alba × P. grandidentata and P. alba × P. tremuloides hybrids are available in the following references: [5,30,102]. Populus alba × P. adenopoda is described in the Flora of North America [30].

 

Belowground description: Researchers excavated and described the root system of white poplars growing on Rhinau Island in eastern France. Root density was greatest at 12- to 24-inch (30-60 cm) depths. At these depths, some roots were greater than 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. Root abundance in the top 4 inches (10 cm) of soil increased with increasing distance from the trunk. Three feet (1 m) away from the trunk, white poplar roots reached the gravel layer, which was 43 inches (110 cm) deep. Excavation did not occur beyond the gravel layer [89].

White poplar is capable of prolific root sprouting, which allows for long-term persistence [13,18].
Photo © Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
  • 35. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 39. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 107. Strausbaugh, P. D.; Core, Earl L. 1977. Flora of West Virginia. 2nd ed. Morgantown, WV: Seneca Books, Inc. 1079 p. [23213]
  • 47. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 84. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 13. Carter, Jack L. 1997. Trees and shrubs of New Mexico. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books. 534 p. [72647]
  • 5. Barnes, Burton V. 1961. Hybrid aspens in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Rhodora. 63: 311-324. [79397]
  • 18. Diggs, George M., Jr.; Lipscomb, Barney L.; O'Kennon, Robert J. 1999. Illustrated flora of north-central Texas. Sida Botanical Miscellany, No. 16. Fort Worth, TX: Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 1626 p. [35698]
  • 24. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1987. The Smithsonian guide to seaside plants of the Gulf and Atlantic coasts from Louisiana to Massachusetts, exclusive of lower peninsular Florida. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. 409 p. [12906]
  • 26. Edlin, Herbert L. 1968. Know your broadleaves. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 20. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 142 p. [20459]
  • 28. Farrar, John Laird. 1995. Trees of the northern United States and Canada. Ames, IA: Blackwell Publishing. 502 p. [60614]
  • 31. Fossati, T.; Patrignani, G.; Zapelli, I.; Sabatti, M.; Sala, F.; Castiglione, S. 2004. Development of molecular markers to assess the level of introgression of Populus tremula into P. alba natural populations. Plant Breeding. 123(4): 382-385. [77745]
  • 51. Holmgren, Noel H.; Holmgren, Patricia K.; Cronquist, Arthur. 2005. Intermountain flora: Vascular plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Vol. 2, Part B: Subclass Dilleniidae. New York: The New York Botanical Garden. 488 p. [63251]
  • 71. Martin, William C.; Hutchins, Charles R. 1981. A flora of New Mexico. Volume 2. Germany: J. Cramer. 2589 p. [37176]
  • 89. Sanchez-Perez, Jose Miguel; Lucot, Eric; Bariac, Thierry; Tremolieres, Michele. 2008. Water uptake by trees in a riparian hardwood forest (Rhine floodplain, France). Hydrological Processes. 22(3): 366-375. [77729]
  • 91. Scoggan, H. J. 1978. The flora of Canada. Part 3: Dicotyledoneae (Saururaceae to Violaceae). National Museum of Natural Sciences: Publications in Botany, No. 7(3). Ottawa: National Museums of Canada. 1115 p. [75493]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 105. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the north Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
  • 117. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707]
  • 122. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 30. Flora of North America Association. 2010. Flora of North America: The flora, [Online]. Flora of North America Association (Producer). Available: http://www.fna.org/FNA. [36990]
  • 60. Kartesz, John Thomas. 1988. A flora of Nevada. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 1729 p. [In 2 volumes]. Dissertation. [42426]

Trusted

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Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Description

More info for the terms: density, dioecious, mesic, tree

Botanical description: This description covers characteristics that may be relevant to fire ecology and is not meant for identification. Keys for identification are available (e.g., [39,60,84,107,122]).

White poplar is typically a small tree but may reach 130 feet (40 m) tall and 7 feet (2 m) in diameter [24,47,107]. The crown is open, wide, and rounded [18,47,105,122]. Low branches are reportedly very persistent [102]. Sometimes the white poplar trunk is divided at the base [39], and often it is crooked [102]. Bark is smooth on young trunks [39] but becomes rough on the lower portion of mature trunks [51]. White poplar is short-lived [13,18,117], and its wood is weak and prone to storm breakage [13].

White poplar leaves are alternate, glossy blue-green above, and white with dense hairs below [18,24,47,91,105]. Early leaves are nearly oval and have margins with rounded teeth [28]; mature leaves have 3 to 7 blunt lobes [35,91] with toothed to wavy margins [39,105]. Leaves measure 1 to 5 inches (3-12 cm) long and are longer than they are wide [71,122], but leaf morphology can be variable [117]. White poplar hybrids produced smaller leaves on dry sandy sites than on mesic or wet sites [102].

White poplar is dioecious. Most white poplars introduced to North America are female. Catkins are dense and support about 50 individual flowers [26]. Pistillate catkins measure 1.5 to 3 inches (4-7 cm) long; staminate catkins measure 2 to 4 inches (5-10 cm) long [105]. Because male white poplar trees are rare and generally not available to fertilize female trees, fruit and seed production are typically restricted to white poplar hybrids in North America [101]. White poplar fruits, although not typically produced outside of hybridization, are 3- to 5-mm capsules that typically contain 2 seeds [39,71]. White poplar seeds are tiny (up to 1.5 mm long) with long, fine hairs at the base [26,105].

Hybrids: White poplar hybrids are difficult to distinguish from parents in the field. Molecular markers are the best way to avoid misclassification of white poplar hybrids [31]. Descriptions of P. alba × P. grandidentata and P. alba × P. tremuloides hybrids are available in the following references: [5,30,102]. Populus alba × P. adenopoda is described in the Flora of North America [30].

 

Belowground description: Researchers excavated and described the root system of white poplars growing on Rhinau Island in eastern France. Root density was greatest at 12- to 24-inch (30-60 cm) depths. At these depths, some roots were greater than 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. Root abundance in the top 4 inches (10 cm) of soil increased with increasing distance from the trunk. Three feet (1 m) away from the trunk, white poplar roots reached the gravel layer, which was 43 inches (110 cm) deep. Excavation did not occur beyond the gravel layer [89].

White poplar is capable of prolific root sprouting, which allows for long-term persistence [13,18].
Photo © Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
  • 35. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 39. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 107. Strausbaugh, P. D.; Core, Earl L. 1977. Flora of West Virginia. 2nd ed. Morgantown, WV: Seneca Books, Inc. 1079 p. [23213]
  • 47. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 84. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 13. Carter, Jack L. 1997. Trees and shrubs of New Mexico. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books. 534 p. [72647]
  • 5. Barnes, Burton V. 1961. Hybrid aspens in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Rhodora. 63: 311-324. [79397]
  • 18. Diggs, George M., Jr.; Lipscomb, Barney L.; O'Kennon, Robert J. 1999. Illustrated flora of north-central Texas. Sida Botanical Miscellany, No. 16. Fort Worth, TX: Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 1626 p. [35698]
  • 24. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1987. The Smithsonian guide to seaside plants of the Gulf and Atlantic coasts from Louisiana to Massachusetts, exclusive of lower peninsular Florida. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. 409 p. [12906]
  • 26. Edlin, Herbert L. 1968. Know your broadleaves. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 20. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 142 p. [20459]
  • 28. Farrar, John Laird. 1995. Trees of the northern United States and Canada. Ames, IA: Blackwell Publishing. 502 p. [60614]
  • 31. Fossati, T.; Patrignani, G.; Zapelli, I.; Sabatti, M.; Sala, F.; Castiglione, S. 2004. Development of molecular markers to assess the level of introgression of Populus tremula into P. alba natural populations. Plant Breeding. 123(4): 382-385. [77745]
  • 51. Holmgren, Noel H.; Holmgren, Patricia K.; Cronquist, Arthur. 2005. Intermountain flora: Vascular plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Vol. 2, Part B: Subclass Dilleniidae. New York: The New York Botanical Garden. 488 p. [63251]
  • 71. Martin, William C.; Hutchins, Charles R. 1981. A flora of New Mexico. Volume 2. Germany: J. Cramer. 2589 p. [37176]
  • 89. Sanchez-Perez, Jose Miguel; Lucot, Eric; Bariac, Thierry; Tremolieres, Michele. 2008. Water uptake by trees in a riparian hardwood forest (Rhine floodplain, France). Hydrological Processes. 22(3): 366-375. [77729]
  • 91. Scoggan, H. J. 1978. The flora of Canada. Part 3: Dicotyledoneae (Saururaceae to Violaceae). National Museum of Natural Sciences: Publications in Botany, No. 7(3). Ottawa: National Museums of Canada. 1115 p. [75493]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 105. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the north Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
  • 117. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707]
  • 122. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 30. Flora of North America Association. 2010. Flora of North America: The flora, [Online]. Flora of North America Association (Producer). Available: http://www.fna.org/FNA. [36990]
  • 60. Kartesz, John Thomas. 1988. A flora of Nevada. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 1729 p. [In 2 volumes]. Dissertation. [42426]

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat characteristics

More info for the terms: hardwood, mesic

Throughout its North American range, white poplar is most common near current or abandoned settlements where it was planted. It is often found in fields and along fence lines, ditch banks, and roads [7,12,47,51,60,71,105,122]. Disturbed areas near established white poplar stands are often colonized by root sprouts [39,92,119].

In southeastern Michigan, most white poplar hybrids were found around current or former farms. No hybrids occurred in forests considered relatively undisturbed by humans. Nearly half of the hybrids occurred on sparsely vegetated, dry, sandy sites. The other half occurred on mesic sites, often at the edges of lakes, ponds, and swamps [101].

Climate: White poplar occurs in areas as far north as USDA hardiness zone 3, where average annual minimum temperatures can reach -40 °F (4 °C) [19,28,68]. However, some report that white poplar may be killed or injured by extremely low winter temperatures [19,33], suggesting that white poplar may be restricted to protected sites in its northernmost habitats. In a review, Spies [102] reports that white poplar is most common at low elevations where temperatures are moderate and moisture is favorable. Although white poplar commonly occupies moist habitats, it can also occupy upland, somewhat droughty habitats [17]. In Hungary, white polar occurs in semiarid forest-steppe vegetation that grows in a temperate continental climate with annual precipitation averaging 20 to 22 inches (500-550 mm) [79].

In growth chamber experiments, researchers found P. alba × P. grandidentata growth was best when soil moisture was 16% to 30% and temperatures were 77 to 95 °F (25-35 °C) during the day and 59 to 77 °F (15-25 °C) at night. The parameters necessary for interpreting soil moisture values in this study include a level of 8.6%—which was slightly above the permanent wilting point—and a field capacity level of 35.6%. Height and stem diameter growth peaked at 23% average soil moisture. Height and stem size were also high at 30% and 32% soil moisture but were low at 9% soil moisture [20].

Elevation: Ranges of elevations reported for white poplar habitats in the western half of the United States
State or region Elevation range
California 1,970-5,900 feet (600-1,800 m) [47]
Nevada 4,500-6,500 feet (1,400-2,000 m) [60]
New Mexico 6,500-7,500 feet (2,000-2,300 m) [71]
Utah 4,500-6,500 feet (1,400-2,000 m) [122]
Intermountain West 3,600-8,000 feet (1,100-2,400 m) [51]

Soils: Although growth may be best in moist, deep loams [19], white poplar and its hybrids grow in a variety of soil types and textures [105,117]. In the Southwest, white poplar occurs on dry, well drained sites [117], and in Michigan, white poplar thickets are common in sandy soils [119]. In southeastern Michigan, most white polar and hybrid stands occurred on loamy sands, but soil textures ranged from pure sands to nearly pure loams. Soil pH was mostly neutral but ranged from 5 to 8 [102]. White poplar persisted for more than 100 years at the Grayling Agricultural Experiment Station in Crawford County, Michigan, where soil pH, nutrients, and water-holding capacity were low [62]. In its native forest-steppe habitats in Hungary, white poplar occurred on soils with a sand content of greater than 96% and silt and clay content of less than 2% [79]. In the Danube-Tisza region of Hungary, more than 70% of white poplar stands occurred on calcareous soils [86].

Soil moisture: Floodplain and upland sites provide habitat for white poplar [17,45], and although white poplar may survive episodes of both flooding and low precipitation, experiments suggest that growth is best in moist conditions. In his review, Dickmann [17] reports that on dry soils, P. alba × P. tremula grows better than white poplar.

Studies suggest that white poplar and hybrid growth is best in moist but not saturated soils. In a controlled study, P. alba × P. grandidentata stem height increased with increasing soil moisture levels up to 34%; stem height was lower at a 41% moisture level. A lack of root aeration may have affected hybrid growth at 41% soil moisture. In this study, permanent wilting of the hybrids occurred at 9% to 11%, and soil was near field capacity at 41%. [96]. However, when ranchers and farmers in North Dakota and Montana were surveyed, those who planted white poplar on sites with a shallow water table ranked its windbreak performance lower than those who planted it on sites with deeper water tables [111].

In the few studies available, white poplar exhibited greater flood tolerance in its native than nonnative habitats. Along the Upper Rhine in France, white poplar occurs in a hardwood floodplain forest that is flooded almost every summer (June-August) [94]. When white poplar trees were planted around a reservoir in Davis, California, nearly 80% of white poplar trees survived 61 to 69 days of flooding in 2 consecutive years. Survival was much lower, 20%, after 100 days of flooding in 2 consecutive years. The age of white poplar trees at the time of flooding was not reported [45], but provided photos suggest the trees were less than 10 years old.

Salinity: White poplar tolerates salt spray [19] and grows in saline soils [17]. Some indicate that white poplar can establish and grow in soil with salinity levels of up to 4,000 mg/L (Wong and others 1985 as cited in [52]). In the Camargue in southern France, white poplar occurred in habitats where the soil salinity at 12 inches (30 cm) deep was up to 3,200 mg/L [76]. In a greenhouse experiment, the survival of 1-year-old white poplar seedlings was compared after adding various amounts of sodium to the soil. Growth of white poplar was significantly lower in high-salt than low-salt treatments (P=0.0183). After a year, all seedlings had survived the low-salt treatment, and mortality in the high-salt treatment was only 20% [52]. Populus alba × P. tremula is considered more tolerant of saline soils than white poplar [17], but comparisons between white poplar and its hybrids with aspens native to North America were not found.

  • 39. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 47. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 7. Braun, E. Lucy. 1989. The woody plants of Ohio. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press. 362 p. [12914]
  • 28. Farrar, John Laird. 1995. Trees of the northern United States and Canada. Ames, IA: Blackwell Publishing. 502 p. [60614]
  • 51. Holmgren, Noel H.; Holmgren, Patricia K.; Cronquist, Arthur. 2005. Intermountain flora: Vascular plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Vol. 2, Part B: Subclass Dilleniidae. New York: The New York Botanical Garden. 488 p. [63251]
  • 68. Little, Elbert L. 1961. Sixty trees from foreign lands. Agricultural Handbook No. 212. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 30 p. [53217]
  • 71. Martin, William C.; Hutchins, Charles R. 1981. A flora of New Mexico. Volume 2. Germany: J. Cramer. 2589 p. [37176]
  • 79. Onodi, Gabor; Kertesz, Miklos; Botta-Dukat, Zoltan; Altbacker, Vilmos. 2008. Grazing effects on vegetation composition and on the spread of fire on open sand grasslands. Arid Land Research and Management. 22(4): 273-285. [72697]
  • 92. Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2nd ed. Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L. Moldenke. 611 p. [7604]
  • 94. Siebel, Henk N.; Bouwma, Irene M. 1998. The occurrence of herbs and woody juveniles in a hardwood floodplain forest in relation to flooding and light. Journal of Vegetation Science. 9(5): 623-630. [73525]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 105. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the north Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
  • 111. Tuskan, Gerald A.; Laughlin, Kevin. 1991. Windbreak species performance and management practices as reported by Montana and North Dakota landowners. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 46(3): 225-228. [15084]
  • 117. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707]
  • 119. Voss, Edward G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae--Cornaceae). Bulletin 59. Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Herbarium. 724 p. [11472]
  • 122. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 17. Dickmann, Donald I. 2001. An overview of the genus Populus. In: Dickman, Donald I.; Isebrands, J. G.; Eckenwalder, James E.; Richardson, Jim, eds. Poplar culture in North America. Ottawa, ON: National Research Council of Canada, Research Press: 1-42. [79277]
  • 19. Dirr, Michael A. 1998. Manual of woody landscape plants: Their identification, ornamental characteristics, culture, propagation and uses. 5th ed. Champaign, IL: Stipes Publishing. 1187 p. [74836]
  • 12. Carpenter, Jackie S.; Chester, Edward W. 1987. Vascular flora of the Bear Creek Natural Area, Stewart County, Tennessee. Castanea. 52(2): 112-128. [75372]
  • 20. Domingo, Ireneo L.; Gordon, John C. 1974. Physiological responses of an aspen-poplar hybrid to air temperature and soil moisture. Botanical Gazette. 135(3): 184-192. [77806]
  • 33. George, Ernest J. 1953. Tree and shrub species for the Northern Great Plains. Circular No. 912. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 46 p. [4566]
  • 45. Harris, Richard W.; Leiser, Andrew T.; Fissell, Robert E. 1975. Plant tolerance to flooding. Summary report -- 1971-1975. Grant Contract No. A 5fs-16565; RWH-200-7/1/75. Davis, CA: University of California, Department of Environmental Horticulture. 30 p. In cooperation with: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service. [76584]
  • 52. Imada, S.; Yamanaka, N.; Tamai, S. 2009. Effects of salinity on the growth, Na partitioning, and Na dynamics of a salt-tolerant tree, Populus alba L. Journal of Arid Environments. 73(6-7): 245-251. [77749]
  • 62. Kilgore, Jason S.; Telewski, Frank W. 2004. Reforesting the jack pine barrens: a long-term common garden experiment. Forest Ecology and Management. 189(1-3): 171-187. [47461]
  • 76. Mesleard, F.; Grillas, P.; Lepart, J. 1991. Plant community succession in a coastal wetland after abandonment of cultivation: the example of the Rhone Delta. Vegetatio. 94(1): 35-45. [77758]
  • 86. Redei, K. 2000. Early performance of promising white poplar (Populus alba) clones in sandy ridges between the rivers Danube and Tsiza in Hungary. Forestry. 73(4): 407-413. [77760]
  • 96. Smith, David W.; Gatherum, Gordon E. 1974. Effects of moisture and clone on photosynthesis and growth of an aspen-poplar hybrid. Botanical Gazette. 135(4): 293-296. [77803]
  • 60. Kartesz, John Thomas. 1988. A flora of Nevada. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 1729 p. [In 2 volumes]. Dissertation. [42426]

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Key Plant Community Associations

More info for the terms: codominant, hardwood, mesic

Nonnative habitats:
In its North American range, white poplar occurs in open disturbed sites, grasslands, shrublands, early-seral forests, and floodplain woodlands [34,120]. In New England, it occurs along roadsides and in fields, meadows, wet shrublands, early-seral forests, and floodplain forests [73]. In a midseral old field on Howard University's Beltsville campus in Maryland, white poplar was codominant with red maple (Acer rubrum) and sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) [83]. Along the Mississippi River in Hickman County, Kentucky, white poplar thickets occurred with eastern cottonwood (P. deltoides subsp. deltoides) and narrowleaf willow (Salix exigua) on sand deposited by flooding [41]. In the Midwest, large white poplar clones have reduced the abundance of shade-intolerant species in prairies and savannas [97]. In southeastern Michigan, white poplar and its native aspen hybrids occurred in early-seral communities dominated by poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix), red-osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera subsp. stolonifera), and gray dogwood (C. racemosa) on mesic sites and black oak (Quercus velutina), black cherry (Prunus serotina), and black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) on dry sites [102]. Along the Missouri River in southeastern South Dakota, white poplar occurred in cottonwood (Populus spp.)-dominated floodplain forests [104].

Native habitats:
In western and central Europe, white poplar occurs in riparian, forest-steppe, and coastal communities. Gravel bars and hardwood floodplain woodlands are common white poplar habitats [27,63,66,94]. In Hungary, white poplar occurs in forest-steppe vegetation characterized by sandy grasslands with patches of white poplar, Lombardy poplar (P. nigra), and common juniper (Juniperus communis) [79]. White poplar sometimes forms thickets on coastal cliffs in southeastern England [26].
Additional information about white poplar's nonnative and native habitats is available in Site Characteristics and Successional Status.
  • 26. Edlin, Herbert L. 1968. Know your broadleaves. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 20. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 142 p. [20459]
  • 34. Glass, William. 1996. Populus alba--white poplar. In: Randall, John M.; Marinelli, Janet, eds. Invasive plants: Weeds of the global garden. Handbook #149. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Botanic Garden: 39. [72853]
  • 41. Grubbs, Jeffrey T.; Fuller, Marian J. 1991. Vascular flora of Hickman County, Kentucky. Castanea. 56(3): 193-214. [75356]
  • 63. Kondolf, G. Mathias; Piegay, Herve; Landon, Norbert. 2007. Changes in the riparian zone of the lower Eygues River, France, since 1830. Landscape Ecology. 22(3): 367-384. [77722]
  • 66. Lexer, C.; Fay, M. F.; Joseph, J. A.; Nica, M.-S.; Heinze, B. 2005. Barrier to gene flow between two ecologically divergent Populus species, P. alba (white poplar) and P. tremula (European aspen): the role of ecology and life history in gene introgression. Molecular Ecology. 14(4): 1045-1057. [77755]
  • 79. Onodi, Gabor; Kertesz, Miklos; Botta-Dukat, Zoltan; Altbacker, Vilmos. 2008. Grazing effects on vegetation composition and on the spread of fire on open sand grasslands. Arid Land Research and Management. 22(4): 273-285. [72697]
  • 83. Poston, Muriel E.; Middendorf, George A., III. 1988. Maturation characteristics of Rubus pennsylvanicus fruit: are black and red the same? Oecologia. 77(1): 69-72. [13541]
  • 94. Siebel, Henk N.; Bouwma, Irene M. 1998. The occurrence of herbs and woody juveniles in a hardwood floodplain forest in relation to flooding and light. Journal of Vegetation Science. 9(5): 623-630. [73525]
  • 97. Solecki, Mary Kay. 1997. Controlling invasive plants. In: Packard, Stephen; Mutel, Cornelia F., eds. The tallgrass restoration handbook: For prairies, savannas, and woodlands. Washington, DC: Island Press: 251-278. [43127]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 104. Steenhof, Karen; Berlinger, Stephen S.; Fredrickson, Leigh H. 1980. Habitat use by wintering bald eagles in South Dakota. The Journal of Wildlife Management. 44(4): 798-805. [75199]
  • 120. Weber, Ewald. 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. Cambridge, MA: CABI Publishing. 548 p. [71904]
  • 27. Ellenberg, Heinz. 1988. Vegetation ecology of central Europe. 4th edition. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 731 p. [English translation by G. K. Strutt]. [73365]
  • 73. Mehrhoff, L. J.; Silander, J. A., Jr.; Leicht, S. A.; Mosher, E. S.; Tabak, N. M. 2003. IPANE: Invasive Plant Atlas of New England, [Online]. Storrs, CT: University of Connecticut, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Producer). Available: http://nbii-nin.ciesin.columbia.edu/ipane/ [2008, May 28]. [70356]

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Habitat characteristics

More info for the terms: hardwood, mesic

Throughout its North American range, white poplar is most common near current or abandoned settlements where it was planted. It is often found in fields and along fence lines, ditch banks, and roads [7,12,47,51,60,71,105,122]. Disturbed areas near established white poplar stands are often colonized by root sprouts [39,92,119].

In southeastern Michigan, most white poplar hybrids were found around current or former farms. No hybrids occurred in forests considered relatively undisturbed by humans. Nearly half of the hybrids occurred on sparsely vegetated, dry, sandy sites. The other half occurred on mesic sites, often at the edges of lakes, ponds, and swamps [101].

Climate: White poplar occurs in areas as far north as USDA hardiness zone 3, where average annual minimum temperatures can reach -40 °F (4 °C) [19,28,68]. However, some report that white poplar may be killed or injured by extremely low winter temperatures [19,33], suggesting that white poplar may be restricted to protected sites in its northernmost habitats. In a review, Spies [102] reports that white poplar is most common at low elevations where temperatures are moderate and moisture is favorable. Although white poplar commonly occupies moist habitats, it can also occupy upland, somewhat droughty habitats [17]. In Hungary, white polar occurs in semiarid forest-steppe vegetation that grows in a temperate continental climate with annual precipitation averaging 20 to 22 inches (500-550 mm) [79].

In growth chamber experiments, researchers found P. alba × P. grandidentata growth was best when soil moisture was 16% to 30% and temperatures were 77 to 95 °F (25-35 °C) during the day and 59 to 77 °F (15-25 °C) at night. The parameters necessary for interpreting soil moisture values in this study include a level of 8.6%—which was slightly above the permanent wilting point—and a field capacity level of 35.6%. Height and stem diameter growth peaked at 23% average soil moisture. Height and stem size were also high at 30% and 32% soil moisture but were low at 9% soil moisture [20].

Elevation: Ranges of elevations reported for white poplar habitats in the western half of the United States
State or region Elevation range
California 1,970-5,900 feet (600-1,800 m) [47]
Nevada 4,500-6,500 feet (1,400-2,000 m) [60]
New Mexico 6,500-7,500 feet (2,000-2,300 m) [71]
Utah 4,500-6,500 feet (1,400-2,000 m) [122]
Intermountain West 3,600-8,000 feet (1,100-2,400 m) [51]

Soils: Although growth may be best in moist, deep loams [19], white poplar and its hybrids grow in a variety of soil types and textures [105,117]. In the Southwest, white poplar occurs on dry, well drained sites [117], and in Michigan, white poplar thickets are common in sandy soils [119]. In southeastern Michigan, most white polar and hybrid stands occurred on loamy sands, but soil textures ranged from pure sands to nearly pure loams. Soil pH was mostly neutral but ranged from 5 to 8 [102]. White poplar persisted for more than 100 years at the Grayling Agricultural Experiment Station in Crawford County, Michigan, where soil pH, nutrients, and water-holding capacity were low [62]. In its native forest-steppe habitats in Hungary, white poplar occurred on soils with a sand content of greater than 96% and silt and clay content of less than 2% [79]. In the Danube-Tisza region of Hungary, more than 70% of white poplar stands occurred on calcareous soils [86].

Soil moisture: Floodplain and upland sites provide habitat for white poplar [17,45], and although white poplar may survive episodes of both flooding and low precipitation, experiments suggest that growth is best in moist conditions. In his review, Dickmann [17] reports that on dry soils, P. alba × P. tremula grows better than white poplar.

Studies suggest that white poplar and hybrid growth is best in moist but not saturated soils. In a controlled study, P. alba × P. grandidentata stem height increased with increasing soil moisture levels up to 34%; stem height was lower at a 41% moisture level. A lack of root aeration may have affected hybrid growth at 41% soil moisture. In this study, permanent wilting of the hybrids occurred at 9% to 11%, and soil was near field capacity at 41%. [96]. However, when ranchers and farmers in North Dakota and Montana were surveyed, those who planted white poplar on sites with a shallow water table ranked its windbreak performance lower than those who planted it on sites with deeper water tables [111].

In the few studies available, white poplar exhibited greater flood tolerance in its native than nonnative habitats. Along the Upper Rhine in France, white poplar occurs in a hardwood floodplain forest that is flooded almost every summer (June-August) [94]. When white poplar trees were planted around a reservoir in Davis, California, nearly 80% of white poplar trees survived 61 to 69 days of flooding in 2 consecutive years. Survival was much lower, 20%, after 100 days of flooding in 2 consecutive years. The age of white poplar trees at the time of flooding was not reported [45], but provided photos suggest the trees were less than 10 years old.

Salinity: White poplar tolerates salt spray [19] and grows in saline soils [17]. Some indicate that white poplar can establish and grow in soil with salinity levels of up to 4,000 mg/L (Wong and others 1985 as cited in [52]). In the Camargue in southern France, white poplar occurred in habitats where the soil salinity at 12 inches (30 cm) deep was up to 3,200 mg/L [76]. In a greenhouse experiment, the survival of 1-year-old white poplar seedlings was compared after adding various amounts of sodium to the soil. Growth of white poplar was significantly lower in high-salt than low-salt treatments (P=0.0183). After a year, all seedlings had survived the low-salt treatment, and mortality in the high-salt treatment was only 20% [52]. Populus alba × P. tremula is considered more tolerant of saline soils than white poplar [17], but comparisons between white poplar and its hybrids with aspens native to North America were not found.

  • 39. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 47. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 7. Braun, E. Lucy. 1989. The woody plants of Ohio. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press. 362 p. [12914]
  • 28. Farrar, John Laird. 1995. Trees of the northern United States and Canada. Ames, IA: Blackwell Publishing. 502 p. [60614]
  • 51. Holmgren, Noel H.; Holmgren, Patricia K.; Cronquist, Arthur. 2005. Intermountain flora: Vascular plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Vol. 2, Part B: Subclass Dilleniidae. New York: The New York Botanical Garden. 488 p. [63251]
  • 68. Little, Elbert L. 1961. Sixty trees from foreign lands. Agricultural Handbook No. 212. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 30 p. [53217]
  • 71. Martin, William C.; Hutchins, Charles R. 1981. A flora of New Mexico. Volume 2. Germany: J. Cramer. 2589 p. [37176]
  • 79. Onodi, Gabor; Kertesz, Miklos; Botta-Dukat, Zoltan; Altbacker, Vilmos. 2008. Grazing effects on vegetation composition and on the spread of fire on open sand grasslands. Arid Land Research and Management. 22(4): 273-285. [72697]
  • 92. Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2nd ed. Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L. Moldenke. 611 p. [7604]
  • 94. Siebel, Henk N.; Bouwma, Irene M. 1998. The occurrence of herbs and woody juveniles in a hardwood floodplain forest in relation to flooding and light. Journal of Vegetation Science. 9(5): 623-630. [73525]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 105. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the north Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
  • 111. Tuskan, Gerald A.; Laughlin, Kevin. 1991. Windbreak species performance and management practices as reported by Montana and North Dakota landowners. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 46(3): 225-228. [15084]
  • 117. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707]
  • 119. Voss, Edward G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae--Cornaceae). Bulletin 59. Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Herbarium. 724 p. [11472]
  • 122. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 17. Dickmann, Donald I. 2001. An overview of the genus Populus. In: Dickman, Donald I.; Isebrands, J. G.; Eckenwalder, James E.; Richardson, Jim, eds. Poplar culture in North America. Ottawa, ON: National Research Council of Canada, Research Press: 1-42. [79277]
  • 19. Dirr, Michael A. 1998. Manual of woody landscape plants: Their identification, ornamental characteristics, culture, propagation and uses. 5th ed. Champaign, IL: Stipes Publishing. 1187 p. [74836]
  • 12. Carpenter, Jackie S.; Chester, Edward W. 1987. Vascular flora of the Bear Creek Natural Area, Stewart County, Tennessee. Castanea. 52(2): 112-128. [75372]
  • 20. Domingo, Ireneo L.; Gordon, John C. 1974. Physiological responses of an aspen-poplar hybrid to air temperature and soil moisture. Botanical Gazette. 135(3): 184-192. [77806]
  • 33. George, Ernest J. 1953. Tree and shrub species for the Northern Great Plains. Circular No. 912. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 46 p. [4566]
  • 45. Harris, Richard W.; Leiser, Andrew T.; Fissell, Robert E. 1975. Plant tolerance to flooding. Summary report -- 1971-1975. Grant Contract No. A 5fs-16565; RWH-200-7/1/75. Davis, CA: University of California, Department of Environmental Horticulture. 30 p. In cooperation with: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service. [76584]
  • 52. Imada, S.; Yamanaka, N.; Tamai, S. 2009. Effects of salinity on the growth, Na partitioning, and Na dynamics of a salt-tolerant tree, Populus alba L. Journal of Arid Environments. 73(6-7): 245-251. [77749]
  • 62. Kilgore, Jason S.; Telewski, Frank W. 2004. Reforesting the jack pine barrens: a long-term common garden experiment. Forest Ecology and Management. 189(1-3): 171-187. [47461]
  • 76. Mesleard, F.; Grillas, P.; Lepart, J. 1991. Plant community succession in a coastal wetland after abandonment of cultivation: the example of the Rhone Delta. Vegetatio. 94(1): 35-45. [77758]
  • 86. Redei, K. 2000. Early performance of promising white poplar (Populus alba) clones in sandy ridges between the rivers Danube and Tsiza in Hungary. Forestry. 73(4): 407-413. [77760]
  • 96. Smith, David W.; Gatherum, Gordon E. 1974. Effects of moisture and clone on photosynthesis and growth of an aspen-poplar hybrid. Botanical Gazette. 135(4): 293-296. [77803]
  • 60. Kartesz, John Thomas. 1988. A flora of Nevada. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 1729 p. [In 2 volumes]. Dissertation. [42426]

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Key Plant Community Associations

More info for the terms: codominant, hardwood, mesic

Nonnative habitats:
In its North American range, white poplar occurs in open disturbed sites, grasslands, shrublands, early-seral forests, and floodplain woodlands [34,120]. In New England, it occurs along roadsides and in fields, meadows, wet shrublands, early-seral forests, and floodplain forests [73]. In a midseral old field on Howard University's Beltsville campus in Maryland, white poplar was codominant with red maple (Acer rubrum) and sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) [83]. Along the Mississippi River in Hickman County, Kentucky, white poplar thickets occurred with eastern cottonwood (P. deltoides subsp. deltoides) and narrowleaf willow (Salix exigua) on sand deposited by flooding [41]. In the Midwest, large white poplar clones have reduced the abundance of shade-intolerant species in prairies and savannas [97]. In southeastern Michigan, white poplar and its native aspen hybrids occurred in early-seral communities dominated by poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix), red-osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera subsp. stolonifera), and gray dogwood (C. racemosa) on mesic sites and black oak (Quercus velutina), black cherry (Prunus serotina), and black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) on dry sites [102]. Along the Missouri River in southeastern South Dakota, white poplar occurred in cottonwood (Populus spp.)-dominated floodplain forests [104].

Native habitats:
In western and central Europe, white poplar occurs in riparian, forest-steppe, and coastal communities. Gravel bars and hardwood floodplain woodlands are common white poplar habitats [27,63,66,94]. In Hungary, white poplar occurs in forest-steppe vegetation characterized by sandy grasslands with patches of white poplar, Lombardy poplar (P. nigra), and common juniper (Juniperus communis) [79]. White poplar sometimes forms thickets on coastal cliffs in southeastern England [26].
Additional information about white poplar's nonnative and native habitats is available in Site Characteristics and Successional Status.
  • 26. Edlin, Herbert L. 1968. Know your broadleaves. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 20. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 142 p. [20459]
  • 34. Glass, William. 1996. Populus alba--white poplar. In: Randall, John M.; Marinelli, Janet, eds. Invasive plants: Weeds of the global garden. Handbook #149. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Botanic Garden: 39. [72853]
  • 41. Grubbs, Jeffrey T.; Fuller, Marian J. 1991. Vascular flora of Hickman County, Kentucky. Castanea. 56(3): 193-214. [75356]
  • 63. Kondolf, G. Mathias; Piegay, Herve; Landon, Norbert. 2007. Changes in the riparian zone of the lower Eygues River, France, since 1830. Landscape Ecology. 22(3): 367-384. [77722]
  • 66. Lexer, C.; Fay, M. F.; Joseph, J. A.; Nica, M.-S.; Heinze, B. 2005. Barrier to gene flow between two ecologically divergent Populus species, P. alba (white poplar) and P. tremula (European aspen): the role of ecology and life history in gene introgression. Molecular Ecology. 14(4): 1045-1057. [77755]
  • 79. Onodi, Gabor; Kertesz, Miklos; Botta-Dukat, Zoltan; Altbacker, Vilmos. 2008. Grazing effects on vegetation composition and on the spread of fire on open sand grasslands. Arid Land Research and Management. 22(4): 273-285. [72697]
  • 83. Poston, Muriel E.; Middendorf, George A., III. 1988. Maturation characteristics of Rubus pennsylvanicus fruit: are black and red the same? Oecologia. 77(1): 69-72. [13541]
  • 94. Siebel, Henk N.; Bouwma, Irene M. 1998. The occurrence of herbs and woody juveniles in a hardwood floodplain forest in relation to flooding and light. Journal of Vegetation Science. 9(5): 623-630. [73525]
  • 97. Solecki, Mary Kay. 1997. Controlling invasive plants. In: Packard, Stephen; Mutel, Cornelia F., eds. The tallgrass restoration handbook: For prairies, savannas, and woodlands. Washington, DC: Island Press: 251-278. [43127]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 104. Steenhof, Karen; Berlinger, Stephen S.; Fredrickson, Leigh H. 1980. Habitat use by wintering bald eagles in South Dakota. The Journal of Wildlife Management. 44(4): 798-805. [75199]
  • 120. Weber, Ewald. 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. Cambridge, MA: CABI Publishing. 548 p. [71904]
  • 27. Ellenberg, Heinz. 1988. Vegetation ecology of central Europe. 4th edition. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 731 p. [English translation by G. K. Strutt]. [73365]
  • 73. Mehrhoff, L. J.; Silander, J. A., Jr.; Leicht, S. A.; Mosher, E. S.; Tabak, N. M. 2003. IPANE: Invasive Plant Atlas of New England, [Online]. Storrs, CT: University of Connecticut, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Producer). Available: http://nbii-nin.ciesin.columbia.edu/ipane/ [2008, May 28]. [70356]

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Habitat characteristics

More info for the terms: hardwood, mesic

Throughout its North American range, white poplar is most common near current or abandoned settlements where it was planted. It is often found in fields and along fence lines, ditch banks, and roads [7,12,47,51,60,71,105,122]. Disturbed areas near established white poplar stands are often colonized by root sprouts [39,92,119].

In southeastern Michigan, most white poplar hybrids were found around current or former farms. No hybrids occurred in forests considered relatively undisturbed by humans. Nearly half of the hybrids occurred on sparsely vegetated, dry, sandy sites. The other half occurred on mesic sites, often at the edges of lakes, ponds, and swamps [101].

Climate: White poplar occurs in areas as far north as USDA hardiness zone 3, where average annual minimum temperatures can reach -40 °F (4 °C) [19,28,68]. However, some report that white poplar may be killed or injured by extremely low winter temperatures [19,33], suggesting that white poplar may be restricted to protected sites in its northernmost habitats. In a review, Spies [102] reports that white poplar is most common at low elevations where temperatures are moderate and moisture is favorable. Although white poplar commonly occupies moist habitats, it can also occupy upland, somewhat droughty habitats [17]. In Hungary, white polar occurs in semiarid forest-steppe vegetation that grows in a temperate continental climate with annual precipitation averaging 20 to 22 inches (500-550 mm) [79].

In growth chamber experiments, researchers found P. alba × P. grandidentata growth was best when soil moisture was 16% to 30% and temperatures were 77 to 95 °F (25-35 °C) during the day and 59 to 77 °F (15-25 °C) at night. The parameters necessary for interpreting soil moisture values in this study include a level of 8.6%—which was slightly above the permanent wilting point—and a field capacity level of 35.6%. Height and stem diameter growth peaked at 23% average soil moisture. Height and stem size were also high at 30% and 32% soil moisture but were low at 9% soil moisture [20].

Elevation: Ranges of elevations reported for white poplar habitats in the western half of the United States
State or region Elevation range
California 1,970-5,900 feet (600-1,800 m) [47]
Nevada 4,500-6,500 feet (1,400-2,000 m) [60]
New Mexico 6,500-7,500 feet (2,000-2,300 m) [71]
Utah 4,500-6,500 feet (1,400-2,000 m) [122]
Intermountain West 3,600-8,000 feet (1,100-2,400 m) [51]

Soils: Although growth may be best in moist, deep loams [19], white poplar and its hybrids grow in a variety of soil types and textures [105,117]. In the Southwest, white poplar occurs on dry, well drained sites [117], and in Michigan, white poplar thickets are common in sandy soils [119]. In southeastern Michigan, most white polar and hybrid stands occurred on loamy sands, but soil textures ranged from pure sands to nearly pure loams. Soil pH was mostly neutral but ranged from 5 to 8 [102]. White poplar persisted for more than 100 years at the Grayling Agricultural Experiment Station in Crawford County, Michigan, where soil pH, nutrients, and water-holding capacity were low [62]. In its native forest-steppe habitats in Hungary, white poplar occurred on soils with a sand content of greater than 96% and silt and clay content of less than 2% [79]. In the Danube-Tisza region of Hungary, more than 70% of white poplar stands occurred on calcareous soils [86].

Soil moisture: Floodplain and upland sites provide habitat for white poplar [17,45], and although white poplar may survive episodes of both flooding and low precipitation, experiments suggest that growth is best in moist conditions. In his review, Dickmann [17] reports that on dry soils, P. alba × P. tremula grows better than white poplar.

Studies suggest that white poplar and hybrid growth is best in moist but not saturated soils. In a controlled study, P. alba × P. grandidentata stem height increased with increasing soil moisture levels up to 34%; stem height was lower at a 41% moisture level. A lack of root aeration may have affected hybrid growth at 41% soil moisture. In this study, permanent wilting of the hybrids occurred at 9% to 11%, and soil was near field capacity at 41%. [96]. However, when ranchers and farmers in North Dakota and Montana were surveyed, those who planted white poplar on sites with a shallow water table ranked its windbreak performance lower than those who planted it on sites with deeper water tables [111].

In the few studies available, white poplar exhibited greater flood tolerance in its native than nonnative habitats. Along the Upper Rhine in France, white poplar occurs in a hardwood floodplain forest that is flooded almost every summer (June-August) [94]. When white poplar trees were planted around a reservoir in Davis, California, nearly 80% of white poplar trees survived 61 to 69 days of flooding in 2 consecutive years. Survival was much lower, 20%, after 100 days of flooding in 2 consecutive years. The age of white poplar trees at the time of flooding was not reported [45], but provided photos suggest the trees were less than 10 years old.

Salinity: White poplar tolerates salt spray [19] and grows in saline soils [17]. Some indicate that white poplar can establish and grow in soil with salinity levels of up to 4,000 mg/L (Wong and others 1985 as cited in [52]). In the Camargue in southern France, white poplar occurred in habitats where the soil salinity at 12 inches (30 cm) deep was up to 3,200 mg/L [76]. In a greenhouse experiment, the survival of 1-year-old white poplar seedlings was compared after adding various amounts of sodium to the soil. Growth of white poplar was significantly lower in high-salt than low-salt treatments (P=0.0183). After a year, all seedlings had survived the low-salt treatment, and mortality in the high-salt treatment was only 20% [52]. Populus alba × P. tremula is considered more tolerant of saline soils than white poplar [17], but comparisons between white poplar and its hybrids with aspens native to North America were not found.

  • 39. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 47. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 7. Braun, E. Lucy. 1989. The woody plants of Ohio. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press. 362 p. [12914]
  • 28. Farrar, John Laird. 1995. Trees of the northern United States and Canada. Ames, IA: Blackwell Publishing. 502 p. [60614]
  • 51. Holmgren, Noel H.; Holmgren, Patricia K.; Cronquist, Arthur. 2005. Intermountain flora: Vascular plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Vol. 2, Part B: Subclass Dilleniidae. New York: The New York Botanical Garden. 488 p. [63251]
  • 68. Little, Elbert L. 1961. Sixty trees from foreign lands. Agricultural Handbook No. 212. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 30 p. [53217]
  • 71. Martin, William C.; Hutchins, Charles R. 1981. A flora of New Mexico. Volume 2. Germany: J. Cramer. 2589 p. [37176]
  • 79. Onodi, Gabor; Kertesz, Miklos; Botta-Dukat, Zoltan; Altbacker, Vilmos. 2008. Grazing effects on vegetation composition and on the spread of fire on open sand grasslands. Arid Land Research and Management. 22(4): 273-285. [72697]
  • 92. Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2nd ed. Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L. Moldenke. 611 p. [7604]
  • 94. Siebel, Henk N.; Bouwma, Irene M. 1998. The occurrence of herbs and woody juveniles in a hardwood floodplain forest in relation to flooding and light. Journal of Vegetation Science. 9(5): 623-630. [73525]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 105. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the north Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
  • 111. Tuskan, Gerald A.; Laughlin, Kevin. 1991. Windbreak species performance and management practices as reported by Montana and North Dakota landowners. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 46(3): 225-228. [15084]
  • 117. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707]
  • 119. Voss, Edward G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae--Cornaceae). Bulletin 59. Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Herbarium. 724 p. [11472]
  • 122. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 17. Dickmann, Donald I. 2001. An overview of the genus Populus. In: Dickman, Donald I.; Isebrands, J. G.; Eckenwalder, James E.; Richardson, Jim, eds. Poplar culture in North America. Ottawa, ON: National Research Council of Canada, Research Press: 1-42. [79277]
  • 19. Dirr, Michael A. 1998. Manual of woody landscape plants: Their identification, ornamental characteristics, culture, propagation and uses. 5th ed. Champaign, IL: Stipes Publishing. 1187 p. [74836]
  • 12. Carpenter, Jackie S.; Chester, Edward W. 1987. Vascular flora of the Bear Creek Natural Area, Stewart County, Tennessee. Castanea. 52(2): 112-128. [75372]
  • 20. Domingo, Ireneo L.; Gordon, John C. 1974. Physiological responses of an aspen-poplar hybrid to air temperature and soil moisture. Botanical Gazette. 135(3): 184-192. [77806]
  • 33. George, Ernest J. 1953. Tree and shrub species for the Northern Great Plains. Circular No. 912. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 46 p. [4566]
  • 45. Harris, Richard W.; Leiser, Andrew T.; Fissell, Robert E. 1975. Plant tolerance to flooding. Summary report -- 1971-1975. Grant Contract No. A 5fs-16565; RWH-200-7/1/75. Davis, CA: University of California, Department of Environmental Horticulture. 30 p. In cooperation with: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service. [76584]
  • 52. Imada, S.; Yamanaka, N.; Tamai, S. 2009. Effects of salinity on the growth, Na partitioning, and Na dynamics of a salt-tolerant tree, Populus alba L. Journal of Arid Environments. 73(6-7): 245-251. [77749]
  • 62. Kilgore, Jason S.; Telewski, Frank W. 2004. Reforesting the jack pine barrens: a long-term common garden experiment. Forest Ecology and Management. 189(1-3): 171-187. [47461]
  • 76. Mesleard, F.; Grillas, P.; Lepart, J. 1991. Plant community succession in a coastal wetland after abandonment of cultivation: the example of the Rhone Delta. Vegetatio. 94(1): 35-45. [77758]
  • 86. Redei, K. 2000. Early performance of promising white poplar (Populus alba) clones in sandy ridges between the rivers Danube and Tsiza in Hungary. Forestry. 73(4): 407-413. [77760]
  • 96. Smith, David W.; Gatherum, Gordon E. 1974. Effects of moisture and clone on photosynthesis and growth of an aspen-poplar hybrid. Botanical Gazette. 135(4): 293-296. [77803]
  • 60. Kartesz, John Thomas. 1988. A flora of Nevada. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 1729 p. [In 2 volumes]. Dissertation. [42426]

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Key Plant Community Associations

More info for the terms: codominant, hardwood, mesic

Nonnative habitats:
In its North American range, white poplar occurs in open disturbed sites, grasslands, shrublands, early-seral forests, and floodplain woodlands [34,120]. In New England, it occurs along roadsides and in fields, meadows, wet shrublands, early-seral forests, and floodplain forests [73]. In a midseral old field on Howard University's Beltsville campus in Maryland, white poplar was codominant with red maple (Acer rubrum) and sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) [83]. Along the Mississippi River in Hickman County, Kentucky, white poplar thickets occurred with eastern cottonwood (P. deltoides subsp. deltoides) and narrowleaf willow (Salix exigua) on sand deposited by flooding [41]. In the Midwest, large white poplar clones have reduced the abundance of shade-intolerant species in prairies and savannas [97]. In southeastern Michigan, white poplar and its native aspen hybrids occurred in early-seral communities dominated by poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix), red-osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera subsp. stolonifera), and gray dogwood (C. racemosa) on mesic sites and black oak (Quercus velutina), black cherry (Prunus serotina), and black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) on dry sites [102]. Along the Missouri River in southeastern South Dakota, white poplar occurred in cottonwood (Populus spp.)-dominated floodplain forests [104].

Native habitats:
In western and central Europe, white poplar occurs in riparian, forest-steppe, and coastal communities. Gravel bars and hardwood floodplain woodlands are common white poplar habitats [27,63,66,94]. In Hungary, white poplar occurs in forest-steppe vegetation characterized by sandy grasslands with patches of white poplar, Lombardy poplar (P. nigra), and common juniper (Juniperus communis) [79]. White poplar sometimes forms thickets on coastal cliffs in southeastern England [26].
Additional information about white poplar's nonnative and native habitats is available in Site Characteristics and Successional Status.
  • 26. Edlin, Herbert L. 1968. Know your broadleaves. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 20. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 142 p. [20459]
  • 34. Glass, William. 1996. Populus alba--white poplar. In: Randall, John M.; Marinelli, Janet, eds. Invasive plants: Weeds of the global garden. Handbook #149. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Botanic Garden: 39. [72853]
  • 41. Grubbs, Jeffrey T.; Fuller, Marian J. 1991. Vascular flora of Hickman County, Kentucky. Castanea. 56(3): 193-214. [75356]
  • 63. Kondolf, G. Mathias; Piegay, Herve; Landon, Norbert. 2007. Changes in the riparian zone of the lower Eygues River, France, since 1830. Landscape Ecology. 22(3): 367-384. [77722]
  • 66. Lexer, C.; Fay, M. F.; Joseph, J. A.; Nica, M.-S.; Heinze, B. 2005. Barrier to gene flow between two ecologically divergent Populus species, P. alba (white poplar) and P. tremula (European aspen): the role of ecology and life history in gene introgression. Molecular Ecology. 14(4): 1045-1057. [77755]
  • 79. Onodi, Gabor; Kertesz, Miklos; Botta-Dukat, Zoltan; Altbacker, Vilmos. 2008. Grazing effects on vegetation composition and on the spread of fire on open sand grasslands. Arid Land Research and Management. 22(4): 273-285. [72697]
  • 83. Poston, Muriel E.; Middendorf, George A., III. 1988. Maturation characteristics of Rubus pennsylvanicus fruit: are black and red the same? Oecologia. 77(1): 69-72. [13541]
  • 94. Siebel, Henk N.; Bouwma, Irene M. 1998. The occurrence of herbs and woody juveniles in a hardwood floodplain forest in relation to flooding and light. Journal of Vegetation Science. 9(5): 623-630. [73525]
  • 97. Solecki, Mary Kay. 1997. Controlling invasive plants. In: Packard, Stephen; Mutel, Cornelia F., eds. The tallgrass restoration handbook: For prairies, savannas, and woodlands. Washington, DC: Island Press: 251-278. [43127]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 104. Steenhof, Karen; Berlinger, Stephen S.; Fredrickson, Leigh H. 1980. Habitat use by wintering bald eagles in South Dakota. The Journal of Wildlife Management. 44(4): 798-805. [75199]
  • 120. Weber, Ewald. 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. Cambridge, MA: CABI Publishing. 548 p. [71904]
  • 27. Ellenberg, Heinz. 1988. Vegetation ecology of central Europe. 4th edition. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 731 p. [English translation by G. K. Strutt]. [73365]
  • 73. Mehrhoff, L. J.; Silander, J. A., Jr.; Leicht, S. A.; Mosher, E. S.; Tabak, N. M. 2003. IPANE: Invasive Plant Atlas of New England, [Online]. Storrs, CT: University of Connecticut, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Producer). Available: http://nbii-nin.ciesin.columbia.edu/ipane/ [2008, May 28]. [70356]

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Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat characteristics

More info for the terms: hardwood, mesic

Throughout its North American range, white poplar is most common near current or abandoned settlements where it was planted. It is often found in fields and along fence lines, ditch banks, and roads [7,12,47,51,60,71,105,122]. Disturbed areas near established white poplar stands are often colonized by root sprouts [39,92,119].

In southeastern Michigan, most white poplar hybrids were found around current or former farms. No hybrids occurred in forests considered relatively undisturbed by humans. Nearly half of the hybrids occurred on sparsely vegetated, dry, sandy sites. The other half occurred on mesic sites, often at the edges of lakes, ponds, and swamps [101].

Climate: White poplar occurs in areas as far north as USDA hardiness zone 3, where average annual minimum temperatures can reach -40 °F (4 °C) [19,28,68]. However, some report that white poplar may be killed or injured by extremely low winter temperatures [19,33], suggesting that white poplar may be restricted to protected sites in its northernmost habitats. In a review, Spies [102] reports that white poplar is most common at low elevations where temperatures are moderate and moisture is favorable. Although white poplar commonly occupies moist habitats, it can also occupy upland, somewhat droughty habitats [17]. In Hungary, white polar occurs in semiarid forest-steppe vegetation that grows in a temperate continental climate with annual precipitation averaging 20 to 22 inches (500-550 mm) [79].

In growth chamber experiments, researchers found P. alba × P. grandidentata growth was best when soil moisture was 16% to 30% and temperatures were 77 to 95 °F (25-35 °C) during the day and 59 to 77 °F (15-25 °C) at night. The parameters necessary for interpreting soil moisture values in this study include a level of 8.6%—which was slightly above the permanent wilting point—and a field capacity level of 35.6%. Height and stem diameter growth peaked at 23% average soil moisture. Height and stem size were also high at 30% and 32% soil moisture but were low at 9% soil moisture [20].

Elevation: Ranges of elevations reported for white poplar habitats in the western half of the United States
State or region Elevation range
California 1,970-5,900 feet (600-1,800 m) [47]
Nevada 4,500-6,500 feet (1,400-2,000 m) [60]
New Mexico 6,500-7,500 feet (2,000-2,300 m) [71]
Utah 4,500-6,500 feet (1,400-2,000 m) [122]
Intermountain West 3,600-8,000 feet (1,100-2,400 m) [51]

Soils: Although growth may be best in moist, deep loams [19], white poplar and its hybrids grow in a variety of soil types and textures [105,117]. In the Southwest, white poplar occurs on dry, well drained sites [117], and in Michigan, white poplar thickets are common in sandy soils [119]. In southeastern Michigan, most white polar and hybrid stands occurred on loamy sands, but soil textures ranged from pure sands to nearly pure loams. Soil pH was mostly neutral but ranged from 5 to 8 [102]. White poplar persisted for more than 100 years at the Grayling Agricultural Experiment Station in Crawford County, Michigan, where soil pH, nutrients, and water-holding capacity were low [62]. In its native forest-steppe habitats in Hungary, white poplar occurred on soils with a sand content of greater than 96% and silt and clay content of less than 2% [79]. In the Danube-Tisza region of Hungary, more than 70% of white poplar stands occurred on calcareous soils [86].

Soil moisture: Floodplain and upland sites provide habitat for white poplar [17,45], and although white poplar may survive episodes of both flooding and low precipitation, experiments suggest that growth is best in moist conditions. In his review, Dickmann [17] reports that on dry soils, P. alba × P. tremula grows better than white poplar.

Studies suggest that white poplar and hybrid growth is best in moist but not saturated soils. In a controlled study, P. alba × P. grandidentata stem height increased with increasing soil moisture levels up to 34%; stem height was lower at a 41% moisture level. A lack of root aeration may have affected hybrid growth at 41% soil moisture. In this study, permanent wilting of the hybrids occurred at 9% to 11%, and soil was near field capacity at 41%. [96]. However, when ranchers and farmers in North Dakota and Montana were surveyed, those who planted white poplar on sites with a shallow water table ranked its windbreak performance lower than those who planted it on sites with deeper water tables [111].

In the few studies available, white poplar exhibited greater flood tolerance in its native than nonnative habitats. Along the Upper Rhine in France, white poplar occurs in a hardwood floodplain forest that is flooded almost every summer (June-August) [94]. When white poplar trees were planted around a reservoir in Davis, California, nearly 80% of white poplar trees survived 61 to 69 days of flooding in 2 consecutive years. Survival was much lower, 20%, after 100 days of flooding in 2 consecutive years. The age of white poplar trees at the time of flooding was not reported [45], but provided photos suggest the trees were less than 10 years old.

Salinity: White poplar tolerates salt spray [19] and grows in saline soils [17]. Some indicate that white poplar can establish and grow in soil with salinity levels of up to 4,000 mg/L (Wong and others 1985 as cited in [52]). In the Camargue in southern France, white poplar occurred in habitats where the soil salinity at 12 inches (30 cm) deep was up to 3,200 mg/L [76]. In a greenhouse experiment, the survival of 1-year-old white poplar seedlings was compared after adding various amounts of sodium to the soil. Growth of white poplar was significantly lower in high-salt than low-salt treatments (P=0.0183). After a year, all seedlings had survived the low-salt treatment, and mortality in the high-salt treatment was only 20% [52]. Populus alba × P. tremula is considered more tolerant of saline soils than white poplar [17], but comparisons between white poplar and its hybrids with aspens native to North America were not found.

  • 39. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 47. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 7. Braun, E. Lucy. 1989. The woody plants of Ohio. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press. 362 p. [12914]
  • 28. Farrar, John Laird. 1995. Trees of the northern United States and Canada. Ames, IA: Blackwell Publishing. 502 p. [60614]
  • 51. Holmgren, Noel H.; Holmgren, Patricia K.; Cronquist, Arthur. 2005. Intermountain flora: Vascular plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Vol. 2, Part B: Subclass Dilleniidae. New York: The New York Botanical Garden. 488 p. [63251]
  • 68. Little, Elbert L. 1961. Sixty trees from foreign lands. Agricultural Handbook No. 212. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 30 p. [53217]
  • 71. Martin, William C.; Hutchins, Charles R. 1981. A flora of New Mexico. Volume 2. Germany: J. Cramer. 2589 p. [37176]
  • 79. Onodi, Gabor; Kertesz, Miklos; Botta-Dukat, Zoltan; Altbacker, Vilmos. 2008. Grazing effects on vegetation composition and on the spread of fire on open sand grasslands. Arid Land Research and Management. 22(4): 273-285. [72697]
  • 92. Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2nd ed. Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L. Moldenke. 611 p. [7604]
  • 94. Siebel, Henk N.; Bouwma, Irene M. 1998. The occurrence of herbs and woody juveniles in a hardwood floodplain forest in relation to flooding and light. Journal of Vegetation Science. 9(5): 623-630. [73525]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 105. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the north Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
  • 111. Tuskan, Gerald A.; Laughlin, Kevin. 1991. Windbreak species performance and management practices as reported by Montana and North Dakota landowners. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 46(3): 225-228. [15084]
  • 117. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707]
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  • 17. Dickmann, Donald I. 2001. An overview of the genus Populus. In: Dickman, Donald I.; Isebrands, J. G.; Eckenwalder, James E.; Richardson, Jim, eds. Poplar culture in North America. Ottawa, ON: National Research Council of Canada, Research Press: 1-42. [79277]
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  • 20. Domingo, Ireneo L.; Gordon, John C. 1974. Physiological responses of an aspen-poplar hybrid to air temperature and soil moisture. Botanical Gazette. 135(3): 184-192. [77806]
  • 33. George, Ernest J. 1953. Tree and shrub species for the Northern Great Plains. Circular No. 912. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 46 p. [4566]
  • 45. Harris, Richard W.; Leiser, Andrew T.; Fissell, Robert E. 1975. Plant tolerance to flooding. Summary report -- 1971-1975. Grant Contract No. A 5fs-16565; RWH-200-7/1/75. Davis, CA: University of California, Department of Environmental Horticulture. 30 p. In cooperation with: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service. [76584]
  • 52. Imada, S.; Yamanaka, N.; Tamai, S. 2009. Effects of salinity on the growth, Na partitioning, and Na dynamics of a salt-tolerant tree, Populus alba L. Journal of Arid Environments. 73(6-7): 245-251. [77749]
  • 62. Kilgore, Jason S.; Telewski, Frank W. 2004. Reforesting the jack pine barrens: a long-term common garden experiment. Forest Ecology and Management. 189(1-3): 171-187. [47461]
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  • 86. Redei, K. 2000. Early performance of promising white poplar (Populus alba) clones in sandy ridges between the rivers Danube and Tsiza in Hungary. Forestry. 73(4): 407-413. [77760]
  • 96. Smith, David W.; Gatherum, Gordon E. 1974. Effects of moisture and clone on photosynthesis and growth of an aspen-poplar hybrid. Botanical Gazette. 135(4): 293-296. [77803]
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Key Plant Community Associations

More info for the terms: codominant, hardwood, mesic

Nonnative habitats:
In its North American range, white poplar occurs in open disturbed sites, grasslands, shrublands, early-seral forests, and floodplain woodlands [34,120]. In New England, it occurs along roadsides and in fields, meadows, wet shrublands, early-seral forests, and floodplain forests [73]. In a midseral old field on Howard University's Beltsville campus in Maryland, white poplar was codominant with red maple (Acer rubrum) and sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) [83]. Along the Mississippi River in Hickman County, Kentucky, white poplar thickets occurred with eastern cottonwood (P. deltoides subsp. deltoides) and narrowleaf willow (Salix exigua) on sand deposited by flooding [41]. In the Midwest, large white poplar clones have reduced the abundance of shade-intolerant species in prairies and savannas [97]. In southeastern Michigan, white poplar and its native aspen hybrids occurred in early-seral communities dominated by poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix), red-osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera subsp. stolonifera), and gray dogwood (C. racemosa) on mesic sites and black oak (Quercus velutina), black cherry (Prunus serotina), and black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) on dry sites [102]. Along the Missouri River in southeastern South Dakota, white poplar occurred in cottonwood (Populus spp.)-dominated floodplain forests [104].

Native habitats:
In western and central Europe, white poplar occurs in riparian, forest-steppe, and coastal communities. Gravel bars and hardwood floodplain woodlands are common white poplar habitats [27,63,66,94]. In Hungary, white poplar occurs in forest-steppe vegetation characterized by sandy grasslands with patches of white poplar, Lombardy poplar (P. nigra), and common juniper (Juniperus communis) [79]. White poplar sometimes forms thickets on coastal cliffs in southeastern England [26].
Additional information about white poplar's nonnative and native habitats is available in Site Characteristics and Successional Status.
  • 26. Edlin, Herbert L. 1968. Know your broadleaves. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 20. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 142 p. [20459]
  • 34. Glass, William. 1996. Populus alba--white poplar. In: Randall, John M.; Marinelli, Janet, eds. Invasive plants: Weeds of the global garden. Handbook #149. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Botanic Garden: 39. [72853]
  • 41. Grubbs, Jeffrey T.; Fuller, Marian J. 1991. Vascular flora of Hickman County, Kentucky. Castanea. 56(3): 193-214. [75356]
  • 63. Kondolf, G. Mathias; Piegay, Herve; Landon, Norbert. 2007. Changes in the riparian zone of the lower Eygues River, France, since 1830. Landscape Ecology. 22(3): 367-384. [77722]
  • 66. Lexer, C.; Fay, M. F.; Joseph, J. A.; Nica, M.-S.; Heinze, B. 2005. Barrier to gene flow between two ecologically divergent Populus species, P. alba (white poplar) and P. tremula (European aspen): the role of ecology and life history in gene introgression. Molecular Ecology. 14(4): 1045-1057. [77755]
  • 79. Onodi, Gabor; Kertesz, Miklos; Botta-Dukat, Zoltan; Altbacker, Vilmos. 2008. Grazing effects on vegetation composition and on the spread of fire on open sand grasslands. Arid Land Research and Management. 22(4): 273-285. [72697]
  • 83. Poston, Muriel E.; Middendorf, George A., III. 1988. Maturation characteristics of Rubus pennsylvanicus fruit: are black and red the same? Oecologia. 77(1): 69-72. [13541]
  • 94. Siebel, Henk N.; Bouwma, Irene M. 1998. The occurrence of herbs and woody juveniles in a hardwood floodplain forest in relation to flooding and light. Journal of Vegetation Science. 9(5): 623-630. [73525]
  • 97. Solecki, Mary Kay. 1997. Controlling invasive plants. In: Packard, Stephen; Mutel, Cornelia F., eds. The tallgrass restoration handbook: For prairies, savannas, and woodlands. Washington, DC: Island Press: 251-278. [43127]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 104. Steenhof, Karen; Berlinger, Stephen S.; Fredrickson, Leigh H. 1980. Habitat use by wintering bald eagles in South Dakota. The Journal of Wildlife Management. 44(4): 798-805. [75199]
  • 120. Weber, Ewald. 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. Cambridge, MA: CABI Publishing. 548 p. [71904]
  • 27. Ellenberg, Heinz. 1988. Vegetation ecology of central Europe. 4th edition. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 731 p. [English translation by G. K. Strutt]. [73365]
  • 73. Mehrhoff, L. J.; Silander, J. A., Jr.; Leicht, S. A.; Mosher, E. S.; Tabak, N. M. 2003. IPANE: Invasive Plant Atlas of New England, [Online]. Storrs, CT: University of Connecticut, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Producer). Available: http://nbii-nin.ciesin.columbia.edu/ipane/ [2008, May 28]. [70356]

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Soils and Topography

Poplar hybrids grow best where soils are at least 1 m (3.3 ft) in  depth to interrupted bedrock. The water table and porous or  gravel layers should also be at least 1 m (3.3 ft) below the soil  surface. Optimum pH ranges from 6.0 to 7.0, though some hybrids  tolerate high or low pH conditions. Hybrids grow well on upland  and bottom-land soils if the soils have good moisture-holding  capacities and are of medium texture. Hybrids show extreme  variation in tolerance of adverse site conditions. They grow best  on soils of the orders Entisols, Inceptisols, Mollisols,  Spodosols, and Ultisols.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Maurice E. Demeritt

Source: Silvics of North America

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Climate

In general, poplar hybrids grow best on humid and  microthermal areas with adequate moisture during all seasons of  the year. They are rarely found on sites that have temperatures  of -46° C (-50° F) or on sites that have summer  temperatures over 38° C (100° F) for more than a week.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Maurice E. Demeritt

Source: Silvics of North America

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Associations

Foodplant / gall
Agrobacterium tumefaciens causes gall of stem (esp. base) of Populus

Foodplant / miner
often communal larva of Agromyza albitarsis mines leaf of Populus

Plant / resting place / on
swarming adult of Amphimallon solstitialis may be found on live canopy of Populus

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Plant / epiphyte
fruitbody of Antrodia albida grows on small, decorticated, fallen branch of Populus

Plant / epiphyte
fruitbody of Antrodia macra grows on dead, decayed wood of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial, sparsely gregarious pycnidium of Aposphaeria coelomycetous anamorph of Aposphaeria populea is saprobic on dead, decorticate wood of Populus
Remarks: season: 2

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Athelopsis glaucina is saprobic on decayed wood of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
scattered sporodochium of Bactrodesmium dematiaceous anamorph of Bactrodesmium obovatum is saprobic on bark of Populus
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
punctiform or effuse colony of Bispora dematiaceous anamorph of Bispora betulina is saprobic on dead wood of Populus

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Boletus ripariellus is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Populus
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Brachysporium dematiaceous anamorph of Brachysporium obovatum is saprobic on rotten wood of Populus

Foodplant / roller
larva of Byctiscus betulae rolls leaf (several leaves) of Populus

Foodplant / roller
larva of Byctiscus populi rolls leaf of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Byssomerulius corium is saprobic on fallen, decayed wood of Populus
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Cacumisporium dematiaceous anamorph of Cacumisporium capitulatum is saprobic on dead wood of Populus

Foodplant / open feeder
larva of Caliroa varipes grazes on leaf of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
larva of Callicera spinolae is saprobic on rot hole of Populus

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Calocybe obscurissima is associated with Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
erumpent, subsessile apothecium of Calycellina populina is saprobic on dead, fallen leaf of Populus
Remarks: season: 9-3

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed pycnidium of Camarosporium coelomycetous anamorph of Camarosporium propinquum is saprobic on twig of Populus
Remarks: season: 10-5

Foodplant / saprobe
basidiome of Ceriporia purpurea is saprobic on large, decayed, fallen trunk of Populus
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Sporotrichum anamorph of Ceriporiopsis aneirina is saprobic on very rotten wood of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Chaetopsis dematiaceous anamorph of Chaetopsis grisea is saprobic on fallen, dead branch of Populus

Plant / associate
subiculate perithecium of Chaetosphaerella phaeostroma is associated with fungus infected, fallen branch of Populus
Remarks: season: 9-4

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Menispora dematiaceous anamorph of Chaetosphaeria ovoidea is saprobic on bark of Populus
Remarks: season: mainly winter

Foodplant / pathogen
basidiome of Chondrostereum purpureum infects and damages trunk of Populus

Foodplant / open feeder
imago of Chrysomela populi grazes on leaf of Populus

Foodplant / open feeder
larva of Cimbex luteus grazes on leaf of Populus

Foodplant / open feeder
adult of Clytra laeviuscula grazes on live flower of Populus
Remarks: season: 5-8
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Coniophora arida is saprobic on decayed wood of Populus
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / gall
larva of Contarinia petioli causes gall of leaf (petiole) of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Corticium roseum is saprobic on dead, decayed, often attached branch of Populus
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Cortinarius arvinaceus is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Populus
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Cortinarius ochroleucus is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Populus
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Cortinarius trivialis is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Bactrodesmium dematiaceous anamorph of Corynesporopsis quercicola is saprobic on rotten wood of Populus
Remarks: season: 9-5

Foodplant / internal feeder
Cossonus linearis feeds within under bark of Populus
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / internal feeder
Cossonus parallelepipedus feeds within dead wood of Populus
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / internal feeder
caterpillar of Cossus cossus feeds within live trunk of Populus

Foodplant / open feeder
imago of Crepidodera aurata grazes on leaf of Populus

Foodplant / open feeder
imago of Crepidodera aurea grazes on leaf of Populus

Foodplant / open feeder
imago of Crepidodera fulvicornis grazes on leaf of Populus

Foodplant / open feeder
imago of Crepidodera nitidula grazes on leaf of Populus

Foodplant / open feeder
imago of Crepidodera plutus grazes on leaf of Populus

Foodplant / open feeder
gregarious larva of Croesus septentrionalis grazes on live leaf edge of Populus
Remarks: season: 5-
Other: minor host/prey

Plant / resting place / on
adult of Cryptocephalus bipunctatus may be found on Populus
Remarks: season: 4-late 8

Foodplant / open feeder
adult of Cryptocephalus moraei grazes on live leaf of Populus
Remarks: season: 5-9

Plant / resting place / on
adult of Cryptocephalus nitidulus may be found on Populus
Remarks: season: early 5-9

Plant / resting place / on
adult of Cryptocephalus punctiger may be found on Populus
Remarks: season: 5-8
Other: uncertain

Plant / resting place / on
adult of Cryptocephalus pusillus may be found on Populus
Remarks: season: 5-10

Foodplant / saprobe
sporodochium of Cryptocoryneum dematiaceous anamorph of Cryptocoryneum condensatum is saprobic on dead bark of Populus

Foodplant / pathogen
conidioma of Discosporium coelomycetous anamorph of Cryptodiaporthe populea infects and damages live twig of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
bracket of Daedalea quercina is saprobic on hard, barely decayed wood of Populus
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial stroma of Daldinia concentrica is saprobic on wood of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
widely effused stroma of Diatrype stigma is saprobic on dead, decorticate or with bark rolling back branch of Populus
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
scattered or in small groups pycnidium of Aposphaeria coelomycetous anamorph of Diplodiella fibricola is saprobic on wood chip of Populus
Remarks: season: 8-11

Plant / resting place / within
imago of Dorcus parallelipipedus may be found in spongy wood of Populus

Foodplant / feeds on
larva of Dorytomus filirostris feeds on Populus

Foodplant / feeds on
Dorytomus longimanus feeds on Populus

Foodplant / feeds on
Dorytomus validirostris feeds on Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Endophragmiella dematiaceous anamorph of Endophragmiella pallescens is saprobic on rotten wood of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed perithecium of Endoxyla cirrhosa is saprobic on rotten wood of Populus
Remarks: season: good condition: 4-5

Foodplant / pathogen
Entoleuca mammata infects and damages live stem of Populus

Foodplant / gall
communal larva of Euura amerinae causes gall of twig of Populus
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
sporodochium of Excipularia dematiaceous anamorph of Excipularia fusispora is saprobic on branch of Populus
Remarks: season: 1-9

Foodplant / saprobe
larva of Ferdinandea is saprobic on sap run of Populus

Plant / associate
larva of Ferdinandea ruficornis is associated with Cossus-infested sap run of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
cleistothecium of Fragosphaeria reniformis is saprobic on rotten wood of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
clustered perithecium of Gibberella pulicaris is saprobic on dead branch of Populus
Remarks: season: 1-4
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
hysterothecium of Gloniopsis praelonga is saprobic on dead twig of Populus
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed or erumpent perithecium of Gnomonia alni-viridis is saprobic on leaf-litter of Populus
Remarks: season: 1-6

Foodplant / gall
larva of Gypsonoma aceriana causes gall of stem (near tip) of Populus

Foodplant / gall
larva of Harmandia globuli causes gall of leaf of Populus

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Hebeloma groegeri is associated with Populus

Plant / resting place / under
larva of Helina subvittata may be found under bark of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Hemimycena mauretanica is saprobic on decayed debris (woody) of Populus

Foodplant / feeds on
fruitbody of Hericium erinaceus feeds on trunk of Populus
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Plant / associate
Heringia is associated with aphid infested Populus

Plant / associate
effuse colony of Heteroconium anamorph of Heteroconium tetracoilum is associated with damp, rotten branch of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Hyalinia rubella is saprobic on dead branch (bark) of Populus
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Hyalopeziza millepunctata is saprobic on dead twig of Populus
Remarks: season: 10-6

Foodplant / saprobe
gregarious apothecium of Hyaloscypha hyalina is saprobic on dead branch of Populus
Remarks: season: 1-12
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
stalked apothecium of Hymenoscyphus caudatus is saprobic on decaying petiole of Populus
Remarks: season: 6-12

Foodplant / saprobe
erumpent, short-stalked apothecium of Hymenoscyphus immutabilis is saprobic on dead, fallen leaf of Populus
Remarks: season: 10-12

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Hymenoscyphus phyllogenus is saprobic on dead, fallen, rotting leaf (mesophyll) of Populus
Remarks: season: 10-11

Foodplant / saprobe
stalked apothecium of Hymenoscyphus vernus is saprobic on dead, fallen branch of Populus
Remarks: season: 2-9

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Hypochnicium lundellii is associated with live root of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Trichoderma dematiaceous anamorph of Hypocrea rufa is saprobic on rotten wood of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
stroma of Hypoxylon rubiginosum is saprobic on dead bark of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
hysterothecium of Hysterium angustatum is saprobic on dead, decorticate branch of Populus
Remarks: season: 3-5

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial hysteriothecium of Hysterographium fraxini is saprobic on dead, decorticate wood of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
hysterothecium of Hysterographium mori is saprobic on dead branch of Populus

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Inocybe praetervisa is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Populus
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Inocybe splendens var. phaeoleuca is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Populus
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Inocybe squamata is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Populus
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Inonotus radiatus is saprobic on trunk of Populus
Other: unusual host/prey

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Janus luteipes feeds within young shoot of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Dendryphiopsis dematiaceous anamorph of Kirschsteiniothelia aethiops is saprobic on decorticate branch of Populus
Remarks: season: 12-4

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Lactarius controversus is ectomycorrhizal with root of Populus
Remarks: Other: uncertain
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Lactarius evosmus is ectomycorrhizal with root of Populus
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial perithecium of Lasiosphaeria phyllophila is saprobic on debris of Populus
Remarks: season: 11-4

Foodplant / parasite
underground rhizome of Lathraea clandestina parasitises root of Populus
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Leccinum aurantiacum is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Populus
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Leccinum duriusculum is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Populus
Other: sole host/prey

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Leccinum variicolor is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
clustered fruitbody of Lentinus tigrinus is saprobic on dead, floating wood of Populus
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / pathogen
Leucostoma niveum infects and damages live branch of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
thyriothecium of Lichenopeltella nigroannulata is saprobic on overwintered, dead leaf of Populus
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed perithecium of Linospora ceuthocarpa is saprobic on dead branch of Populus
Remarks: season: 6-9

Foodplant / saprobe
usually immersed pseudothecium of Lophiostoma compressum is saprobic on decorticate wood of Populus
Remarks: season: 10-2

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed pseudothecium of Lophiostoma nucula is saprobic on wood of Populus
Remarks: season: 4-7

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Marasmius favrei is saprobic on dead, fallen, decaying leaf of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial, often in very large clusters pseudothecium of Melanomma pulvis-pyrius is saprobic on dry, hard, decorticate branch wood of Populus
Remarks: season: 9-5

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial, thickly clustered perithecium of Melanopsamma pomiformis is saprobic on wood of Populus
Remarks: season: 11-4

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed or erumpent perithecium of Melomastia mastoidea is saprobic on dead branch of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
thyriothecium of Microthyrium fagi is saprobic on fallen, dead leaf of Populus
Remarks: season: 10-11

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Mollisina acerina is saprobic on leaf-litter of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
larva of Myathropa florea is saprobic on rot hole of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
sporodochium of Tubercularia anamorph of Nectria cinnabarina is saprobic on dead branch of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
erumpent stroma of Nectria coccinea is saprobic on dead branch of Populus
Remarks: season: 9-5

Foodplant / pathogen
Nectria galligena infects and damages cankered branch of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
perithecium of Nectria mammoidea var. mammoidea is saprobic on fallen, dead branch of Populus
Remarks: season: 9-5

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial perithecium of Nectria pseudopeziza is saprobic on dead branch of Populus
Remarks: season: 9-4

Foodplant / saprobe
perithecium of Nectria veuillotiana is saprobic on dead branch of Populus
Remarks: season: 10-3

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Geniculosporium dematiaceous anamorph of Nemania serpens is saprobic on dead branch of Populus

Foodplant / open feeder
larva of Nematus coeruleocarpus grazes on leaf of Populus
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / open feeder
larva of Nematus crassus grazes on leaf of Populus

Foodplant / open feeder
larva of Nematus hypoxanthus grazes on leaf of Populus

Foodplant / open feeder
gregarious larva of Nematus melanaspis grazes on leaf of Populus

Foodplant / open feeder
larva of Nematus melanocephalus grazes on leaf of Populus
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / open feeder
gregarious larva of Nematus miliaris grazes on leaf of Populus
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / open feeder
larva of Nematus nigricornis grazes on leaf of Populus

Foodplant / open feeder
larva of Nematus pavidus grazes on leaf of Populus
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Neobulgaria lilacina is saprobic on cut end of stump of Populus
Remarks: season: 10-5

Foodplant / saprobe
perithecium of Nitschkia grevillei is saprobic on dead branch of Populus
Remarks: season: 10-3

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Orbilia coccinella is saprobic on rotten wood of Populus
Remarks: season: 9-10

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Orbilia luteorubella is saprobic on rotten wood of Populus
Remarks: season: 4-9

Plant / resting place / on
adult of Oulema obscura may be found on Populus
Remarks: season: 7-

Foodplant / parasite
fruitbody of Oxyporus populinus parasitises live wood of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
subiculate apothecium of Patinellaria sanguinea is saprobic on decorticate wood of Populus

Foodplant / gall
Pemphigus bursarius causes gall of leaf (petiole) of Populus
Remarks: season: 5-7

Foodplant / gall
Pemphigus filaginis causes gall of blister-galled leaf (mid-rib) of Populus
Remarks: season: spring

Foodplant / gall
Pemphigus gairi causes gall of leaf of Populus

Foodplant / gall
Pemphigus lysimachiae causes gall of leaf of Populus

Foodplant / gall
Pemphigus phenax causes gall of leaf of Populus

Foodplant / gall
Pemphigus spirothecae causes gall of spiral-shaped gall leaf (petiole) of Populus
Remarks: season: spring

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Pezizella gemmarum is saprobic on dead, fallen bud scale of Populus
Remarks: season: 11-4

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Phaeostalagmus dematiaceous anamorph of Phaeostalagmus cyclosporus is saprobic on fallen, dead branch of Populus
Remarks: season: 1-12

Plant / resting place / under
larva of Phaonia serva may be found under bark of Populus

Foodplant / parasite
fruitbody of Phellinus conchatus parasitises live, old trunk of Populus
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Phialina lachnobrachya is saprobic on dead leaf of Populus
Remarks: season: 9-11

Foodplant / saprobe
stalked, clustered basidiocarp of Phleogena faginea is saprobic on dead wood of Populus

Foodplant / internal feeder
Phloeophagus lignarius feeds within dead, esp hollow wood of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Pholiota aurivella is saprobic on dead, fallen, decayed trunk (large) of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Pholiota populnea is saprobic on dead log (large, sawn) of Populus
Remarks: season: autumn
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Pholiota squarrosa is saprobic on relatively freshly cut, white rotted stump of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Phragmocephala dematiaceous anamorph of Phragmocephala elliptica is saprobic on dead branch of Populus
Remarks: season: 4-10

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Phragmocephala dematiaceous anamorph of Phragmocephala prolifera is saprobic on rotting branch of Populus
Remarks: season: 9

Foodplant / open feeder
imago of Phratora laticollis grazes on leaf of Populus

Foodplant / open feeder
imago of Phratora vitellinae grazes on leaf of Populus

Foodplant / open feeder
imago of Phratora vulgatissima grazes on leaf of Populus

Foodplant / feeds on
Phyllobius argentatus feeds on Populus

Foodplant / feeds on
Phyllobius pyri feeds on Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
becoming superficial, scattered pycnidium of Pleurophoma coelomycetous anamorph of Pleurophoma pleurospora is saprobic on dead wood of Populus
Remarks: season: 3,11

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Pleurotus cornucopiae is saprobic on dead, decayed trunk (large) of Populus
Remarks: season: summer

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Pleurotus dryinus is saprobic on live, standing trunk of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Pluteus aurantiorugosus is saprobic on dead, fallen, decayed trunk of Populus
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Pluteus chrysophaeus is saprobic on dead, very decayed wood of Populus
Other: unusual host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Pluteus salicinus is saprobic on dead, decayed wood of Populus
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Pluteus thomsonii is saprobic on dead, decayed, often part buried wood of Populus
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Pluteus umbrosus is saprobic on dead, decayed wood of Populus
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / feeds on
Polydrusus cervinus feeds on Populus

Foodplant / feeds on
Polydrusus pterygomalis feeds on Populus

Foodplant / feeds on
Polydrusus tereticollis feeds on Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Polyporus brumalis is saprobic on dead, still attached to fallen tree twig of Populus
Remarks: season: early winter-early spring
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Polyporus leptocephalus is saprobic on dead, decayed stump (large) of Populus
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / pathogen
Poplar Mosaic virus infects and damages patterned leaf of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Postia tephroleuca is saprobic on dead, fallen, decayed trunk (large) of Populus
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / open feeder
social larva of Pristiphora conjugata grazes on leaf of Populus
Other: sole host/prey

Foodplant / feeds on
larva of Protoemphytus perla feeds on leaf (underside) of Populus

Foodplant / sap sucker
nymph of Psallus confusus sucks sap of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Psathyrella populina is saprobic on dead, decayed wood of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
erumpent apothecium of Pyrenopeziza petiolaris is saprobic on petiole of Populus
Remarks: season: 5-10

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Resupinatus applicatus is saprobic on dead, decayed wood of Populus
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Rhodotus palmatus is saprobic on dead, fallen, decayed wood of Populus
Other: unusual host/prey

Foodplant / open feeder
nocturnal larva of Rhogogaster chlorosoma grazes on leaf of Populus

Foodplant / feeds on
Rhynchaenus populi feeds on Populus

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Rhynchites tomentosus feeds within bud (vegetative) of Populus

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Saperda carcharias feeds within dead trunk (near base) of young of Populus

Foodplant / gall
larva of Saperda populnea causes gall of live branch of Populus

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Saperda scalaris feeds within recently dead sapwood (outer) of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
sporodochium of Sarcopodium anamorph of Sarcopodium tortuosum is saprobic on dead wood of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Schizophyllum amplum is saprobic on dying branch of Populus
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Scolytus intricatus feeds within cambium of Populus

Foodplant / feeds on
mainly epiphyllous, few, pallid pycnidium of Septoria coelomycetous anamorph of Septoria populi feeds on leaf of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Skeletocutis vulgaris is saprobic on dead, fallen, decayed branch (large) of Populus
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / open feeder
caterpillar of Smerinthus ocellata grazes on live leaf of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Spadicoides dematiaceous anamorph of Spadicoides atra is saprobic on dead wood of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
larva of Sphegina is saprobic on under very wet bark of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Spongipellis spumeus is saprobic on wood of Populus
Other: unusual host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Sporidesmium dematiaceous anamorph of Sporidesmium pedunculatum is saprobic on rotting wood of Populus

Foodplant / open feeder
larva of Stauronematus compressicornis grazes on leaf of Populus
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Pseudospiropes dematiaceous anamorph of Strossmayeria atriseda is saprobic on dead bark of Populus

Foodplant / gall
hypophyllous ascoma of Taphrina aurea causes gall of live, blistered leaf of Populus

Foodplant / gall
Taphrina johansonii causes gall of swollen carpel of Populus

Foodplant / gall
Taphrina populina causes gall of live leaf of Populus

Foodplant / gall
fundatrigenia of Thecabius affinis causes gall of live, down-folded leaf of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Trametes gibbosa is saprobic on dead, decayed stump (large) of Populus
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / parasite
fruitbody of Trametes suaveolens parasitises live trunk of Populus
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
partly immersed pseudothecium of Trematosphaeria hydrela is saprobic on dead bark of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Tricharina ascophanoides is saprobic on rotten wood of Populus

Foodplant / open feeder
gregarious larva of Trichiocampus viminalis grazes on leaf of Populus
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Tricholoma populinum is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Populus
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Troposporella anamorph of Troposporella fumosa is saprobic on bark of Populus

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Trypophloeus asperatus feeds within cambium of Populus

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Trypophloeus granulatus feeds within cambium of Populus

Foodplant / parasite
Uncinula adunca parasitises live leaf of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
subgregarious to densely scattered, covered then erumpent, blackish grey with paler roundish flat disc stroma of Cytospora coelomycetous anamorph of Valsa ambiens is saprobic on branch of Populus
Remarks: season: 10-5

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed pseudothecium of Venturia populina is saprobic on dead, fallen shoot of Populus
Remarks: season: spring

Foodplant / gall
haustorium of Viscum album causes gall of branch of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Volvariella bombycina is saprobic on dead stump (large) of Populus
Other: unusual host/prey

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Xerocomus bubalinus is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Populus

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Xerocomus silwoodensis is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Populus
Other: sole host/prey

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Xiphydria prolongata feeds within wood of Populus

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Xylohypha dematiaceous anamorph of Xylohypha nigrescens is saprobic on wood of Populus

Foodplant / miner
larva of Zeugophora subspinosa mines leaf of sapling of Populus
Remarks: season: early 6-mid 7

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Associated Forest Cover

The two natural hybrids, P. x smithii and P. x  jackii, are associated with the parental species in the same  stand, and the parental species dominate in the stands. The  majority of hybrid poplars are planted in pure stands and all  competing vegetation is controlled the first few years after  planting. Poplars are very intolerant of shade and herbicides and  also when young cannot tolerate competition from grass, weeds,  and shrubs in their immediate area.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Maurice E. Demeritt

Source: Silvics of North America

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Known predators

Cornus, Corylus, Pryola, Aralia) is prey of:
fomes
canker
Insecta
Saperda
Dicera
Tamiasciurus hudsonicus
Evolomys
Bonasa umbellus
Lepus americanus
Clethrionomys
Spermophilus franklinii
Gastropoda
Homo sapiens
Leporidae

Based on studies in:
Canada: Manitoba (Forest)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • R. D. Bird, Biotic communities of the Aspen Parkland of central Canada, Ecology, 11:356-442, from p. 410 (1930).
  • R. D. Bird, Biotic communities of the Aspen Parkland of central Canada, Ecology, 11:356-442, from p. 406 (1930).
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© SPIRE project

Source: SPIRE

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Diseases and Parasites

Damaging Agents

In the Northeast, poplar hybrids are  susceptible to many diseases and insects. Disease organisms that  cause stem canker are hypoxylon canker (Hypoxylon mammatum)  that infects aspens and their hybrids in low stocked stands;  cytospera canker (Cytospera chrysosperma) that infects  poplar hybrids and is promoted by moisture stress; dothichiza  canker (Dothichiza populae) that causes decline in  Lombardy poplar; septoria leaf spot (Septoria musiva)  that causes severe stem infections in densely stocked stands; and  pecan feeder root necrosis (Fusarium solani) that may  develop in stems under 2 years old.

    Foliage diseases of varying severity are melampsora leaf rust (Melampsora  medusae), marssonina leaf spot (Marssonina brunnea), oak  leaf fungus (Septotinia podophyllina), shepherd's  crook shoot blight (Venturia populina) on Tacamahaca  poplars, V. macularis on Leuce and Aigeiros  poplars), and a leaf spot (Phyllosticta spp.).

    The most serious defoliator of poplar hybrids, especially young  trees, is the cottonwood leaf beetle (Crysomela scripta).  The forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria), the  poplar tentmaker (Ichthyura inclusa), the spiny elm  caterpillar or mourning cloak butterfly (Nymphalis antiopa),  and the large aspen tortrix (Choristoneura conflictanacan also cause complete defoliation. Leaf damage may also be  inflicted by a leaf beetle (Zeugophora scutellaris), the  aspen blotch miner (Phyllonorycter tremuloidiella), and  the aspen leafminer (Phyllocnistis populiella).

    One of the most destructive poplar pests is the cottonwood twig  borer (Gypsonoma haimbachiana). It kills buds and up to  25 cm (10 in) of shoot tips. Other borers that do damage are the  poplar-and-willow-borer (Cryptorhynchus lapathi), the  poplar borer (Saperda calcarata), the cottonwood borer  (Plectrodera scalator), the bronze poplar borer (Agrilus  liragus), and a flatheaded borer (A. horni).

    Infestations of the poplar gall midge (Prodiplosis morrisiand various aphids and plant lice may reduce the growth of  individual trees (9).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Maurice E. Demeritt

Source: Silvics of North America

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General Ecology

Fire Management Considerations

More info for the terms: fire frequency, fire suppression, frequency, fuel, prescribed fire, restoration

Potential for postfire establishment and spread: Abundant postfire sprouting is suspected following fire in white poplar stands (Johnson 2010 personal communication [54]). In areas supporting white poplar together with bigtooth aspen, quaking aspen, and/or European aspen, hybrid seedlings may also occur. For more information on white poplar hybridization, see the earlier discussions in the Seed production, Seed dispersal, and Seedling establishment sections.

Preventing postfire establishment and spread: Preventing invasive plants from establishing in weed-free burned areas is the most effective and least costly management method. This may be accomplished through early detection and eradication, careful monitoring and follow-up, and limiting dispersal of invasive plant seed into burned areas. General recommendations for preventing postfire establishment and spread of invasive plants include:

  • Incorporate cost of weed prevention and management into fire rehabilitation plans
  • Acquire restoration funding
  • Include weed prevention education in fire training
  • Minimize soil disturbance and vegetation removal during fire suppression and rehabilitation activities
  • Minimize the use of retardants that may alter soil nutrient availability, such as those containing nitrogen and phosphorus
  • Avoid areas dominated by high priority invasive plants when locating firelines, monitoring camps, staging areas, and helibases
  • Clean equipment and vehicles prior to entering burned areas
  • Regulate or prevent human and livestock entry into burned areas until desirable site vegetation has recovered sufficiently to resist invasion by undesirable vegetation
  • Monitor burned areas and areas of significant disturbance or traffic from management activity
  • Detect weeds early and eradicate before vegetative spread and/or seed dispersal
  • Eradicate small patches and contain or control large infestations within or adjacent to the burned area
  • Reestablish vegetation on bare ground as soon as possible
  • Avoid use of fertilizers in postfire rehabilitation and restoration
  • Use only certified weed-free seed mixes when revegetation is necessary
For more detailed information on these topics see the following publications: [3,8,37,113].

Use of prescribed fire as a control agent: Although detailed management guidelines for the use of fire to control white poplar and its hybrids are lacking, some weed control documents suggest that annual repeated fire may reduce sprout abundance and limit spread [16,97]. Solecki [97] reports that cutting may be necessary in dense white poplar stands to encourage enough herbaceous fine fuel growth to carry a fire. For "very large" clones, this process may require several years of cutting and burning-in from the stand edges before the clone center can be burned [97].

Altered fuel characteristics: Although dense white poplar and/or hybrid stands have the potential to alter fuel characteristics, fire behavior, and fire frequency in invaded habitats, altered FIRE REGIMES in invaded habitats had not been reported as of 2010. For more information, see Fuels and FIRE REGIMES.
  • 8. Brooks, Matthew L. 2008. Effects of fire suppression and postfire management activities on plant invasions. In: Zouhar, Kristin; Smith, Jane Kapler; Sutherland, Steve; Brooks, Matthew L., eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Fire and nonnative invasive plants. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 6. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 269-280. [70909]
  • 97. Solecki, Mary Kay. 1997. Controlling invasive plants. In: Packard, Stephen; Mutel, Cornelia F., eds. The tallgrass restoration handbook: For prairies, savannas, and woodlands. Washington, DC: Island Press: 251-278. [43127]
  • 16. Czarapata, Elizabeth J. 2005. Invasive plants of the Upper Midwest: An illustrated guide to their identification and control. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press. 215 p. [71442]
  • 3. Asher, Jerry; Dewey, Steven; Olivarez, Jim; Johnson, Curt. 1998. Minimizing weed spread following wildland fires. Proceedings, Western Society of Weed Science. 51: 49. Abstract. [40409]
  • 37. Goodwin, Kim; Sheley, Roger; Clark, Janet. 2002. Integrated noxious weed management after wildfires. EB-160. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University, Extension Service. 46 p. Available online: http://www.montana.edu/wwwpb/pubs/eb160.html [2003, October 1]. [45303]
  • 54. Johnson, Kristine. 2010. [Email to Corey Gucker]. April 7. Regarding Populus alba. Gatlinburg, TN: Great Smoky Mountains National Park. On file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; FEIS files. [79621]
  • 113. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 2001. Guide to noxious weed prevention practices. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 25 p. Available online: http://www.fs.fed.us/invasivespecies/documents/FS_WeedBMP_2001.pdf [2009, November 19]. [37889]

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Fuels and Fire Regimes

More info for the terms: fire frequency, fire regime, frequency, fuel, natural

Fuels: The information available on white poplar fuel characteristics describes both low flammability and increased woody fuel loads. Flammability of white poplar was reported as low in a Virginia Cooperative Extension publication [1]. White poplar was recommended for use in firebreaks in parts of Australia because of its firm bark, dense, compact crown, and low levels of volatile oils in foliage [95]. However, white poplar wood is weak and prone to breakage [13]. Twigs and limbs are dropped throughout the year [34]. Weak wood suggests that groundlayer woody fuel loads may be high in dense white poplar stands.

FIRE REGIMES: The prevailing fire regime in white poplar's native habitats was not described in the available literature (2010). FIRE REGIMES in white poplar's nonnative habitats are difficult to characterize. Widespread planting of white poplar in North America has made many vegetation types potential habitat for white poplar. While dense white poplar and white poplar hybrid stands could alter fire frequency or fire behavior in invaded habitats, their impact on natural FIRE REGIMES had not been studied as of 2010. See the Fire Regime Table for more information on the FIRE REGIMES in vegetation communities that may support white poplar or its hybrids.

  • 13. Carter, Jack L. 1997. Trees and shrubs of New Mexico. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books. 534 p. [72647]
  • 34. Glass, William. 1996. Populus alba--white poplar. In: Randall, John M.; Marinelli, Janet, eds. Invasive plants: Weeds of the global garden. Handbook #149. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Botanic Garden: 39. [72853]
  • 95. Simpfendorfer, K. J. 1989. Trees, farms and fires. Land and Forests Bulletin No. 30. Victoria, Australia: Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands. 55 p. [10649]
  • 1. Appleton, Bonnie Lee; Frenzel, Cindy L.; Hillegass, Julie B.; Lyons, Robert E.; Steward, Larry G. 2009. Virginia firescapes: Firewise landscaping for woodland homes. Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication 430-300. Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia Cooperative Extension; Virginia Firewise Landscaping Task Force. 9 p. Available online: http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/430/430-300/430-300.pdf [2009, October 6]. [76014]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: codominant, hardwood, presence, succession, tree

White poplar is commonly associated with disturbed sites in both its native and nonnative ranges. In North America, it occurs in open sites [16,19] and old fields [83], as well as on floodplains [41], which are white poplar's most common habitat in Europe ([63], Lazowski cited in [66]). In its nonnative range, white poplar's presence in any habitat is dependent on prior plantings. Occurrence of white poplar hybrids depends on the presence of European aspen, quaking aspen, or bigtooth aspen. For clarification, see the Seed production, Seed dispersal, and Seedling establishment sections.

Studies suggest that shading does not substantially affect white poplar establishment and survival. Ordination analysis of hardwood floodplain forests along the Upper Rhine River in France showed that white poplar was associated with some of the most shaded plots [94]. During field studies in southeastern Iowa, researchers found that low survival and growth of P. alba × P. grandidentata cuttings were not related to light intensity when cuttings received 33% or more of full sun [32].

In its native and nonnative habitats, white poplar is common in early- to midseral communities. Along the Eygues River in France, it is one of the earliest colonizers of gravel bars left by formerly active channels [63]. White poplar and P. alba × P. tremula occur in lowland floodplain forests in Austria's Danube Valley. White poplar and the hybrid are closely associated with disturbed floodplains (Lazowski cited in [66]). In Hickman County, Kentucky, white poplar thickets developed in the initial stages of secondary succession after 43 feet (13 m) of sand was deposited by flooding of the Mississippi River [41]. In Wisconsin, white poplar occurs in early-successional dune communities, although severe tree damage from windblown sand was noted [15]. In southeastern Michigan, white poplar and its hybrids with native aspens occurred in early-seral communities on disturbed sites [102]. In an old field at Howard University's Beltsville campus in Maryland, white poplar was codominant in a midseral community with red maple and sweetgum [83].
  • 41. Grubbs, Jeffrey T.; Fuller, Marian J. 1991. Vascular flora of Hickman County, Kentucky. Castanea. 56(3): 193-214. [75356]
  • 63. Kondolf, G. Mathias; Piegay, Herve; Landon, Norbert. 2007. Changes in the riparian zone of the lower Eygues River, France, since 1830. Landscape Ecology. 22(3): 367-384. [77722]
  • 66. Lexer, C.; Fay, M. F.; Joseph, J. A.; Nica, M.-S.; Heinze, B. 2005. Barrier to gene flow between two ecologically divergent Populus species, P. alba (white poplar) and P. tremula (European aspen): the role of ecology and life history in gene introgression. Molecular Ecology. 14(4): 1045-1057. [77755]
  • 83. Poston, Muriel E.; Middendorf, George A., III. 1988. Maturation characteristics of Rubus pennsylvanicus fruit: are black and red the same? Oecologia. 77(1): 69-72. [13541]
  • 94. Siebel, Henk N.; Bouwma, Irene M. 1998. The occurrence of herbs and woody juveniles in a hardwood floodplain forest in relation to flooding and light. Journal of Vegetation Science. 9(5): 623-630. [73525]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 16. Czarapata, Elizabeth J. 2005. Invasive plants of the Upper Midwest: An illustrated guide to their identification and control. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press. 215 p. [71442]
  • 19. Dirr, Michael A. 1998. Manual of woody landscape plants: Their identification, ornamental characteristics, culture, propagation and uses. 5th ed. Champaign, IL: Stipes Publishing. 1187 p. [74836]
  • 15. Curtis, John T. 1959. Beach, dune, and cliff communities. In: The vegetation of Wisconsin. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press: 402-411. [60532]
  • 32. Gatherum, G. E.; Gordon, J. C.; Broerman, B. F. S. 1967. Effects of clone and light intensity on photosynthesis, respiration and growth of aspen-poplar hybrids. Silvae Genetica. 16: 128-132. [79613]

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Pollination and breeding system

More info for the terms: genotype, imperfect, introgression, phenology, succession, tree

White poplar flowers are wind pollinated [18,116]. However, because male white poplar trees are rare, successful pollination of white poplar generally requires hybridization with European aspen, bigtooth aspen, or quaking aspen ([28,101], Schlenker 1953 cited in [29]). Hybridization and backcrossing between white poplar and native aspens could cause nonnative gene introgression into the native gene pool [102,103]. Studies in southeastern Michigan, however, did not find widespread backcrossing or gene flow between white poplar and bigtooth aspen [100].

Hybridization between white poplar and native and nonnative aspens may be affected by the phenology and location of parent populations. In southeastern Michigan, P. alba × P. grandidentata is much more common than P. alba × P. tremuloides, and nearly all hybrids occur to the east of white poplar clones. The easterly distribution of hybrids was expected because of prevailing western winds, but based on the distribution and abundance of parent species, researchers expected a 1:1 ratio of P. alba × P. grandidentata and P. alba × P. tremuloides hybrids. A single season of observations did not reveal a phenological barrier to hybridization between white poplar and quaking aspen. However, researchers noted that female receptivity is difficult to observe and suggested that the degree of phenological differences and overlap may have been missed in just one season of observations [101,102].

In its native habitats, P. alba × P. tremula backcrossed with white poplar more often than with European aspen. Along the Ticino River in northern Italy, P. alba × P. tremula backcrossed with white poplar but not with European aspen. Researchers suspected their findings were related to the distance to European aspen trees or other preferential backcrossing, although these factors were not investigated [31]. Similar findings were reported in the Danube Valley near Vienna, Austria. Most hybridization occurred between white poplar females and European aspen males, and most backcrossing occurred with white poplar. Because European aspen produced male flowers several weeks earlier than white poplar, European aspen may have fertilized white poplar before white poplar pollen was shed [66].

Seed production: Several floras report that white poplar fails to produce seed [13,18,25]. In North America, most planted white poplar were female [101]; however, in a survey of eastern herbia, 5 of 8 had male white poplar branches in their collection [102]. In North America, most seed production by white poplar occurs through hybridization with bigtooth aspen, quaking aspen, or European aspen ([101], Schlenker 1953 cited in [29]). In southeastern Michigan, all white poplar clones surveyed were female. White poplar hybrids, however, were male, female, or hermaphroditic with separate staminate and pistillate catkins (review by [101], Schlenker 1953 cited in [29]).

Although white poplars generally become sexually mature at 5 to 7 years old (Braatne and others 1996 cited in [75]), one genotype grown from seed collected along the Italian peninsula flowered at 1 year old. Subsequent clones regenerated from this genotype failed to flower in their first year without at least 6 months of root chilling treatments [75].

White poplar hybrids can produce an abundance of viable seed. When white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata clones were pollinated openly in a greenhouse, white poplar averaged 23.9 seeds/shoot, and P. alba × P. grandidentata averaged 415.9 seeds/shoot [102]. All P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. tremula, and P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. alba × P. tremula hybrids that were experimentally produced in Ottawa produced viable seed. Seed set was best from crosses between white poplar and bigtooth aspen [57].

Seed dispersal: White poplar and its hybrids produce light-weight, plumose, wind-dispersed seeds ([116], Graham and others 1963 cited in [102]). In the greenhouse, the average weight of seeds produced by 9 open-pollinated white poplar clones was 0.177 mg/seed, and the average weight of seeds produced by P. alba × P. grandidentata clones was 0.199 mg [102]. Although cottonwood (Populus spp.) seeds have been reported to disperse 19 miles (30 km) or more (van der Pijl 1972 cited in [101]), surveys in southeastern Michigan revealed that most (91%) white poplar hybrid seedlings occurred within 1 mile (1.6 km) of white poplar clones [101].

Seed banking: Although field experiments are lacking, white poplar and hybrid seeds are reportedly very short-lived (England Forestry Commission Booklet [26]). A review reports that seed bank longevity is low for Salicaceae [58].

Germination: The optimal conditions for germination of white poplar and hybrid seeds were not reported. A review reports that within Salicaceae, germination is rapid and often occurs within 24 hours of seed shed. Germination percentages are drastically reduced in dry conditions, but germination occurs in moist conditions, at warm temperatures (59-81 °F (15-27° C)), and in dark environments [58]. Soaking reduced the germination of white poplar seeds in the laboratory. Just 23.4% of dry seeds failed to germinate; up to 34.2% of soaked seeds failed to germinate. Nearly 65% of dry white poplar seeds germinated without abnormalities (poor substrate attachment and imperfect geotropism). After soaking 1 to 60 minutes, just 24% to 27% of germinated seedlings lacked abnormalities. Duration of soaking did not greatly affect germination [82]. The survival of abnormal seedlings was not reported, but it could be expected that survival of abnormal seedlings was less than that of normal seedlings.

Germination of white poplar hybrid seeds can be high. When white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata were openly pollinated in a greenhouse, germination of seeds collected from white poplar averaged 34.7%, and germination of seeds collected from P. alba × P. grandidentata averaged 81.8% [102]. All P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. tremula, and P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. alba × P. tremula hybrids that were experimentally produced in Ottawa produced viable seed. Germination was best (61%) for seed produced by crosses between white poplar and bigtooth aspen. Germination of seed produced by the other crosses ranged from 21% to 40% [57].

Seedling establishment and plant growth: In the field, seedling recruitment is generally limited to white poplar hybrids. Information on nonhybrid white poplar seedling establishment is generally limited to studies conducted on trial plantings or in plantations. Establishment of white poplar and hybrid seedlings is likely best on sites with exposed mineral soil that lack other established vegetation.

Although nonhybridized white poplar seedlings are considered unlikely, researchers reported that white poplar "seedlings have been observed to freely colonize neighboring ruderal sands" on western Fire Island in Suffolk County, New York. Bigtooth aspen and quaking aspen were also reported on the island [22], suggesting that seedling recruitment may have been the result of hybridization between white poplar and native aspens. White poplar hybrids can produce seedlings. Many hybrids and backcrosses were experimentally created between white poplar, bigtooth aspen, and quaking aspen. All hybrids produced seed, and seedling survival was at least 29% [57]. When 10-week-old, greenhouse-grown white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata seedlings were transplanted outdoors, about 70% of white poplar and 93% of hybrid seedlings survived to the end of the growing season [102].

Excessively dry conditions, harsh winters, and established vegetation may limit survival and growth of white poplar and hybrid seedlings. When white poplar seedlings from Xinjiang, China, were planted at the Northern Great Plains Field Station in Mandan, North Dakota, most failed to survive longer than 10 years. Only 1 seedling survived more than 10 years, and it did not survive 36 years. Dry conditions and winter injury were the most common causes of mortality [33].

In southeastern Michigan, open sites with exposed mineral soil were best for the establishment of white poplar hybrid seedlings. In the Walsh Lake study area in Washtenaw County, P. alba × P. grandidentata established during a 9-year period following agricultural abandonment. In Livingston County, P. alba × P. grandidentata and P. alba × P. tremuloides established at the edge of lakes, ponds, and swamps and on dry, disturbed sites. Both kinds of sites had experienced disturbances that exposed mineral soil. In both counties, hybrid seedling establishment decreased as old-field and floodplain succession progressed [101].

Plant growth: Rapid growth is characteristic of white poplar and its hybrids [70,102]. While hybrids may grow faster than parent species, differences in growth rate may vary by genotype, site, and/or clone age [55,56,86]. Discoveries of rapid tree growth and biomass production by white poplar hybrids in the Great Lakes contributed to increased recommendations for planting hybrids on plantations and in wildlands [40,43,43,72].

Rapid growth of white poplar and its hybrids has been recorded in their native and nonnative ranges. Along the Henares River floodplain in Madrid, Spain, white poplar clones almost doubled in size in 5 years. In 4-year-old plantations, white poplar averaged 2.8 inches (7.2 cm) in DBH and 16 feet (4.9 m) tall. In 9-year-old plantations, white poplar averaged 6.5 inches (16.5 cm) in DBH and 30 feet (9.2 m) tall [70]. In southeastern Michigan, P. alba × P. grandidentata clones that were 28 to 53 years old had annual height increases of 1.1 to 2.3 feet (0.3-0.7 m) and annual DBH increases of 0.2 to 0.4 inch (0.5-1 cm) [102].

In North America, white poplar hybrids are often larger than their parent species of the same age. However, this was not the case in Hungary, where white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata grown in a common area were nearly the same size at 3, 7, and 10 years old. Often the maximum DBH reported for white poplar clones exceeded that of hybrids [86]. In a common area in southeastern Canada, P. alba × P. grandidentata was larger than both parent species of the same age. At 5 years old, average stem height was 14 feet (4.3 m) for white poplar clones, 11.7 feet (3.6 m) for bigtooth aspen clones, and 17.6 feet (5.4 m) for P. alba × P. grandidentata clones [56]. The clonal growth capacity of white poplar hybrids and parent species are compared in the vegetative regeneration discussion above. In Quebec, P. alba × P. grandidentata and P. alba × P. tremuloides were typically larger than the parent species when trees were 13 to 19 years old. In young age classes (6-7 years old), hybrid size was much more variable than parent species' sizes, and the maximum height and DBH were generally largest for hybrid clones [55].

  • 13. Carter, Jack L. 1997. Trees and shrubs of New Mexico. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books. 534 p. [72647]
  • 18. Diggs, George M., Jr.; Lipscomb, Barney L.; O'Kennon, Robert J. 1999. Illustrated flora of north-central Texas. Sida Botanical Miscellany, No. 16. Fort Worth, TX: Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 1626 p. [35698]
  • 26. Edlin, Herbert L. 1968. Know your broadleaves. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 20. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 142 p. [20459]
  • 28. Farrar, John Laird. 1995. Trees of the northern United States and Canada. Ames, IA: Blackwell Publishing. 502 p. [60614]
  • 31. Fossati, T.; Patrignani, G.; Zapelli, I.; Sabatti, M.; Sala, F.; Castiglione, S. 2004. Development of molecular markers to assess the level of introgression of Populus tremula into P. alba natural populations. Plant Breeding. 123(4): 382-385. [77745]
  • 66. Lexer, C.; Fay, M. F.; Joseph, J. A.; Nica, M.-S.; Heinze, B. 2005. Barrier to gene flow between two ecologically divergent Populus species, P. alba (white poplar) and P. tremula (European aspen): the role of ecology and life history in gene introgression. Molecular Ecology. 14(4): 1045-1057. [77755]
  • 100. Spies, T. A.; Barnes, B. V. 1981. A morphological analysis of Populus alba, Populus grandidentata and their natural hybrids in southeastern Michigan. Silvae Genetica. 30(2-3): 102-106. [77765]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 103. Stapleton, C. A.; McCorquodale, D. B.; Sneddon, C.; Williams, M.; Bridgland, J. 1998. The distribution and potential for invasiveness of some non-native vascular plants in northern Cape Breton. Technical Report in Ecosystem Science No. 015. Ottawa: Parks Canada, Canadian Heritage, Atlantic Region. 68 p. [77812]
  • 22. Dowhan, Joseph J.; Rozsa, Ron. 1989. Flora of Fire Island, Suffolk County, New York. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 116(3): 265-282. [22041]
  • 25. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764]
  • 29. Fechner, Gilbert H.; Barrows, Jack S. 1976. Aspen stands as wildfire fuel breaks. Eisenhower Consortium Bulletin 4. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 26 p. In cooperation with: Eisenhower Consortium for Western Environmental Forestry Research. [7611]
  • 33. George, Ernest J. 1953. Tree and shrub species for the Northern Great Plains. Circular No. 912. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 46 p. [4566]
  • 40. Green, Alan W.; Green, LeeRoy. 1959. Fast-starting species best in some Iowa plantations. Station Note No. 133. Columbus, OH: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Central States Forest Experiment Station. 2 p. [79623]
  • 43. Hall, R. B.; Hilton, G. D.; Maynard, C. A. 1982. Construction lumber from hybrid aspen plantations in the Central States. Journal of Forestry. 80: 291-294. [79616]
  • 55. Johnson, L. P. V. 1942. Studies on the relation of growth rate to wood quality in Populus hybrids. Canadian Journal of Research. 20: 28-40. [79400]
  • 56. Johnson, L. P. V. 1946. A note on inheritance in F1 and F2 hybrids of Populus alba L. X P. grandidentata Michx. Canadian Journal of Research. 24: 313-317. [79401]
  • 57. Johnson, L. P. V.; Heimburger, C. 1946. Preliminary report on interspecific hybridization in forest trees. Canadian Journal of Research. 24: 308-312. [79398]
  • 58. Karrenberg, S.; Edwards, P. J.; Kollmann, J. 2002. The life history of Salicaceae living in the active zone of floodplains. Freshwater Biology. 47: 733-748. [79298]
  • 70. Manzanenra, Jose A.; Martinez-Chacon, Maria F. 2007. Ecophysiological competence of Populus alba L., Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl., and Crataegus monogyna Jacq. used in plantations for the recovery of riparian vegetation. Environmental Management. 40(6): 902-912. [77725]
  • 72. McComb, A. L.; Hansen, Norman J. 1954. A naturally occurring aspen popular hybrid. Journal of Forestry. 52: 528-529. [79622]
  • 75. Meilan, Richard; Sabatti, Maurizio; Ma, Caiping; Kuzminksy, Elena. 2004. An early-flowering genotype of Populus. Journal of Plant Biology. 47(1): 52-56. [77757]
  • 82. Polya, L. 1961. Injury by soaking of Populus alba seeds. Nature. 189(4759): 159-160. [77759]
  • 86. Redei, K. 2000. Early performance of promising white poplar (Populus alba) clones in sandy ridges between the rivers Danube and Tsiza in Hungary. Forestry. 73(4): 407-413. [77760]
  • 116. van Loo, Marcela; Joseph, Jeffrey A.; Heinze, Berthold; Fay, Mike F.; Lexer, Christian. 2008. Clonality and spatial genetic structure in Populus x canescens and its sympatric backcross parent P. alba in a Central European hybrid zone. New Phytologist. 177(2): 506-516. [77767]

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Germination

More info for the term: imperfect

The optimal conditions for germination of white poplar and hybrid seeds were not reported. A review reports that within Salicaceae, germination is rapid and often occurs within 24 hours of seed shed. Germination percentages are drastically reduced in dry conditions, but germination occurs in moist conditions, at warm temperatures (59-81 °F (15-27° C)), and in dark environments [58]. Soaking reduced the germination of white poplar seeds in the laboratory. Just 23.4% of dry seeds failed to germinate; up to 34.2% of soaked seeds failed to germinate. Nearly 65% of dry white poplar seeds germinated without abnormalities (poor substrate attachment and imperfect geotropism). After soaking 1 to 60 minutes, just 24% to 27% of germinated seedlings lacked abnormalities. Duration of soaking did not greatly affect germination [82]. The survival of abnormal seedlings was not reported, but it could be expected that survival of abnormal seedlings was less than that of normal seedlings.

Germination of white poplar hybrid seeds can be high. When white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata were openly pollinated in a greenhouse, germination of seeds collected from white poplar averaged 34.7%, and germination of seeds collected from P. alba × P. grandidentata averaged 81.8% [102]. All P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. tremula, and P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. alba × P. tremula hybrids that were experimentally produced in Ottawa produced viable seed. Germination was best (61%) for seed produced by crosses between white poplar and bigtooth aspen. Germination of seed produced by the other crosses ranged from 21% to 40% [57].

  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 57. Johnson, L. P. V.; Heimburger, C. 1946. Preliminary report on interspecific hybridization in forest trees. Canadian Journal of Research. 24: 308-312. [79398]
  • 58. Karrenberg, S.; Edwards, P. J.; Kollmann, J. 2002. The life history of Salicaceae living in the active zone of floodplains. Freshwater Biology. 47: 733-748. [79298]
  • 82. Polya, L. 1961. Injury by soaking of Populus alba seeds. Nature. 189(4759): 159-160. [77759]

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Seed production

More info for the term: genotype

Several floras report that white poplar fails to produce seed [13,18,25]. In North America, most planted white poplar were female [101]; however, in a survey of eastern herbia, 5 of 8 had male white poplar branches in their collection [102]. In North America, most seed production by white poplar occurs through hybridization with bigtooth aspen, quaking aspen, or European aspen ([101], Schlenker 1953 cited in [29]). In southeastern Michigan, all white poplar clones surveyed were female. White poplar hybrids, however, were male, female, or hermaphroditic with separate staminate and pistillate catkins (review by [101], Schlenker 1953 cited in [29]).

Although white poplars generally become sexually mature at 5 to 7 years old (Braatne and others 1996 cited in [75]), one genotype grown from seed collected along the Italian peninsula flowered at 1 year old. Subsequent clones regenerated from this genotype failed to flower in their first year without at least 6 months of root chilling treatments [75].

White poplar hybrids can produce an abundance of viable seed. When white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata clones were pollinated openly in a greenhouse, white poplar averaged 23.9 seeds/shoot, and P. alba × P. grandidentata averaged 415.9 seeds/shoot [102]. All P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. tremula, and P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. alba × P. tremula hybrids that were experimentally produced in Ottawa produced viable seed. Seed set was best from crosses between white poplar and bigtooth aspen [57].

  • 13. Carter, Jack L. 1997. Trees and shrubs of New Mexico. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books. 534 p. [72647]
  • 18. Diggs, George M., Jr.; Lipscomb, Barney L.; O'Kennon, Robert J. 1999. Illustrated flora of north-central Texas. Sida Botanical Miscellany, No. 16. Fort Worth, TX: Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 1626 p. [35698]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 25. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764]
  • 29. Fechner, Gilbert H.; Barrows, Jack S. 1976. Aspen stands as wildfire fuel breaks. Eisenhower Consortium Bulletin 4. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 26 p. In cooperation with: Eisenhower Consortium for Western Environmental Forestry Research. [7611]
  • 57. Johnson, L. P. V.; Heimburger, C. 1946. Preliminary report on interspecific hybridization in forest trees. Canadian Journal of Research. 24: 308-312. [79398]
  • 75. Meilan, Richard; Sabatti, Maurizio; Ma, Caiping; Kuzminksy, Elena. 2004. An early-flowering genotype of Populus. Journal of Plant Biology. 47(1): 52-56. [77757]

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Vegetative regeneration

More info for the terms: cover, introgression, layering, phenology, tree

Vegetative regeneration and reproduction are vital to white poplar growth, spread, persistence, and recovery from injury [91,105]. Clonal growth and spread most commonly occur by root sprouting [60,119,122] but may also occur through fragmentation and layering [94]. Fragmentation describes the process by which new clones can develop from twig or root pieces that become partially buried in sand or silt ([94], review by [17]). Observations in South Africa led researchers to conclude that white poplar and P. alba × P. tremula were dispersed through the movement of vegetative parts in water [46].

White poplar root sprouts have been described as prolific [102], "vigorous" [73], and "objectionable" [68]. Dense colonies or thickets from root sprouts [60,119,122] can cover large areas [105]. When white poplar seedlings were grown and evaluated as shelterbelt trees in the northern Great Plains, root suckers were frequently reported long distances from the parent tree [33]. According to a review by Spies [102], vegetative sprouts can occur up to 160 feet (50 m) from the parent. In southeastern Michigan, the average size of individual P. alba × P. grandidentata or P. alba × P. tremuloides clones was 0.02 to 0.5 acre (0.01-0.2 ha). The average number of stems per clone ranged from 1 to 404. Populus alba × P. grandidentata sprouted more "vigorously" than bigtooth aspen or quaking aspen [102]. Surveys of white poplar stands on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia showed that most sites supported single-sex ramets from a single parent that in some cases, formed linear riparian stands extending several kilometers. Four monoclonal stands ranged from 38.6 mile² (100 km²) to over 1,500 mile² (4,000 km²). Fertile seed occurred in just 1 of 80 sampling sites, and no seedlings were observed at any site [10]. In lowland floodplain forests along the Danube in Austria and Slovakia, P. alba × P. tremula and white poplar clones extended over distances of 610 feet (186 m) and 430 feet (132 m), respectively. Researchers indicated that these were likely conservative clone size estimates, since trees were not exhaustively sampled [116].

Vegetative regeneration from root sprouts is important to white poplar persistence and recovery from injury. White poplar produces shoots from surviving roots long after the original parent tree has died [47,102,105]. In 1888, white poplar cuttings were planted at the Grayling Agricultural Experiment Station in Crawford County, Michigan. During visits to this planting site between 1998 and 2000, root sprouts from the original plantings were still present [62]. In Iowa, 2 studies from the 1950s reported that P. alba × P. grandidentata clones persisted and spread vegetatively from 2 or more seedlings that established in the early 1900s [67,72]. Sprouting is rapid and prolific following the death of white poplar trees or stems [73,84,105]. This regenerative potential, however, may decrease with tree age, according to a review of the Populus genus by Dickmann [17]. These studies and findings suggest that although white poplar is short-lived, once planted this species can permanently occupy its original planting site or a much larger area.

Studies indicate that white poplar may disperse and establish new populations from vegetative fragments [17,46], but most studies testing the regenerative capacity of white poplar involve experiments with somewhat artificial conditions. In a controlled study involving plant material from southeastern Canada, the vegetative regeneration potential of white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata appeared to be much greater than that of bigtooth aspen. About 90% of white poplar cuttings rooted and 65% to 98% of hybrid cuttings rooted, but only about 5% of bigtooth aspen cuttings rooted [56]. From P. alba × P. grandidentata plant material collected in southeastern Iowa, researchers found that root segments greater than 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) in diameter and 2 inches (5 cm) long often produced more than 1 sprout/root segment. When root segments were planted in unseasonably warm, dry weather, very few sprouted. However, some of the root segments sprouted the following growing season [42].

Pollination and breeding system: White poplar flowers are wind pollinated [18,116]. However, because male white poplar trees are rare, successful pollination of white poplar generally requires hybridization with European aspen, bigtooth aspen, or quaking aspen ([28,101], Schlenker 1953 cited in [29]). Hybridization and backcrossing between white poplar and native aspens could cause nonnative gene introgression into the native gene pool [102,103]. Studies in southeastern Michigan, however, did not find widespread backcrossing or gene flow between white poplar and bigtooth aspen [100].

Hybridization between white poplar and native and nonnative aspens may be affected by the phenology and location of parent populations. In southeastern Michigan, P. alba × P. grandidentata is much more common than P. alba × P. tremuloides, and nearly all hybrids occur to the east of white poplar clones. The easterly distribution of hybrids was expected because of prevailing western winds, but based on the distribution and abundance of parent species, researchers expected a 1:1 ratio of P. alba × P. grandidentata and P. alba × P. tremuloides hybrids. A single season of observations did not reveal a phenological barrier to hybridization between white poplar and quaking aspen. However, researchers noted that female receptivity is difficult to observe and suggested that the degree of phenological differences and overlap may have been missed in just one season of observations [101,102].

In its native habitats, P. alba × P. tremula backcrossed with white poplar more often than with European aspen. Along the Ticino River in northern Italy, P. alba × P. tremula backcrossed with white poplar but not with European aspen. Researchers suspected their findings were related to the distance to European aspen trees or other preferential backcrossing, although these factors were not investigated [31]. Similar findings were reported in the Danube Valley near Vienna, Austria. Most hybridization occurred between white poplar females and European aspen males, and most backcrossing occurred with white poplar. Because European aspen produced male flowers several weeks earlier than white poplar, European aspen may have fertilized white poplar before white poplar pollen was shed [66].

  • 47. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 84. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 18. Diggs, George M., Jr.; Lipscomb, Barney L.; O'Kennon, Robert J. 1999. Illustrated flora of north-central Texas. Sida Botanical Miscellany, No. 16. Fort Worth, TX: Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 1626 p. [35698]
  • 28. Farrar, John Laird. 1995. Trees of the northern United States and Canada. Ames, IA: Blackwell Publishing. 502 p. [60614]
  • 31. Fossati, T.; Patrignani, G.; Zapelli, I.; Sabatti, M.; Sala, F.; Castiglione, S. 2004. Development of molecular markers to assess the level of introgression of Populus tremula into P. alba natural populations. Plant Breeding. 123(4): 382-385. [77745]
  • 66. Lexer, C.; Fay, M. F.; Joseph, J. A.; Nica, M.-S.; Heinze, B. 2005. Barrier to gene flow between two ecologically divergent Populus species, P. alba (white poplar) and P. tremula (European aspen): the role of ecology and life history in gene introgression. Molecular Ecology. 14(4): 1045-1057. [77755]
  • 68. Little, Elbert L. 1961. Sixty trees from foreign lands. Agricultural Handbook No. 212. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 30 p. [53217]
  • 91. Scoggan, H. J. 1978. The flora of Canada. Part 3: Dicotyledoneae (Saururaceae to Violaceae). National Museum of Natural Sciences: Publications in Botany, No. 7(3). Ottawa: National Museums of Canada. 1115 p. [75493]
  • 94. Siebel, Henk N.; Bouwma, Irene M. 1998. The occurrence of herbs and woody juveniles in a hardwood floodplain forest in relation to flooding and light. Journal of Vegetation Science. 9(5): 623-630. [73525]
  • 100. Spies, T. A.; Barnes, B. V. 1981. A morphological analysis of Populus alba, Populus grandidentata and their natural hybrids in southeastern Michigan. Silvae Genetica. 30(2-3): 102-106. [77765]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 103. Stapleton, C. A.; McCorquodale, D. B.; Sneddon, C.; Williams, M.; Bridgland, J. 1998. The distribution and potential for invasiveness of some non-native vascular plants in northern Cape Breton. Technical Report in Ecosystem Science No. 015. Ottawa: Parks Canada, Canadian Heritage, Atlantic Region. 68 p. [77812]
  • 105. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the north Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
  • 119. Voss, Edward G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae--Cornaceae). Bulletin 59. Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Herbarium. 724 p. [11472]
  • 122. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 17. Dickmann, Donald I. 2001. An overview of the genus Populus. In: Dickman, Donald I.; Isebrands, J. G.; Eckenwalder, James E.; Richardson, Jim, eds. Poplar culture in North America. Ottawa, ON: National Research Council of Canada, Research Press: 1-42. [79277]
  • 42. Hall, R. B.; Colletti, J. P.; Schultz, R. C.; Faltonson, R. R.; Kolison, S. H., Jr.; Hanna, R. D.; Hillson, T. D.; Morrison, J. W. 1990. Commercial-scale vegetative propagation of aspens. In: Adams, Roy D., ed. Aspen symposium '89: Proceedings; 1989 July 25-27; Duluth, MN. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-140. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 211-219. [12432]
  • 10. Brundu, Giuseppe; Lupi, Renato; Zapelli, Ilaria; Fossati, Tiziana; Patrignani, Giuseppe; Camarda, Ignazio; Sala, Francesco; Castiglione, Stefano. 2008. The origin of clonal diversity and structure of Populus alba in Sardinia: evidence from nuclear and plastid microsatellite markers. Annals of Botany. 102(6): 997-1006. [77736]
  • 29. Fechner, Gilbert H.; Barrows, Jack S. 1976. Aspen stands as wildfire fuel breaks. Eisenhower Consortium Bulletin 4. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 26 p. In cooperation with: Eisenhower Consortium for Western Environmental Forestry Research. [7611]
  • 33. George, Ernest J. 1953. Tree and shrub species for the Northern Great Plains. Circular No. 912. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 46 p. [4566]
  • 46. Henderson, L. 2007. Invasive, naturalized and casual alien plants in southern Africa: a summary based on the Southern African Plant Invaders Atlas (SAPIA). Bothalia. 37(2): 215-248. [77748]
  • 56. Johnson, L. P. V. 1946. A note on inheritance in F1 and F2 hybrids of Populus alba L. X P. grandidentata Michx. Canadian Journal of Research. 24: 313-317. [79401]
  • 62. Kilgore, Jason S.; Telewski, Frank W. 2004. Reforesting the jack pine barrens: a long-term common garden experiment. Forest Ecology and Management. 189(1-3): 171-187. [47461]
  • 67. Little, Elbert L., Jr.; Brinkman, Kenneth A.; McComb, A. L. 1957. Two natural Iowa hybrid poplars. Forestry Science. 3(3): 253-262. [79394]
  • 72. McComb, A. L.; Hansen, Norman J. 1954. A naturally occurring aspen popular hybrid. Journal of Forestry. 52: 528-529. [79622]
  • 116. van Loo, Marcela; Joseph, Jeffrey A.; Heinze, Berthold; Fay, Mike F.; Lexer, Christian. 2008. Clonality and spatial genetic structure in Populus x canescens and its sympatric backcross parent P. alba in a Central European hybrid zone. New Phytologist. 177(2): 506-516. [77767]
  • 60. Kartesz, John Thomas. 1988. A flora of Nevada. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 1729 p. [In 2 volumes]. Dissertation. [42426]
  • 73. Mehrhoff, L. J.; Silander, J. A., Jr.; Leicht, S. A.; Mosher, E. S.; Tabak, N. M. 2003. IPANE: Invasive Plant Atlas of New England, [Online]. Storrs, CT: University of Connecticut, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Producer). Available: http://nbii-nin.ciesin.columbia.edu/ipane/ [2008, May 28]. [70356]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the term: breeding system

White poplar predominantly regenerates vegetatively. Because only female trees are generally present at a given location [24], sexual reproduction is usually limited to white poplar hybrids [101].
  • 24. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1987. The Smithsonian guide to seaside plants of the Gulf and Atlantic coasts from Louisiana to Massachusetts, exclusive of lower peninsular Florida. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. 409 p. [12906]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: geophyte, phanerophyte

Raunkiaer [85] life form:
Phanerophyte
Geophyte
  • 85. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843]

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Life Form

More info for the term: tree

Tree

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Fire Management Considerations

More info for the terms: fire frequency, fire suppression, frequency, fuel, prescribed fire, restoration

Potential for postfire establishment and spread: Abundant postfire sprouting is suspected following fire in white poplar stands (Johnson 2010 personal communication [54]). In areas supporting white poplar together with bigtooth aspen, quaking aspen, and/or European aspen, hybrid seedlings may also occur. For more information on white poplar hybridization, see the earlier discussions in the Seed production, Seed dispersal, and Seedling establishment sections.

Preventing postfire establishment and spread: Preventing invasive plants from establishing in weed-free burned areas is the most effective and least costly management method. This may be accomplished through early detection and eradication, careful monitoring and follow-up, and limiting dispersal of invasive plant seed into burned areas. General recommendations for preventing postfire establishment and spread of invasive plants include:

  • Incorporate cost of weed prevention and management into fire rehabilitation plans
  • Acquire restoration funding
  • Include weed prevention education in fire training
  • Minimize soil disturbance and vegetation removal during fire suppression and rehabilitation activities
  • Minimize the use of retardants that may alter soil nutrient availability, such as those containing nitrogen and phosphorus
  • Avoid areas dominated by high priority invasive plants when locating firelines, monitoring camps, staging areas, and helibases
  • Clean equipment and vehicles prior to entering burned areas
  • Regulate or prevent human and livestock entry into burned areas until desirable site vegetation has recovered sufficiently to resist invasion by undesirable vegetation
  • Monitor burned areas and areas of significant disturbance or traffic from management activity
  • Detect weeds early and eradicate before vegetative spread and/or seed dispersal
  • Eradicate small patches and contain or control large infestations within or adjacent to the burned area
  • Reestablish vegetation on bare ground as soon as possible
  • Avoid use of fertilizers in postfire rehabilitation and restoration
  • Use only certified weed-free seed mixes when revegetation is necessary
For more detailed information on these topics see the following publications: [3,8,37,113].

Use of prescribed fire as a control agent: Although detailed management guidelines for the use of fire to control white poplar and its hybrids are lacking, some weed control documents suggest that annual repeated fire may reduce sprout abundance and limit spread [16,97]. Solecki [97] reports that cutting may be necessary in dense white poplar stands to encourage enough herbaceous fine fuel growth to carry a fire. For "very large" clones, this process may require several years of cutting and burning-in from the stand edges before the clone center can be burned [97].

Altered fuel characteristics: Although dense white poplar and/or hybrid stands have the potential to alter fuel characteristics, fire behavior, and fire frequency in invaded habitats, altered FIRE REGIMES in invaded habitats had not been reported as of 2010. For more information, see Fuels and FIRE REGIMES.
  • 8. Brooks, Matthew L. 2008. Effects of fire suppression and postfire management activities on plant invasions. In: Zouhar, Kristin; Smith, Jane Kapler; Sutherland, Steve; Brooks, Matthew L., eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Fire and nonnative invasive plants. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 6. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 269-280. [70909]
  • 97. Solecki, Mary Kay. 1997. Controlling invasive plants. In: Packard, Stephen; Mutel, Cornelia F., eds. The tallgrass restoration handbook: For prairies, savannas, and woodlands. Washington, DC: Island Press: 251-278. [43127]
  • 16. Czarapata, Elizabeth J. 2005. Invasive plants of the Upper Midwest: An illustrated guide to their identification and control. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press. 215 p. [71442]
  • 3. Asher, Jerry; Dewey, Steven; Olivarez, Jim; Johnson, Curt. 1998. Minimizing weed spread following wildland fires. Proceedings, Western Society of Weed Science. 51: 49. Abstract. [40409]
  • 37. Goodwin, Kim; Sheley, Roger; Clark, Janet. 2002. Integrated noxious weed management after wildfires. EB-160. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University, Extension Service. 46 p. Available online: http://www.montana.edu/wwwpb/pubs/eb160.html [2003, October 1]. [45303]
  • 54. Johnson, Kristine. 2010. [Email to Corey Gucker]. April 7. Regarding Populus alba. Gatlinburg, TN: Great Smoky Mountains National Park. On file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; FEIS files. [79621]
  • 113. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 2001. Guide to noxious weed prevention practices. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 25 p. Available online: http://www.fs.fed.us/invasivespecies/documents/FS_WeedBMP_2001.pdf [2009, November 19]. [37889]

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Fuels and Fire Regimes

More info for the terms: fire frequency, fire regime, frequency, fuel, natural

Fuels: The information available on white poplar fuel characteristics describes both low flammability and increased woody fuel loads. Flammability of white poplar was reported as low in a Virginia Cooperative Extension publication [1]. White poplar was recommended for use in firebreaks in parts of Australia because of its firm bark, dense, compact crown, and low levels of volatile oils in foliage [95]. However, white poplar wood is weak and prone to breakage [13]. Twigs and limbs are dropped throughout the year [34]. Weak wood suggests that groundlayer woody fuel loads may be high in dense white poplar stands.

FIRE REGIMES: The prevailing fire regime in white poplar's native habitats was not described in the available literature (2010). FIRE REGIMES in white poplar's nonnative habitats are difficult to characterize. Widespread planting of white poplar in North America has made many vegetation types potential habitat for white poplar. While dense white poplar and white poplar hybrid stands could alter fire frequency or fire behavior in invaded habitats, their impact on natural FIRE REGIMES had not been studied as of 2010. See the Fire Regime Table for more information on the FIRE REGIMES in vegetation communities that may support white poplar or its hybrids.

  • 13. Carter, Jack L. 1997. Trees and shrubs of New Mexico. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books. 534 p. [72647]
  • 34. Glass, William. 1996. Populus alba--white poplar. In: Randall, John M.; Marinelli, Janet, eds. Invasive plants: Weeds of the global garden. Handbook #149. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Botanic Garden: 39. [72853]
  • 95. Simpfendorfer, K. J. 1989. Trees, farms and fires. Land and Forests Bulletin No. 30. Victoria, Australia: Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands. 55 p. [10649]
  • 1. Appleton, Bonnie Lee; Frenzel, Cindy L.; Hillegass, Julie B.; Lyons, Robert E.; Steward, Larry G. 2009. Virginia firescapes: Firewise landscaping for woodland homes. Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication 430-300. Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia Cooperative Extension; Virginia Firewise Landscaping Task Force. 9 p. Available online: http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/430/430-300/430-300.pdf [2009, October 6]. [76014]

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Successional Status

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More info for the terms: codominant, hardwood, presence, succession, tree

White poplar is commonly associated with disturbed sites in both its native and nonnative ranges. In North America, it occurs in open sites [16,19] and old fields [83], as well as on floodplains [41], which are white poplar's most common habitat in Europe ([63], Lazowski cited in [66]). In its nonnative range, white poplar's presence in any habitat is dependent on prior plantings. Occurrence of white poplar hybrids depends on the presence of European aspen, quaking aspen, or bigtooth aspen. For clarification, see the Seed production, Seed dispersal, and Seedling establishment sections.

Studies suggest that shading does not substantially affect white poplar establishment and survival. Ordination analysis of hardwood floodplain forests along the Upper Rhine River in France showed that white poplar was associated with some of the most shaded plots [94]. During field studies in southeastern Iowa, researchers found that low survival and growth of P. alba × P. grandidentata cuttings were not related to light intensity when cuttings received 33% or more of full sun [32].

In its native and nonnative habitats, white poplar is common in early- to midseral communities. Along the Eygues River in France, it is one of the earliest colonizers of gravel bars left by formerly active channels [63]. White poplar and P. alba × P. tremula occur in lowland floodplain forests in Austria's Danube Valley. White poplar and the hybrid are closely associated with disturbed floodplains (Lazowski cited in [66]). In Hickman County, Kentucky, white poplar thickets developed in the initial stages of secondary succession after 43 feet (13 m) of sand was deposited by flooding of the Mississippi River [41]. In Wisconsin, white poplar occurs in early-successional dune communities, although severe tree damage from windblown sand was noted [15]. In southeastern Michigan, white poplar and its hybrids with native aspens occurred in early-seral communities on disturbed sites [102]. In an old field at Howard University's Beltsville campus in Maryland, white poplar was codominant in a midseral community with red maple and sweetgum [83].
  • 41. Grubbs, Jeffrey T.; Fuller, Marian J. 1991. Vascular flora of Hickman County, Kentucky. Castanea. 56(3): 193-214. [75356]
  • 63. Kondolf, G. Mathias; Piegay, Herve; Landon, Norbert. 2007. Changes in the riparian zone of the lower Eygues River, France, since 1830. Landscape Ecology. 22(3): 367-384. [77722]
  • 66. Lexer, C.; Fay, M. F.; Joseph, J. A.; Nica, M.-S.; Heinze, B. 2005. Barrier to gene flow between two ecologically divergent Populus species, P. alba (white poplar) and P. tremula (European aspen): the role of ecology and life history in gene introgression. Molecular Ecology. 14(4): 1045-1057. [77755]
  • 83. Poston, Muriel E.; Middendorf, George A., III. 1988. Maturation characteristics of Rubus pennsylvanicus fruit: are black and red the same? Oecologia. 77(1): 69-72. [13541]
  • 94. Siebel, Henk N.; Bouwma, Irene M. 1998. The occurrence of herbs and woody juveniles in a hardwood floodplain forest in relation to flooding and light. Journal of Vegetation Science. 9(5): 623-630. [73525]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 16. Czarapata, Elizabeth J. 2005. Invasive plants of the Upper Midwest: An illustrated guide to their identification and control. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press. 215 p. [71442]
  • 19. Dirr, Michael A. 1998. Manual of woody landscape plants: Their identification, ornamental characteristics, culture, propagation and uses. 5th ed. Champaign, IL: Stipes Publishing. 1187 p. [74836]
  • 15. Curtis, John T. 1959. Beach, dune, and cliff communities. In: The vegetation of Wisconsin. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press: 402-411. [60532]
  • 32. Gatherum, G. E.; Gordon, J. C.; Broerman, B. F. S. 1967. Effects of clone and light intensity on photosynthesis, respiration and growth of aspen-poplar hybrids. Silvae Genetica. 16: 128-132. [79613]

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Pollination and breeding system

More info for the terms: genotype, imperfect, introgression, phenology, succession, tree

White poplar flowers are wind pollinated [18,116]. However, because male white poplar trees are rare, successful pollination of white poplar generally requires hybridization with European aspen, bigtooth aspen, or quaking aspen ([28,101], Schlenker 1953 cited in [29]). Hybridization and backcrossing between white poplar and native aspens could cause nonnative gene introgression into the native gene pool [102,103]. Studies in southeastern Michigan, however, did not find widespread backcrossing or gene flow between white poplar and bigtooth aspen [100].

Hybridization between white poplar and native and nonnative aspens may be affected by the phenology and location of parent populations. In southeastern Michigan, P. alba × P. grandidentata is much more common than P. alba × P. tremuloides, and nearly all hybrids occur to the east of white poplar clones. The easterly distribution of hybrids was expected because of prevailing western winds, but based on the distribution and abundance of parent species, researchers expected a 1:1 ratio of P. alba × P. grandidentata and P. alba × P. tremuloides hybrids. A single season of observations did not reveal a phenological barrier to hybridization between white poplar and quaking aspen. However, researchers noted that female receptivity is difficult to observe and suggested that the degree of phenological differences and overlap may have been missed in just one season of observations [101,102].

In its native habitats, P. alba × P. tremula backcrossed with white poplar more often than with European aspen. Along the Ticino River in northern Italy, P. alba × P. tremula backcrossed with white poplar but not with European aspen. Researchers suspected their findings were related to the distance to European aspen trees or other preferential backcrossing, although these factors were not investigated [31]. Similar findings were reported in the Danube Valley near Vienna, Austria. Most hybridization occurred between white poplar females and European aspen males, and most backcrossing occurred with white poplar. Because European aspen produced male flowers several weeks earlier than white poplar, European aspen may have fertilized white poplar before white poplar pollen was shed [66].

Seed production: Several floras report that white poplar fails to produce seed [13,18,25]. In North America, most planted white poplar were female [101]; however, in a survey of eastern herbia, 5 of 8 had male white poplar branches in their collection [102]. In North America, most seed production by white poplar occurs through hybridization with bigtooth aspen, quaking aspen, or European aspen ([101], Schlenker 1953 cited in [29]). In southeastern Michigan, all white poplar clones surveyed were female. White poplar hybrids, however, were male, female, or hermaphroditic with separate staminate and pistillate catkins (review by [101], Schlenker 1953 cited in [29]).

Although white poplars generally become sexually mature at 5 to 7 years old (Braatne and others 1996 cited in [75]), one genotype grown from seed collected along the Italian peninsula flowered at 1 year old. Subsequent clones regenerated from this genotype failed to flower in their first year without at least 6 months of root chilling treatments [75].

White poplar hybrids can produce an abundance of viable seed. When white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata clones were pollinated openly in a greenhouse, white poplar averaged 23.9 seeds/shoot, and P. alba × P. grandidentata averaged 415.9 seeds/shoot [102]. All P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. tremula, and P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. alba × P. tremula hybrids that were experimentally produced in Ottawa produced viable seed. Seed set was best from crosses between white poplar and bigtooth aspen [57].

Seed dispersal: White poplar and its hybrids produce light-weight, plumose, wind-dispersed seeds ([116], Graham and others 1963 cited in [102]). In the greenhouse, the average weight of seeds produced by 9 open-pollinated white poplar clones was 0.177 mg/seed, and the average weight of seeds produced by P. alba × P. grandidentata clones was 0.199 mg [102]. Although cottonwood (Populus spp.) seeds have been reported to disperse 19 miles (30 km) or more (van der Pijl 1972 cited in [101]), surveys in southeastern Michigan revealed that most (91%) white poplar hybrid seedlings occurred within 1 mile (1.6 km) of white poplar clones [101].

Seed banking: Although field experiments are lacking, white poplar and hybrid seeds are reportedly very short-lived (England Forestry Commission Booklet [26]). A review reports that seed bank longevity is low for Salicaceae [58].

Germination: The optimal conditions for germination of white poplar and hybrid seeds were not reported. A review reports that within Salicaceae, germination is rapid and often occurs within 24 hours of seed shed. Germination percentages are drastically reduced in dry conditions, but germination occurs in moist conditions, at warm temperatures (59-81 °F (15-27° C)), and in dark environments [58]. Soaking reduced the germination of white poplar seeds in the laboratory. Just 23.4% of dry seeds failed to germinate; up to 34.2% of soaked seeds failed to germinate. Nearly 65% of dry white poplar seeds germinated without abnormalities (poor substrate attachment and imperfect geotropism). After soaking 1 to 60 minutes, just 24% to 27% of germinated seedlings lacked abnormalities. Duration of soaking did not greatly affect germination [82]. The survival of abnormal seedlings was not reported, but it could be expected that survival of abnormal seedlings was less than that of normal seedlings.

Germination of white poplar hybrid seeds can be high. When white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata were openly pollinated in a greenhouse, germination of seeds collected from white poplar averaged 34.7%, and germination of seeds collected from P. alba × P. grandidentata averaged 81.8% [102]. All P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. tremula, and P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. alba × P. tremula hybrids that were experimentally produced in Ottawa produced viable seed. Germination was best (61%) for seed produced by crosses between white poplar and bigtooth aspen. Germination of seed produced by the other crosses ranged from 21% to 40% [57].

Seedling establishment and plant growth: In the field, seedling recruitment is generally limited to white poplar hybrids. Information on nonhybrid white poplar seedling establishment is generally limited to studies conducted on trial plantings or in plantations. Establishment of white poplar and hybrid seedlings is likely best on sites with exposed mineral soil that lack other established vegetation.

Although nonhybridized white poplar seedlings are considered unlikely, researchers reported that white poplar "seedlings have been observed to freely colonize neighboring ruderal sands" on western Fire Island in Suffolk County, New York. Bigtooth aspen and quaking aspen were also reported on the island [22], suggesting that seedling recruitment may have been the result of hybridization between white poplar and native aspens. White poplar hybrids can produce seedlings. Many hybrids and backcrosses were experimentally created between white poplar, bigtooth aspen, and quaking aspen. All hybrids produced seed, and seedling survival was at least 29% [57]. When 10-week-old, greenhouse-grown white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata seedlings were transplanted outdoors, about 70% of white poplar and 93% of hybrid seedlings survived to the end of the growing season [102].

Excessively dry conditions, harsh winters, and established vegetation may limit survival and growth of white poplar and hybrid seedlings. When white poplar seedlings from Xinjiang, China, were planted at the Northern Great Plains Field Station in Mandan, North Dakota, most failed to survive longer than 10 years. Only 1 seedling survived more than 10 years, and it did not survive 36 years. Dry conditions and winter injury were the most common causes of mortality [33].

In southeastern Michigan, open sites with exposed mineral soil were best for the establishment of white poplar hybrid seedlings. In the Walsh Lake study area in Washtenaw County, P. alba × P. grandidentata established during a 9-year period following agricultural abandonment. In Livingston County, P. alba × P. grandidentata and P. alba × P. tremuloides established at the edge of lakes, ponds, and swamps and on dry, disturbed sites. Both kinds of sites had experienced disturbances that exposed mineral soil. In both counties, hybrid seedling establishment decreased as old-field and floodplain succession progressed [101].

Plant growth: Rapid growth is characteristic of white poplar and its hybrids [70,102]. While hybrids may grow faster than parent species, differences in growth rate may vary by genotype, site, and/or clone age [55,56,86]. Discoveries of rapid tree growth and biomass production by white poplar hybrids in the Great Lakes contributed to increased recommendations for planting hybrids on plantations and in wildlands [40,43,43,72].

Rapid growth of white poplar and its hybrids has been recorded in their native and nonnative ranges. Along the Henares River floodplain in Madrid, Spain, white poplar clones almost doubled in size in 5 years. In 4-year-old plantations, white poplar averaged 2.8 inches (7.2 cm) in DBH and 16 feet (4.9 m) tall. In 9-year-old plantations, white poplar averaged 6.5 inches (16.5 cm) in DBH and 30 feet (9.2 m) tall [70]. In southeastern Michigan, P. alba × P. grandidentata clones that were 28 to 53 years old had annual height increases of 1.1 to 2.3 feet (0.3-0.7 m) and annual DBH increases of 0.2 to 0.4 inch (0.5-1 cm) [102].

In North America, white poplar hybrids are often larger than their parent species of the same age. However, this was not the case in Hungary, where white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata grown in a common area were nearly the same size at 3, 7, and 10 years old. Often the maximum DBH reported for white poplar clones exceeded that of hybrids [86]. In a common area in southeastern Canada, P. alba × P. grandidentata was larger than both parent species of the same age. At 5 years old, average stem height was 14 feet (4.3 m) for white poplar clones, 11.7 feet (3.6 m) for bigtooth aspen clones, and 17.6 feet (5.4 m) for P. alba × P. grandidentata clones [56]. The clonal growth capacity of white poplar hybrids and parent species are compared in the vegetative regeneration discussion above. In Quebec, P. alba × P. grandidentata and P. alba × P. tremuloides were typically larger than the parent species when trees were 13 to 19 years old. In young age classes (6-7 years old), hybrid size was much more variable than parent species' sizes, and the maximum height and DBH were generally largest for hybrid clones [55].

  • 13. Carter, Jack L. 1997. Trees and shrubs of New Mexico. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books. 534 p. [72647]
  • 18. Diggs, George M., Jr.; Lipscomb, Barney L.; O'Kennon, Robert J. 1999. Illustrated flora of north-central Texas. Sida Botanical Miscellany, No. 16. Fort Worth, TX: Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 1626 p. [35698]
  • 26. Edlin, Herbert L. 1968. Know your broadleaves. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 20. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 142 p. [20459]
  • 28. Farrar, John Laird. 1995. Trees of the northern United States and Canada. Ames, IA: Blackwell Publishing. 502 p. [60614]
  • 31. Fossati, T.; Patrignani, G.; Zapelli, I.; Sabatti, M.; Sala, F.; Castiglione, S. 2004. Development of molecular markers to assess the level of introgression of Populus tremula into P. alba natural populations. Plant Breeding. 123(4): 382-385. [77745]
  • 66. Lexer, C.; Fay, M. F.; Joseph, J. A.; Nica, M.-S.; Heinze, B. 2005. Barrier to gene flow between two ecologically divergent Populus species, P. alba (white poplar) and P. tremula (European aspen): the role of ecology and life history in gene introgression. Molecular Ecology. 14(4): 1045-1057. [77755]
  • 100. Spies, T. A.; Barnes, B. V. 1981. A morphological analysis of Populus alba, Populus grandidentata and their natural hybrids in southeastern Michigan. Silvae Genetica. 30(2-3): 102-106. [77765]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 103. Stapleton, C. A.; McCorquodale, D. B.; Sneddon, C.; Williams, M.; Bridgland, J. 1998. The distribution and potential for invasiveness of some non-native vascular plants in northern Cape Breton. Technical Report in Ecosystem Science No. 015. Ottawa: Parks Canada, Canadian Heritage, Atlantic Region. 68 p. [77812]
  • 22. Dowhan, Joseph J.; Rozsa, Ron. 1989. Flora of Fire Island, Suffolk County, New York. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 116(3): 265-282. [22041]
  • 25. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764]
  • 29. Fechner, Gilbert H.; Barrows, Jack S. 1976. Aspen stands as wildfire fuel breaks. Eisenhower Consortium Bulletin 4. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 26 p. In cooperation with: Eisenhower Consortium for Western Environmental Forestry Research. [7611]
  • 33. George, Ernest J. 1953. Tree and shrub species for the Northern Great Plains. Circular No. 912. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 46 p. [4566]
  • 40. Green, Alan W.; Green, LeeRoy. 1959. Fast-starting species best in some Iowa plantations. Station Note No. 133. Columbus, OH: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Central States Forest Experiment Station. 2 p. [79623]
  • 43. Hall, R. B.; Hilton, G. D.; Maynard, C. A. 1982. Construction lumber from hybrid aspen plantations in the Central States. Journal of Forestry. 80: 291-294. [79616]
  • 55. Johnson, L. P. V. 1942. Studies on the relation of growth rate to wood quality in Populus hybrids. Canadian Journal of Research. 20: 28-40. [79400]
  • 56. Johnson, L. P. V. 1946. A note on inheritance in F1 and F2 hybrids of Populus alba L. X P. grandidentata Michx. Canadian Journal of Research. 24: 313-317. [79401]
  • 57. Johnson, L. P. V.; Heimburger, C. 1946. Preliminary report on interspecific hybridization in forest trees. Canadian Journal of Research. 24: 308-312. [79398]
  • 58. Karrenberg, S.; Edwards, P. J.; Kollmann, J. 2002. The life history of Salicaceae living in the active zone of floodplains. Freshwater Biology. 47: 733-748. [79298]
  • 70. Manzanenra, Jose A.; Martinez-Chacon, Maria F. 2007. Ecophysiological competence of Populus alba L., Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl., and Crataegus monogyna Jacq. used in plantations for the recovery of riparian vegetation. Environmental Management. 40(6): 902-912. [77725]
  • 72. McComb, A. L.; Hansen, Norman J. 1954. A naturally occurring aspen popular hybrid. Journal of Forestry. 52: 528-529. [79622]
  • 75. Meilan, Richard; Sabatti, Maurizio; Ma, Caiping; Kuzminksy, Elena. 2004. An early-flowering genotype of Populus. Journal of Plant Biology. 47(1): 52-56. [77757]
  • 82. Polya, L. 1961. Injury by soaking of Populus alba seeds. Nature. 189(4759): 159-160. [77759]
  • 86. Redei, K. 2000. Early performance of promising white poplar (Populus alba) clones in sandy ridges between the rivers Danube and Tsiza in Hungary. Forestry. 73(4): 407-413. [77760]
  • 116. van Loo, Marcela; Joseph, Jeffrey A.; Heinze, Berthold; Fay, Mike F.; Lexer, Christian. 2008. Clonality and spatial genetic structure in Populus x canescens and its sympatric backcross parent P. alba in a Central European hybrid zone. New Phytologist. 177(2): 506-516. [77767]

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Germination

More info for the term: imperfect

The optimal conditions for germination of white poplar and hybrid seeds were not reported. A review reports that within Salicaceae, germination is rapid and often occurs within 24 hours of seed shed. Germination percentages are drastically reduced in dry conditions, but germination occurs in moist conditions, at warm temperatures (59-81 °F (15-27° C)), and in dark environments [58]. Soaking reduced the germination of white poplar seeds in the laboratory. Just 23.4% of dry seeds failed to germinate; up to 34.2% of soaked seeds failed to germinate. Nearly 65% of dry white poplar seeds germinated without abnormalities (poor substrate attachment and imperfect geotropism). After soaking 1 to 60 minutes, just 24% to 27% of germinated seedlings lacked abnormalities. Duration of soaking did not greatly affect germination [82]. The survival of abnormal seedlings was not reported, but it could be expected that survival of abnormal seedlings was less than that of normal seedlings.

Germination of white poplar hybrid seeds can be high. When white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata were openly pollinated in a greenhouse, germination of seeds collected from white poplar averaged 34.7%, and germination of seeds collected from P. alba × P. grandidentata averaged 81.8% [102]. All P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. tremula, and P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. alba × P. tremula hybrids that were experimentally produced in Ottawa produced viable seed. Germination was best (61%) for seed produced by crosses between white poplar and bigtooth aspen. Germination of seed produced by the other crosses ranged from 21% to 40% [57].

  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 57. Johnson, L. P. V.; Heimburger, C. 1946. Preliminary report on interspecific hybridization in forest trees. Canadian Journal of Research. 24: 308-312. [79398]
  • 58. Karrenberg, S.; Edwards, P. J.; Kollmann, J. 2002. The life history of Salicaceae living in the active zone of floodplains. Freshwater Biology. 47: 733-748. [79298]
  • 82. Polya, L. 1961. Injury by soaking of Populus alba seeds. Nature. 189(4759): 159-160. [77759]

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Seed production

More info for the term: genotype

Several floras report that white poplar fails to produce seed [13,18,25]. In North America, most planted white poplar were female [101]; however, in a survey of eastern herbia, 5 of 8 had male white poplar branches in their collection [102]. In North America, most seed production by white poplar occurs through hybridization with bigtooth aspen, quaking aspen, or European aspen ([101], Schlenker 1953 cited in [29]). In southeastern Michigan, all white poplar clones surveyed were female. White poplar hybrids, however, were male, female, or hermaphroditic with separate staminate and pistillate catkins (review by [101], Schlenker 1953 cited in [29]).

Although white poplars generally become sexually mature at 5 to 7 years old (Braatne and others 1996 cited in [75]), one genotype grown from seed collected along the Italian peninsula flowered at 1 year old. Subsequent clones regenerated from this genotype failed to flower in their first year without at least 6 months of root chilling treatments [75].

White poplar hybrids can produce an abundance of viable seed. When white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata clones were pollinated openly in a greenhouse, white poplar averaged 23.9 seeds/shoot, and P. alba × P. grandidentata averaged 415.9 seeds/shoot [102]. All P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. tremula, and P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. alba × P. tremula hybrids that were experimentally produced in Ottawa produced viable seed. Seed set was best from crosses between white poplar and bigtooth aspen [57].

  • 13. Carter, Jack L. 1997. Trees and shrubs of New Mexico. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books. 534 p. [72647]
  • 18. Diggs, George M., Jr.; Lipscomb, Barney L.; O'Kennon, Robert J. 1999. Illustrated flora of north-central Texas. Sida Botanical Miscellany, No. 16. Fort Worth, TX: Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 1626 p. [35698]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 25. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764]
  • 29. Fechner, Gilbert H.; Barrows, Jack S. 1976. Aspen stands as wildfire fuel breaks. Eisenhower Consortium Bulletin 4. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 26 p. In cooperation with: Eisenhower Consortium for Western Environmental Forestry Research. [7611]
  • 57. Johnson, L. P. V.; Heimburger, C. 1946. Preliminary report on interspecific hybridization in forest trees. Canadian Journal of Research. 24: 308-312. [79398]
  • 75. Meilan, Richard; Sabatti, Maurizio; Ma, Caiping; Kuzminksy, Elena. 2004. An early-flowering genotype of Populus. Journal of Plant Biology. 47(1): 52-56. [77757]

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Vegetative regeneration

More info for the terms: cover, introgression, layering, phenology, tree

Vegetative regeneration and reproduction are vital to white poplar growth, spread, persistence, and recovery from injury [91,105]. Clonal growth and spread most commonly occur by root sprouting [60,119,122] but may also occur through fragmentation and layering [94]. Fragmentation describes the process by which new clones can develop from twig or root pieces that become partially buried in sand or silt ([94], review by [17]). Observations in South Africa led researchers to conclude that white poplar and P. alba × P. tremula were dispersed through the movement of vegetative parts in water [46].

White poplar root sprouts have been described as prolific [102], "vigorous" [73], and "objectionable" [68]. Dense colonies or thickets from root sprouts [60,119,122] can cover large areas [105]. When white poplar seedlings were grown and evaluated as shelterbelt trees in the northern Great Plains, root suckers were frequently reported long distances from the parent tree [33]. According to a review by Spies [102], vegetative sprouts can occur up to 160 feet (50 m) from the parent. In southeastern Michigan, the average size of individual P. alba × P. grandidentata or P. alba × P. tremuloides clones was 0.02 to 0.5 acre (0.01-0.2 ha). The average number of stems per clone ranged from 1 to 404. Populus alba × P. grandidentata sprouted more "vigorously" than bigtooth aspen or quaking aspen [102]. Surveys of white poplar stands on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia showed that most sites supported single-sex ramets from a single parent that in some cases, formed linear riparian stands extending several kilometers. Four monoclonal stands ranged from 38.6 mile² (100 km²) to over 1,500 mile² (4,000 km²). Fertile seed occurred in just 1 of 80 sampling sites, and no seedlings were observed at any site [10]. In lowland floodplain forests along the Danube in Austria and Slovakia, P. alba × P. tremula and white poplar clones extended over distances of 610 feet (186 m) and 430 feet (132 m), respectively. Researchers indicated that these were likely conservative clone size estimates, since trees were not exhaustively sampled [116].

Vegetative regeneration from root sprouts is important to white poplar persistence and recovery from injury. White poplar produces shoots from surviving roots long after the original parent tree has died [47,102,105]. In 1888, white poplar cuttings were planted at the Grayling Agricultural Experiment Station in Crawford County, Michigan. During visits to this planting site between 1998 and 2000, root sprouts from the original plantings were still present [62]. In Iowa, 2 studies from the 1950s reported that P. alba × P. grandidentata clones persisted and spread vegetatively from 2 or more seedlings that established in the early 1900s [67,72]. Sprouting is rapid and prolific following the death of white poplar trees or stems [73,84,105]. This regenerative potential, however, may decrease with tree age, according to a review of the Populus genus by Dickmann [17]. These studies and findings suggest that although white poplar is short-lived, once planted this species can permanently occupy its original planting site or a much larger area.

Studies indicate that white poplar may disperse and establish new populations from vegetative fragments [17,46], but most studies testing the regenerative capacity of white poplar involve experiments with somewhat artificial conditions. In a controlled study involving plant material from southeastern Canada, the vegetative regeneration potential of white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata appeared to be much greater than that of bigtooth aspen. About 90% of white poplar cuttings rooted and 65% to 98% of hybrid cuttings rooted, but only about 5% of bigtooth aspen cuttings rooted [56]. From P. alba × P. grandidentata plant material collected in southeastern Iowa, researchers found that root segments greater than 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) in diameter and 2 inches (5 cm) long often produced more than 1 sprout/root segment. When root segments were planted in unseasonably warm, dry weather, very few sprouted. However, some of the root segments sprouted the following growing season [42].

Pollination and breeding system: White poplar flowers are wind pollinated [18,116]. However, because male white poplar trees are rare, successful pollination of white poplar generally requires hybridization with European aspen, bigtooth aspen, or quaking aspen ([28,101], Schlenker 1953 cited in [29]). Hybridization and backcrossing between white poplar and native aspens could cause nonnative gene introgression into the native gene pool [102,103]. Studies in southeastern Michigan, however, did not find widespread backcrossing or gene flow between white poplar and bigtooth aspen [100].

Hybridization between white poplar and native and nonnative aspens may be affected by the phenology and location of parent populations. In southeastern Michigan, P. alba × P. grandidentata is much more common than P. alba × P. tremuloides, and nearly all hybrids occur to the east of white poplar clones. The easterly distribution of hybrids was expected because of prevailing western winds, but based on the distribution and abundance of parent species, researchers expected a 1:1 ratio of P. alba × P. grandidentata and P. alba × P. tremuloides hybrids. A single season of observations did not reveal a phenological barrier to hybridization between white poplar and quaking aspen. However, researchers noted that female receptivity is difficult to observe and suggested that the degree of phenological differences and overlap may have been missed in just one season of observations [101,102].

In its native habitats, P. alba × P. tremula backcrossed with white poplar more often than with European aspen. Along the Ticino River in northern Italy, P. alba × P. tremula backcrossed with white poplar but not with European aspen. Researchers suspected their findings were related to the distance to European aspen trees or other preferential backcrossing, although these factors were not investigated [31]. Similar findings were reported in the Danube Valley near Vienna, Austria. Most hybridization occurred between white poplar females and European aspen males, and most backcrossing occurred with white poplar. Because European aspen produced male flowers several weeks earlier than white poplar, European aspen may have fertilized white poplar before white poplar pollen was shed [66].

  • 47. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 84. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 18. Diggs, George M., Jr.; Lipscomb, Barney L.; O'Kennon, Robert J. 1999. Illustrated flora of north-central Texas. Sida Botanical Miscellany, No. 16. Fort Worth, TX: Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 1626 p. [35698]
  • 28. Farrar, John Laird. 1995. Trees of the northern United States and Canada. Ames, IA: Blackwell Publishing. 502 p. [60614]
  • 31. Fossati, T.; Patrignani, G.; Zapelli, I.; Sabatti, M.; Sala, F.; Castiglione, S. 2004. Development of molecular markers to assess the level of introgression of Populus tremula into P. alba natural populations. Plant Breeding. 123(4): 382-385. [77745]
  • 66. Lexer, C.; Fay, M. F.; Joseph, J. A.; Nica, M.-S.; Heinze, B. 2005. Barrier to gene flow between two ecologically divergent Populus species, P. alba (white poplar) and P. tremula (European aspen): the role of ecology and life history in gene introgression. Molecular Ecology. 14(4): 1045-1057. [77755]
  • 68. Little, Elbert L. 1961. Sixty trees from foreign lands. Agricultural Handbook No. 212. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 30 p. [53217]
  • 91. Scoggan, H. J. 1978. The flora of Canada. Part 3: Dicotyledoneae (Saururaceae to Violaceae). National Museum of Natural Sciences: Publications in Botany, No. 7(3). Ottawa: National Museums of Canada. 1115 p. [75493]
  • 94. Siebel, Henk N.; Bouwma, Irene M. 1998. The occurrence of herbs and woody juveniles in a hardwood floodplain forest in relation to flooding and light. Journal of Vegetation Science. 9(5): 623-630. [73525]
  • 100. Spies, T. A.; Barnes, B. V. 1981. A morphological analysis of Populus alba, Populus grandidentata and their natural hybrids in southeastern Michigan. Silvae Genetica. 30(2-3): 102-106. [77765]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 103. Stapleton, C. A.; McCorquodale, D. B.; Sneddon, C.; Williams, M.; Bridgland, J. 1998. The distribution and potential for invasiveness of some non-native vascular plants in northern Cape Breton. Technical Report in Ecosystem Science No. 015. Ottawa: Parks Canada, Canadian Heritage, Atlantic Region. 68 p. [77812]
  • 105. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the north Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
  • 119. Voss, Edward G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae--Cornaceae). Bulletin 59. Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Herbarium. 724 p. [11472]
  • 122. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 17. Dickmann, Donald I. 2001. An overview of the genus Populus. In: Dickman, Donald I.; Isebrands, J. G.; Eckenwalder, James E.; Richardson, Jim, eds. Poplar culture in North America. Ottawa, ON: National Research Council of Canada, Research Press: 1-42. [79277]
  • 42. Hall, R. B.; Colletti, J. P.; Schultz, R. C.; Faltonson, R. R.; Kolison, S. H., Jr.; Hanna, R. D.; Hillson, T. D.; Morrison, J. W. 1990. Commercial-scale vegetative propagation of aspens. In: Adams, Roy D., ed. Aspen symposium '89: Proceedings; 1989 July 25-27; Duluth, MN. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-140. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 211-219. [12432]
  • 10. Brundu, Giuseppe; Lupi, Renato; Zapelli, Ilaria; Fossati, Tiziana; Patrignani, Giuseppe; Camarda, Ignazio; Sala, Francesco; Castiglione, Stefano. 2008. The origin of clonal diversity and structure of Populus alba in Sardinia: evidence from nuclear and plastid microsatellite markers. Annals of Botany. 102(6): 997-1006. [77736]
  • 29. Fechner, Gilbert H.; Barrows, Jack S. 1976. Aspen stands as wildfire fuel breaks. Eisenhower Consortium Bulletin 4. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 26 p. In cooperation with: Eisenhower Consortium for Western Environmental Forestry Research. [7611]
  • 33. George, Ernest J. 1953. Tree and shrub species for the Northern Great Plains. Circular No. 912. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 46 p. [4566]
  • 46. Henderson, L. 2007. Invasive, naturalized and casual alien plants in southern Africa: a summary based on the Southern African Plant Invaders Atlas (SAPIA). Bothalia. 37(2): 215-248. [77748]
  • 56. Johnson, L. P. V. 1946. A note on inheritance in F1 and F2 hybrids of Populus alba L. X P. grandidentata Michx. Canadian Journal of Research. 24: 313-317. [79401]
  • 62. Kilgore, Jason S.; Telewski, Frank W. 2004. Reforesting the jack pine barrens: a long-term common garden experiment. Forest Ecology and Management. 189(1-3): 171-187. [47461]
  • 67. Little, Elbert L., Jr.; Brinkman, Kenneth A.; McComb, A. L. 1957. Two natural Iowa hybrid poplars. Forestry Science. 3(3): 253-262. [79394]
  • 72. McComb, A. L.; Hansen, Norman J. 1954. A naturally occurring aspen popular hybrid. Journal of Forestry. 52: 528-529. [79622]
  • 116. van Loo, Marcela; Joseph, Jeffrey A.; Heinze, Berthold; Fay, Mike F.; Lexer, Christian. 2008. Clonality and spatial genetic structure in Populus x canescens and its sympatric backcross parent P. alba in a Central European hybrid zone. New Phytologist. 177(2): 506-516. [77767]
  • 60. Kartesz, John Thomas. 1988. A flora of Nevada. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 1729 p. [In 2 volumes]. Dissertation. [42426]
  • 73. Mehrhoff, L. J.; Silander, J. A., Jr.; Leicht, S. A.; Mosher, E. S.; Tabak, N. M. 2003. IPANE: Invasive Plant Atlas of New England, [Online]. Storrs, CT: University of Connecticut, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Producer). Available: http://nbii-nin.ciesin.columbia.edu/ipane/ [2008, May 28]. [70356]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the term: breeding system

White poplar predominantly regenerates vegetatively. Because only female trees are generally present at a given location [24], sexual reproduction is usually limited to white poplar hybrids [101].
  • 24. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1987. The Smithsonian guide to seaside plants of the Gulf and Atlantic coasts from Louisiana to Massachusetts, exclusive of lower peninsular Florida. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. 409 p. [12906]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: geophyte, phanerophyte

Raunkiaer [85] life form:
Phanerophyte
Geophyte
  • 85. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843]

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Life Form

More info for the term: tree

Tree

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Fire Management Considerations

More info for the terms: fire frequency, fire suppression, frequency, fuel, prescribed fire, restoration

Potential for postfire establishment and spread: Abundant postfire sprouting is suspected following fire in white poplar stands (Johnson 2010 personal communication [54]). In areas supporting white poplar together with bigtooth aspen, quaking aspen, and/or European aspen, hybrid seedlings may also occur. For more information on white poplar hybridization, see the earlier discussions in the Seed production, Seed dispersal, and Seedling establishment sections.

Preventing postfire establishment and spread: Preventing invasive plants from establishing in weed-free burned areas is the most effective and least costly management method. This may be accomplished through early detection and eradication, careful monitoring and follow-up, and limiting dispersal of invasive plant seed into burned areas. General recommendations for preventing postfire establishment and spread of invasive plants include:

  • Incorporate cost of weed prevention and management into fire rehabilitation plans
  • Acquire restoration funding
  • Include weed prevention education in fire training
  • Minimize soil disturbance and vegetation removal during fire suppression and rehabilitation activities
  • Minimize the use of retardants that may alter soil nutrient availability, such as those containing nitrogen and phosphorus
  • Avoid areas dominated by high priority invasive plants when locating firelines, monitoring camps, staging areas, and helibases
  • Clean equipment and vehicles prior to entering burned areas
  • Regulate or prevent human and livestock entry into burned areas until desirable site vegetation has recovered sufficiently to resist invasion by undesirable vegetation
  • Monitor burned areas and areas of significant disturbance or traffic from management activity
  • Detect weeds early and eradicate before vegetative spread and/or seed dispersal
  • Eradicate small patches and contain or control large infestations within or adjacent to the burned area
  • Reestablish vegetation on bare ground as soon as possible
  • Avoid use of fertilizers in postfire rehabilitation and restoration
  • Use only certified weed-free seed mixes when revegetation is necessary
For more detailed information on these topics see the following publications: [3,8,37,113].

Use of prescribed fire as a control agent: Although detailed management guidelines for the use of fire to control white poplar and its hybrids are lacking, some weed control documents suggest that annual repeated fire may reduce sprout abundance and limit spread [16,97]. Solecki [97] reports that cutting may be necessary in dense white poplar stands to encourage enough herbaceous fine fuel growth to carry a fire. For "very large" clones, this process may require several years of cutting and burning-in from the stand edges before the clone center can be burned [97].

Altered fuel characteristics: Although dense white poplar and/or hybrid stands have the potential to alter fuel characteristics, fire behavior, and fire frequency in invaded habitats, altered FIRE REGIMES in invaded habitats had not been reported as of 2010. For more information, see Fuels and FIRE REGIMES.
  • 8. Brooks, Matthew L. 2008. Effects of fire suppression and postfire management activities on plant invasions. In: Zouhar, Kristin; Smith, Jane Kapler; Sutherland, Steve; Brooks, Matthew L., eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Fire and nonnative invasive plants. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 6. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 269-280. [70909]
  • 97. Solecki, Mary Kay. 1997. Controlling invasive plants. In: Packard, Stephen; Mutel, Cornelia F., eds. The tallgrass restoration handbook: For prairies, savannas, and woodlands. Washington, DC: Island Press: 251-278. [43127]
  • 16. Czarapata, Elizabeth J. 2005. Invasive plants of the Upper Midwest: An illustrated guide to their identification and control. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press. 215 p. [71442]
  • 3. Asher, Jerry; Dewey, Steven; Olivarez, Jim; Johnson, Curt. 1998. Minimizing weed spread following wildland fires. Proceedings, Western Society of Weed Science. 51: 49. Abstract. [40409]
  • 37. Goodwin, Kim; Sheley, Roger; Clark, Janet. 2002. Integrated noxious weed management after wildfires. EB-160. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University, Extension Service. 46 p. Available online: http://www.montana.edu/wwwpb/pubs/eb160.html [2003, October 1]. [45303]
  • 54. Johnson, Kristine. 2010. [Email to Corey Gucker]. April 7. Regarding Populus alba. Gatlinburg, TN: Great Smoky Mountains National Park. On file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; FEIS files. [79621]
  • 113. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 2001. Guide to noxious weed prevention practices. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 25 p. Available online: http://www.fs.fed.us/invasivespecies/documents/FS_WeedBMP_2001.pdf [2009, November 19]. [37889]

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Fuels and Fire Regimes

More info for the terms: fire frequency, fire regime, frequency, fuel, natural

Fuels: The information available on white poplar fuel characteristics describes both low flammability and increased woody fuel loads. Flammability of white poplar was reported as low in a Virginia Cooperative Extension publication [1]. White poplar was recommended for use in firebreaks in parts of Australia because of its firm bark, dense, compact crown, and low levels of volatile oils in foliage [95]. However, white poplar wood is weak and prone to breakage [13]. Twigs and limbs are dropped throughout the year [34]. Weak wood suggests that groundlayer woody fuel loads may be high in dense white poplar stands.

FIRE REGIMES: The prevailing fire regime in white poplar's native habitats was not described in the available literature (2010). FIRE REGIMES in white poplar's nonnative habitats are difficult to characterize. Widespread planting of white poplar in North America has made many vegetation types potential habitat for white poplar. While dense white poplar and white poplar hybrid stands could alter fire frequency or fire behavior in invaded habitats, their impact on natural FIRE REGIMES had not been studied as of 2010. See the Fire Regime Table for more information on the FIRE REGIMES in vegetation communities that may support white poplar or its hybrids.

  • 13. Carter, Jack L. 1997. Trees and shrubs of New Mexico. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books. 534 p. [72647]
  • 34. Glass, William. 1996. Populus alba--white poplar. In: Randall, John M.; Marinelli, Janet, eds. Invasive plants: Weeds of the global garden. Handbook #149. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Botanic Garden: 39. [72853]
  • 95. Simpfendorfer, K. J. 1989. Trees, farms and fires. Land and Forests Bulletin No. 30. Victoria, Australia: Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands. 55 p. [10649]
  • 1. Appleton, Bonnie Lee; Frenzel, Cindy L.; Hillegass, Julie B.; Lyons, Robert E.; Steward, Larry G. 2009. Virginia firescapes: Firewise landscaping for woodland homes. Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication 430-300. Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia Cooperative Extension; Virginia Firewise Landscaping Task Force. 9 p. Available online: http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/430/430-300/430-300.pdf [2009, October 6]. [76014]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: codominant, hardwood, presence, succession, tree

White poplar is commonly associated with disturbed sites in both its native and nonnative ranges. In North America, it occurs in open sites [16,19] and old fields [83], as well as on floodplains [41], which are white poplar's most common habitat in Europe ([63], Lazowski cited in [66]). In its nonnative range, white poplar's presence in any habitat is dependent on prior plantings. Occurrence of white poplar hybrids depends on the presence of European aspen, quaking aspen, or bigtooth aspen. For clarification, see the Seed production, Seed dispersal, and Seedling establishment sections.

Studies suggest that shading does not substantially affect white poplar establishment and survival. Ordination analysis of hardwood floodplain forests along the Upper Rhine River in France showed that white poplar was associated with some of the most shaded plots [94]. During field studies in southeastern Iowa, researchers found that low survival and growth of P. alba × P. grandidentata cuttings were not related to light intensity when cuttings received 33% or more of full sun [32].

In its native and nonnative habitats, white poplar is common in early- to midseral communities. Along the Eygues River in France, it is one of the earliest colonizers of gravel bars left by formerly active channels [63]. White poplar and P. alba × P. tremula occur in lowland floodplain forests in Austria's Danube Valley. White poplar and the hybrid are closely associated with disturbed floodplains (Lazowski cited in [66]). In Hickman County, Kentucky, white poplar thickets developed in the initial stages of secondary succession after 43 feet (13 m) of sand was deposited by flooding of the Mississippi River [41]. In Wisconsin, white poplar occurs in early-successional dune communities, although severe tree damage from windblown sand was noted [15]. In southeastern Michigan, white poplar and its hybrids with native aspens occurred in early-seral communities on disturbed sites [102]. In an old field at Howard University's Beltsville campus in Maryland, white poplar was codominant in a midseral community with red maple and sweetgum [83].
  • 41. Grubbs, Jeffrey T.; Fuller, Marian J. 1991. Vascular flora of Hickman County, Kentucky. Castanea. 56(3): 193-214. [75356]
  • 63. Kondolf, G. Mathias; Piegay, Herve; Landon, Norbert. 2007. Changes in the riparian zone of the lower Eygues River, France, since 1830. Landscape Ecology. 22(3): 367-384. [77722]
  • 66. Lexer, C.; Fay, M. F.; Joseph, J. A.; Nica, M.-S.; Heinze, B. 2005. Barrier to gene flow between two ecologically divergent Populus species, P. alba (white poplar) and P. tremula (European aspen): the role of ecology and life history in gene introgression. Molecular Ecology. 14(4): 1045-1057. [77755]
  • 83. Poston, Muriel E.; Middendorf, George A., III. 1988. Maturation characteristics of Rubus pennsylvanicus fruit: are black and red the same? Oecologia. 77(1): 69-72. [13541]
  • 94. Siebel, Henk N.; Bouwma, Irene M. 1998. The occurrence of herbs and woody juveniles in a hardwood floodplain forest in relation to flooding and light. Journal of Vegetation Science. 9(5): 623-630. [73525]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 16. Czarapata, Elizabeth J. 2005. Invasive plants of the Upper Midwest: An illustrated guide to their identification and control. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press. 215 p. [71442]
  • 19. Dirr, Michael A. 1998. Manual of woody landscape plants: Their identification, ornamental characteristics, culture, propagation and uses. 5th ed. Champaign, IL: Stipes Publishing. 1187 p. [74836]
  • 15. Curtis, John T. 1959. Beach, dune, and cliff communities. In: The vegetation of Wisconsin. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press: 402-411. [60532]
  • 32. Gatherum, G. E.; Gordon, J. C.; Broerman, B. F. S. 1967. Effects of clone and light intensity on photosynthesis, respiration and growth of aspen-poplar hybrids. Silvae Genetica. 16: 128-132. [79613]

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Pollination and breeding system

More info for the terms: genotype, imperfect, introgression, phenology, succession, tree

White poplar flowers are wind pollinated [18,116]. However, because male white poplar trees are rare, successful pollination of white poplar generally requires hybridization with European aspen, bigtooth aspen, or quaking aspen ([28,101], Schlenker 1953 cited in [29]). Hybridization and backcrossing between white poplar and native aspens could cause nonnative gene introgression into the native gene pool [102,103]. Studies in southeastern Michigan, however, did not find widespread backcrossing or gene flow between white poplar and bigtooth aspen [100].

Hybridization between white poplar and native and nonnative aspens may be affected by the phenology and location of parent populations. In southeastern Michigan, P. alba × P. grandidentata is much more common than P. alba × P. tremuloides, and nearly all hybrids occur to the east of white poplar clones. The easterly distribution of hybrids was expected because of prevailing western winds, but based on the distribution and abundance of parent species, researchers expected a 1:1 ratio of P. alba × P. grandidentata and P. alba × P. tremuloides hybrids. A single season of observations did not reveal a phenological barrier to hybridization between white poplar and quaking aspen. However, researchers noted that female receptivity is difficult to observe and suggested that the degree of phenological differences and overlap may have been missed in just one season of observations [101,102].

In its native habitats, P. alba × P. tremula backcrossed with white poplar more often than with European aspen. Along the Ticino River in northern Italy, P. alba × P. tremula backcrossed with white poplar but not with European aspen. Researchers suspected their findings were related to the distance to European aspen trees or other preferential backcrossing, although these factors were not investigated [31]. Similar findings were reported in the Danube Valley near Vienna, Austria. Most hybridization occurred between white poplar females and European aspen males, and most backcrossing occurred with white poplar. Because European aspen produced male flowers several weeks earlier than white poplar, European aspen may have fertilized white poplar before white poplar pollen was shed [66].

Seed production: Several floras report that white poplar fails to produce seed [13,18,25]. In North America, most planted white poplar were female [101]; however, in a survey of eastern herbia, 5 of 8 had male white poplar branches in their collection [102]. In North America, most seed production by white poplar occurs through hybridization with bigtooth aspen, quaking aspen, or European aspen ([101], Schlenker 1953 cited in [29]). In southeastern Michigan, all white poplar clones surveyed were female. White poplar hybrids, however, were male, female, or hermaphroditic with separate staminate and pistillate catkins (review by [101], Schlenker 1953 cited in [29]).

Although white poplars generally become sexually mature at 5 to 7 years old (Braatne and others 1996 cited in [75]), one genotype grown from seed collected along the Italian peninsula flowered at 1 year old. Subsequent clones regenerated from this genotype failed to flower in their first year without at least 6 months of root chilling treatments [75].

White poplar hybrids can produce an abundance of viable seed. When white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata clones were pollinated openly in a greenhouse, white poplar averaged 23.9 seeds/shoot, and P. alba × P. grandidentata averaged 415.9 seeds/shoot [102]. All P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. tremula, and P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. alba × P. tremula hybrids that were experimentally produced in Ottawa produced viable seed. Seed set was best from crosses between white poplar and bigtooth aspen [57].

Seed dispersal: White poplar and its hybrids produce light-weight, plumose, wind-dispersed seeds ([116], Graham and others 1963 cited in [102]). In the greenhouse, the average weight of seeds produced by 9 open-pollinated white poplar clones was 0.177 mg/seed, and the average weight of seeds produced by P. alba × P. grandidentata clones was 0.199 mg [102]. Although cottonwood (Populus spp.) seeds have been reported to disperse 19 miles (30 km) or more (van der Pijl 1972 cited in [101]), surveys in southeastern Michigan revealed that most (91%) white poplar hybrid seedlings occurred within 1 mile (1.6 km) of white poplar clones [101].

Seed banking: Although field experiments are lacking, white poplar and hybrid seeds are reportedly very short-lived (England Forestry Commission Booklet [26]). A review reports that seed bank longevity is low for Salicaceae [58].

Germination: The optimal conditions for germination of white poplar and hybrid seeds were not reported. A review reports that within Salicaceae, germination is rapid and often occurs within 24 hours of seed shed. Germination percentages are drastically reduced in dry conditions, but germination occurs in moist conditions, at warm temperatures (59-81 °F (15-27° C)), and in dark environments [58]. Soaking reduced the germination of white poplar seeds in the laboratory. Just 23.4% of dry seeds failed to germinate; up to 34.2% of soaked seeds failed to germinate. Nearly 65% of dry white poplar seeds germinated without abnormalities (poor substrate attachment and imperfect geotropism). After soaking 1 to 60 minutes, just 24% to 27% of germinated seedlings lacked abnormalities. Duration of soaking did not greatly affect germination [82]. The survival of abnormal seedlings was not reported, but it could be expected that survival of abnormal seedlings was less than that of normal seedlings.

Germination of white poplar hybrid seeds can be high. When white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata were openly pollinated in a greenhouse, germination of seeds collected from white poplar averaged 34.7%, and germination of seeds collected from P. alba × P. grandidentata averaged 81.8% [102]. All P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. tremula, and P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. alba × P. tremula hybrids that were experimentally produced in Ottawa produced viable seed. Germination was best (61%) for seed produced by crosses between white poplar and bigtooth aspen. Germination of seed produced by the other crosses ranged from 21% to 40% [57].

Seedling establishment and plant growth: In the field, seedling recruitment is generally limited to white poplar hybrids. Information on nonhybrid white poplar seedling establishment is generally limited to studies conducted on trial plantings or in plantations. Establishment of white poplar and hybrid seedlings is likely best on sites with exposed mineral soil that lack other established vegetation.

Although nonhybridized white poplar seedlings are considered unlikely, researchers reported that white poplar "seedlings have been observed to freely colonize neighboring ruderal sands" on western Fire Island in Suffolk County, New York. Bigtooth aspen and quaking aspen were also reported on the island [22], suggesting that seedling recruitment may have been the result of hybridization between white poplar and native aspens. White poplar hybrids can produce seedlings. Many hybrids and backcrosses were experimentally created between white poplar, bigtooth aspen, and quaking aspen. All hybrids produced seed, and seedling survival was at least 29% [57]. When 10-week-old, greenhouse-grown white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata seedlings were transplanted outdoors, about 70% of white poplar and 93% of hybrid seedlings survived to the end of the growing season [102].

Excessively dry conditions, harsh winters, and established vegetation may limit survival and growth of white poplar and hybrid seedlings. When white poplar seedlings from Xinjiang, China, were planted at the Northern Great Plains Field Station in Mandan, North Dakota, most failed to survive longer than 10 years. Only 1 seedling survived more than 10 years, and it did not survive 36 years. Dry conditions and winter injury were the most common causes of mortality [33].

In southeastern Michigan, open sites with exposed mineral soil were best for the establishment of white poplar hybrid seedlings. In the Walsh Lake study area in Washtenaw County, P. alba × P. grandidentata established during a 9-year period following agricultural abandonment. In Livingston County, P. alba × P. grandidentata and P. alba × P. tremuloides established at the edge of lakes, ponds, and swamps and on dry, disturbed sites. Both kinds of sites had experienced disturbances that exposed mineral soil. In both counties, hybrid seedling establishment decreased as old-field and floodplain succession progressed [101].

Plant growth: Rapid growth is characteristic of white poplar and its hybrids [70,102]. While hybrids may grow faster than parent species, differences in growth rate may vary by genotype, site, and/or clone age [55,56,86]. Discoveries of rapid tree growth and biomass production by white poplar hybrids in the Great Lakes contributed to increased recommendations for planting hybrids on plantations and in wildlands [40,43,43,72].

Rapid growth of white poplar and its hybrids has been recorded in their native and nonnative ranges. Along the Henares River floodplain in Madrid, Spain, white poplar clones almost doubled in size in 5 years. In 4-year-old plantations, white poplar averaged 2.8 inches (7.2 cm) in DBH and 16 feet (4.9 m) tall. In 9-year-old plantations, white poplar averaged 6.5 inches (16.5 cm) in DBH and 30 feet (9.2 m) tall [70]. In southeastern Michigan, P. alba × P. grandidentata clones that were 28 to 53 years old had annual height increases of 1.1 to 2.3 feet (0.3-0.7 m) and annual DBH increases of 0.2 to 0.4 inch (0.5-1 cm) [102].

In North America, white poplar hybrids are often larger than their parent species of the same age. However, this was not the case in Hungary, where white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata grown in a common area were nearly the same size at 3, 7, and 10 years old. Often the maximum DBH reported for white poplar clones exceeded that of hybrids [86]. In a common area in southeastern Canada, P. alba × P. grandidentata was larger than both parent species of the same age. At 5 years old, average stem height was 14 feet (4.3 m) for white poplar clones, 11.7 feet (3.6 m) for bigtooth aspen clones, and 17.6 feet (5.4 m) for P. alba × P. grandidentata clones [56]. The clonal growth capacity of white poplar hybrids and parent species are compared in the vegetative regeneration discussion above. In Quebec, P. alba × P. grandidentata and P. alba × P. tremuloides were typically larger than the parent species when trees were 13 to 19 years old. In young age classes (6-7 years old), hybrid size was much more variable than parent species' sizes, and the maximum height and DBH were generally largest for hybrid clones [55].

  • 13. Carter, Jack L. 1997. Trees and shrubs of New Mexico. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books. 534 p. [72647]
  • 18. Diggs, George M., Jr.; Lipscomb, Barney L.; O'Kennon, Robert J. 1999. Illustrated flora of north-central Texas. Sida Botanical Miscellany, No. 16. Fort Worth, TX: Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 1626 p. [35698]
  • 26. Edlin, Herbert L. 1968. Know your broadleaves. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 20. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 142 p. [20459]
  • 28. Farrar, John Laird. 1995. Trees of the northern United States and Canada. Ames, IA: Blackwell Publishing. 502 p. [60614]
  • 31. Fossati, T.; Patrignani, G.; Zapelli, I.; Sabatti, M.; Sala, F.; Castiglione, S. 2004. Development of molecular markers to assess the level of introgression of Populus tremula into P. alba natural populations. Plant Breeding. 123(4): 382-385. [77745]
  • 66. Lexer, C.; Fay, M. F.; Joseph, J. A.; Nica, M.-S.; Heinze, B. 2005. Barrier to gene flow between two ecologically divergent Populus species, P. alba (white poplar) and P. tremula (European aspen): the role of ecology and life history in gene introgression. Molecular Ecology. 14(4): 1045-1057. [77755]
  • 100. Spies, T. A.; Barnes, B. V. 1981. A morphological analysis of Populus alba, Populus grandidentata and their natural hybrids in southeastern Michigan. Silvae Genetica. 30(2-3): 102-106. [77765]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 103. Stapleton, C. A.; McCorquodale, D. B.; Sneddon, C.; Williams, M.; Bridgland, J. 1998. The distribution and potential for invasiveness of some non-native vascular plants in northern Cape Breton. Technical Report in Ecosystem Science No. 015. Ottawa: Parks Canada, Canadian Heritage, Atlantic Region. 68 p. [77812]
  • 22. Dowhan, Joseph J.; Rozsa, Ron. 1989. Flora of Fire Island, Suffolk County, New York. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 116(3): 265-282. [22041]
  • 25. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764]
  • 29. Fechner, Gilbert H.; Barrows, Jack S. 1976. Aspen stands as wildfire fuel breaks. Eisenhower Consortium Bulletin 4. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 26 p. In cooperation with: Eisenhower Consortium for Western Environmental Forestry Research. [7611]
  • 33. George, Ernest J. 1953. Tree and shrub species for the Northern Great Plains. Circular No. 912. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 46 p. [4566]
  • 40. Green, Alan W.; Green, LeeRoy. 1959. Fast-starting species best in some Iowa plantations. Station Note No. 133. Columbus, OH: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Central States Forest Experiment Station. 2 p. [79623]
  • 43. Hall, R. B.; Hilton, G. D.; Maynard, C. A. 1982. Construction lumber from hybrid aspen plantations in the Central States. Journal of Forestry. 80: 291-294. [79616]
  • 55. Johnson, L. P. V. 1942. Studies on the relation of growth rate to wood quality in Populus hybrids. Canadian Journal of Research. 20: 28-40. [79400]
  • 56. Johnson, L. P. V. 1946. A note on inheritance in F1 and F2 hybrids of Populus alba L. X P. grandidentata Michx. Canadian Journal of Research. 24: 313-317. [79401]
  • 57. Johnson, L. P. V.; Heimburger, C. 1946. Preliminary report on interspecific hybridization in forest trees. Canadian Journal of Research. 24: 308-312. [79398]
  • 58. Karrenberg, S.; Edwards, P. J.; Kollmann, J. 2002. The life history of Salicaceae living in the active zone of floodplains. Freshwater Biology. 47: 733-748. [79298]
  • 70. Manzanenra, Jose A.; Martinez-Chacon, Maria F. 2007. Ecophysiological competence of Populus alba L., Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl., and Crataegus monogyna Jacq. used in plantations for the recovery of riparian vegetation. Environmental Management. 40(6): 902-912. [77725]
  • 72. McComb, A. L.; Hansen, Norman J. 1954. A naturally occurring aspen popular hybrid. Journal of Forestry. 52: 528-529. [79622]
  • 75. Meilan, Richard; Sabatti, Maurizio; Ma, Caiping; Kuzminksy, Elena. 2004. An early-flowering genotype of Populus. Journal of Plant Biology. 47(1): 52-56. [77757]
  • 82. Polya, L. 1961. Injury by soaking of Populus alba seeds. Nature. 189(4759): 159-160. [77759]
  • 86. Redei, K. 2000. Early performance of promising white poplar (Populus alba) clones in sandy ridges between the rivers Danube and Tsiza in Hungary. Forestry. 73(4): 407-413. [77760]
  • 116. van Loo, Marcela; Joseph, Jeffrey A.; Heinze, Berthold; Fay, Mike F.; Lexer, Christian. 2008. Clonality and spatial genetic structure in Populus x canescens and its sympatric backcross parent P. alba in a Central European hybrid zone. New Phytologist. 177(2): 506-516. [77767]

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Germination

More info for the term: imperfect

The optimal conditions for germination of white poplar and hybrid seeds were not reported. A review reports that within Salicaceae, germination is rapid and often occurs within 24 hours of seed shed. Germination percentages are drastically reduced in dry conditions, but germination occurs in moist conditions, at warm temperatures (59-81 °F (15-27° C)), and in dark environments [58]. Soaking reduced the germination of white poplar seeds in the laboratory. Just 23.4% of dry seeds failed to germinate; up to 34.2% of soaked seeds failed to germinate. Nearly 65% of dry white poplar seeds germinated without abnormalities (poor substrate attachment and imperfect geotropism). After soaking 1 to 60 minutes, just 24% to 27% of germinated seedlings lacked abnormalities. Duration of soaking did not greatly affect germination [82]. The survival of abnormal seedlings was not reported, but it could be expected that survival of abnormal seedlings was less than that of normal seedlings.

Germination of white poplar hybrid seeds can be high. When white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata were openly pollinated in a greenhouse, germination of seeds collected from white poplar averaged 34.7%, and germination of seeds collected from P. alba × P. grandidentata averaged 81.8% [102]. All P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. tremula, and P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. alba × P. tremula hybrids that were experimentally produced in Ottawa produced viable seed. Germination was best (61%) for seed produced by crosses between white poplar and bigtooth aspen. Germination of seed produced by the other crosses ranged from 21% to 40% [57].

  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 57. Johnson, L. P. V.; Heimburger, C. 1946. Preliminary report on interspecific hybridization in forest trees. Canadian Journal of Research. 24: 308-312. [79398]
  • 58. Karrenberg, S.; Edwards, P. J.; Kollmann, J. 2002. The life history of Salicaceae living in the active zone of floodplains. Freshwater Biology. 47: 733-748. [79298]
  • 82. Polya, L. 1961. Injury by soaking of Populus alba seeds. Nature. 189(4759): 159-160. [77759]

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Seed production

More info for the term: genotype

Several floras report that white poplar fails to produce seed [13,18,25]. In North America, most planted white poplar were female [101]; however, in a survey of eastern herbia, 5 of 8 had male white poplar branches in their collection [102]. In North America, most seed production by white poplar occurs through hybridization with bigtooth aspen, quaking aspen, or European aspen ([101], Schlenker 1953 cited in [29]). In southeastern Michigan, all white poplar clones surveyed were female. White poplar hybrids, however, were male, female, or hermaphroditic with separate staminate and pistillate catkins (review by [101], Schlenker 1953 cited in [29]).

Although white poplars generally become sexually mature at 5 to 7 years old (Braatne and others 1996 cited in [75]), one genotype grown from seed collected along the Italian peninsula flowered at 1 year old. Subsequent clones regenerated from this genotype failed to flower in their first year without at least 6 months of root chilling treatments [75].

White poplar hybrids can produce an abundance of viable seed. When white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata clones were pollinated openly in a greenhouse, white poplar averaged 23.9 seeds/shoot, and P. alba × P. grandidentata averaged 415.9 seeds/shoot [102]. All P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. tremula, and P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. alba × P. tremula hybrids that were experimentally produced in Ottawa produced viable seed. Seed set was best from crosses between white poplar and bigtooth aspen [57].

  • 13. Carter, Jack L. 1997. Trees and shrubs of New Mexico. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books. 534 p. [72647]
  • 18. Diggs, George M., Jr.; Lipscomb, Barney L.; O'Kennon, Robert J. 1999. Illustrated flora of north-central Texas. Sida Botanical Miscellany, No. 16. Fort Worth, TX: Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 1626 p. [35698]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 25. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764]
  • 29. Fechner, Gilbert H.; Barrows, Jack S. 1976. Aspen stands as wildfire fuel breaks. Eisenhower Consortium Bulletin 4. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 26 p. In cooperation with: Eisenhower Consortium for Western Environmental Forestry Research. [7611]
  • 57. Johnson, L. P. V.; Heimburger, C. 1946. Preliminary report on interspecific hybridization in forest trees. Canadian Journal of Research. 24: 308-312. [79398]
  • 75. Meilan, Richard; Sabatti, Maurizio; Ma, Caiping; Kuzminksy, Elena. 2004. An early-flowering genotype of Populus. Journal of Plant Biology. 47(1): 52-56. [77757]

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Vegetative regeneration

More info for the terms: cover, introgression, layering, phenology, tree

Vegetative regeneration and reproduction are vital to white poplar growth, spread, persistence, and recovery from injury [91,105]. Clonal growth and spread most commonly occur by root sprouting [60,119,122] but may also occur through fragmentation and layering [94]. Fragmentation describes the process by which new clones can develop from twig or root pieces that become partially buried in sand or silt ([94], review by [17]). Observations in South Africa led researchers to conclude that white poplar and P. alba × P. tremula were dispersed through the movement of vegetative parts in water [46].

White poplar root sprouts have been described as prolific [102], "vigorous" [73], and "objectionable" [68]. Dense colonies or thickets from root sprouts [60,119,122] can cover large areas [105]. When white poplar seedlings were grown and evaluated as shelterbelt trees in the northern Great Plains, root suckers were frequently reported long distances from the parent tree [33]. According to a review by Spies [102], vegetative sprouts can occur up to 160 feet (50 m) from the parent. In southeastern Michigan, the average size of individual P. alba × P. grandidentata or P. alba × P. tremuloides clones was 0.02 to 0.5 acre (0.01-0.2 ha). The average number of stems per clone ranged from 1 to 404. Populus alba × P. grandidentata sprouted more "vigorously" than bigtooth aspen or quaking aspen [102]. Surveys of white poplar stands on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia showed that most sites supported single-sex ramets from a single parent that in some cases, formed linear riparian stands extending several kilometers. Four monoclonal stands ranged from 38.6 mile² (100 km²) to over 1,500 mile² (4,000 km²). Fertile seed occurred in just 1 of 80 sampling sites, and no seedlings were observed at any site [10]. In lowland floodplain forests along the Danube in Austria and Slovakia, P. alba × P. tremula and white poplar clones extended over distances of 610 feet (186 m) and 430 feet (132 m), respectively. Researchers indicated that these were likely conservative clone size estimates, since trees were not exhaustively sampled [116].

Vegetative regeneration from root sprouts is important to white poplar persistence and recovery from injury. White poplar produces shoots from surviving roots long after the original parent tree has died [47,102,105]. In 1888, white poplar cuttings were planted at the Grayling Agricultural Experiment Station in Crawford County, Michigan. During visits to this planting site between 1998 and 2000, root sprouts from the original plantings were still present [62]. In Iowa, 2 studies from the 1950s reported that P. alba × P. grandidentata clones persisted and spread vegetatively from 2 or more seedlings that established in the early 1900s [67,72]. Sprouting is rapid and prolific following the death of white poplar trees or stems [73,84,105]. This regenerative potential, however, may decrease with tree age, according to a review of the Populus genus by Dickmann [17]. These studies and findings suggest that although white poplar is short-lived, once planted this species can permanently occupy its original planting site or a much larger area.

Studies indicate that white poplar may disperse and establish new populations from vegetative fragments [17,46], but most studies testing the regenerative capacity of white poplar involve experiments with somewhat artificial conditions. In a controlled study involving plant material from southeastern Canada, the vegetative regeneration potential of white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata appeared to be much greater than that of bigtooth aspen. About 90% of white poplar cuttings rooted and 65% to 98% of hybrid cuttings rooted, but only about 5% of bigtooth aspen cuttings rooted [56]. From P. alba × P. grandidentata plant material collected in southeastern Iowa, researchers found that root segments greater than 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) in diameter and 2 inches (5 cm) long often produced more than 1 sprout/root segment. When root segments were planted in unseasonably warm, dry weather, very few sprouted. However, some of the root segments sprouted the following growing season [42].

Pollination and breeding system: White poplar flowers are wind pollinated [18,116]. However, because male white poplar trees are rare, successful pollination of white poplar generally requires hybridization with European aspen, bigtooth aspen, or quaking aspen ([28,101], Schlenker 1953 cited in [29]). Hybridization and backcrossing between white poplar and native aspens could cause nonnative gene introgression into the native gene pool [102,103]. Studies in southeastern Michigan, however, did not find widespread backcrossing or gene flow between white poplar and bigtooth aspen [100].

Hybridization between white poplar and native and nonnative aspens may be affected by the phenology and location of parent populations. In southeastern Michigan, P. alba × P. grandidentata is much more common than P. alba × P. tremuloides, and nearly all hybrids occur to the east of white poplar clones. The easterly distribution of hybrids was expected because of prevailing western winds, but based on the distribution and abundance of parent species, researchers expected a 1:1 ratio of P. alba × P. grandidentata and P. alba × P. tremuloides hybrids. A single season of observations did not reveal a phenological barrier to hybridization between white poplar and quaking aspen. However, researchers noted that female receptivity is difficult to observe and suggested that the degree of phenological differences and overlap may have been missed in just one season of observations [101,102].

In its native habitats, P. alba × P. tremula backcrossed with white poplar more often than with European aspen. Along the Ticino River in northern Italy, P. alba × P. tremula backcrossed with white poplar but not with European aspen. Researchers suspected their findings were related to the distance to European aspen trees or other preferential backcrossing, although these factors were not investigated [31]. Similar findings were reported in the Danube Valley near Vienna, Austria. Most hybridization occurred between white poplar females and European aspen males, and most backcrossing occurred with white poplar. Because European aspen produced male flowers several weeks earlier than white poplar, European aspen may have fertilized white poplar before white poplar pollen was shed [66].

  • 47. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 84. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 18. Diggs, George M., Jr.; Lipscomb, Barney L.; O'Kennon, Robert J. 1999. Illustrated flora of north-central Texas. Sida Botanical Miscellany, No. 16. Fort Worth, TX: Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 1626 p. [35698]
  • 28. Farrar, John Laird. 1995. Trees of the northern United States and Canada. Ames, IA: Blackwell Publishing. 502 p. [60614]
  • 31. Fossati, T.; Patrignani, G.; Zapelli, I.; Sabatti, M.; Sala, F.; Castiglione, S. 2004. Development of molecular markers to assess the level of introgression of Populus tremula into P. alba natural populations. Plant Breeding. 123(4): 382-385. [77745]
  • 66. Lexer, C.; Fay, M. F.; Joseph, J. A.; Nica, M.-S.; Heinze, B. 2005. Barrier to gene flow between two ecologically divergent Populus species, P. alba (white poplar) and P. tremula (European aspen): the role of ecology and life history in gene introgression. Molecular Ecology. 14(4): 1045-1057. [77755]
  • 68. Little, Elbert L. 1961. Sixty trees from foreign lands. Agricultural Handbook No. 212. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 30 p. [53217]
  • 91. Scoggan, H. J. 1978. The flora of Canada. Part 3: Dicotyledoneae (Saururaceae to Violaceae). National Museum of Natural Sciences: Publications in Botany, No. 7(3). Ottawa: National Museums of Canada. 1115 p. [75493]
  • 94. Siebel, Henk N.; Bouwma, Irene M. 1998. The occurrence of herbs and woody juveniles in a hardwood floodplain forest in relation to flooding and light. Journal of Vegetation Science. 9(5): 623-630. [73525]
  • 100. Spies, T. A.; Barnes, B. V. 1981. A morphological analysis of Populus alba, Populus grandidentata and their natural hybrids in southeastern Michigan. Silvae Genetica. 30(2-3): 102-106. [77765]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 103. Stapleton, C. A.; McCorquodale, D. B.; Sneddon, C.; Williams, M.; Bridgland, J. 1998. The distribution and potential for invasiveness of some non-native vascular plants in northern Cape Breton. Technical Report in Ecosystem Science No. 015. Ottawa: Parks Canada, Canadian Heritage, Atlantic Region. 68 p. [77812]
  • 105. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the north Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
  • 119. Voss, Edward G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae--Cornaceae). Bulletin 59. Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Herbarium. 724 p. [11472]
  • 122. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 17. Dickmann, Donald I. 2001. An overview of the genus Populus. In: Dickman, Donald I.; Isebrands, J. G.; Eckenwalder, James E.; Richardson, Jim, eds. Poplar culture in North America. Ottawa, ON: National Research Council of Canada, Research Press: 1-42. [79277]
  • 42. Hall, R. B.; Colletti, J. P.; Schultz, R. C.; Faltonson, R. R.; Kolison, S. H., Jr.; Hanna, R. D.; Hillson, T. D.; Morrison, J. W. 1990. Commercial-scale vegetative propagation of aspens. In: Adams, Roy D., ed. Aspen symposium '89: Proceedings; 1989 July 25-27; Duluth, MN. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-140. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 211-219. [12432]
  • 10. Brundu, Giuseppe; Lupi, Renato; Zapelli, Ilaria; Fossati, Tiziana; Patrignani, Giuseppe; Camarda, Ignazio; Sala, Francesco; Castiglione, Stefano. 2008. The origin of clonal diversity and structure of Populus alba in Sardinia: evidence from nuclear and plastid microsatellite markers. Annals of Botany. 102(6): 997-1006. [77736]
  • 29. Fechner, Gilbert H.; Barrows, Jack S. 1976. Aspen stands as wildfire fuel breaks. Eisenhower Consortium Bulletin 4. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 26 p. In cooperation with: Eisenhower Consortium for Western Environmental Forestry Research. [7611]
  • 33. George, Ernest J. 1953. Tree and shrub species for the Northern Great Plains. Circular No. 912. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 46 p. [4566]
  • 46. Henderson, L. 2007. Invasive, naturalized and casual alien plants in southern Africa: a summary based on the Southern African Plant Invaders Atlas (SAPIA). Bothalia. 37(2): 215-248. [77748]
  • 56. Johnson, L. P. V. 1946. A note on inheritance in F1 and F2 hybrids of Populus alba L. X P. grandidentata Michx. Canadian Journal of Research. 24: 313-317. [79401]
  • 62. Kilgore, Jason S.; Telewski, Frank W. 2004. Reforesting the jack pine barrens: a long-term common garden experiment. Forest Ecology and Management. 189(1-3): 171-187. [47461]
  • 67. Little, Elbert L., Jr.; Brinkman, Kenneth A.; McComb, A. L. 1957. Two natural Iowa hybrid poplars. Forestry Science. 3(3): 253-262. [79394]
  • 72. McComb, A. L.; Hansen, Norman J. 1954. A naturally occurring aspen popular hybrid. Journal of Forestry. 52: 528-529. [79622]
  • 116. van Loo, Marcela; Joseph, Jeffrey A.; Heinze, Berthold; Fay, Mike F.; Lexer, Christian. 2008. Clonality and spatial genetic structure in Populus x canescens and its sympatric backcross parent P. alba in a Central European hybrid zone. New Phytologist. 177(2): 506-516. [77767]
  • 60. Kartesz, John Thomas. 1988. A flora of Nevada. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 1729 p. [In 2 volumes]. Dissertation. [42426]
  • 73. Mehrhoff, L. J.; Silander, J. A., Jr.; Leicht, S. A.; Mosher, E. S.; Tabak, N. M. 2003. IPANE: Invasive Plant Atlas of New England, [Online]. Storrs, CT: University of Connecticut, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Producer). Available: http://nbii-nin.ciesin.columbia.edu/ipane/ [2008, May 28]. [70356]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the term: breeding system

White poplar predominantly regenerates vegetatively. Because only female trees are generally present at a given location [24], sexual reproduction is usually limited to white poplar hybrids [101].
  • 24. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1987. The Smithsonian guide to seaside plants of the Gulf and Atlantic coasts from Louisiana to Massachusetts, exclusive of lower peninsular Florida. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. 409 p. [12906]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: geophyte, phanerophyte

Raunkiaer [85] life form:
Phanerophyte
Geophyte
  • 85. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843]

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Life Form

More info for the term: tree

Tree

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Fire Management Considerations

More info for the terms: fire frequency, fire suppression, frequency, fuel, prescribed fire, restoration

Potential for postfire establishment and spread: Abundant postfire sprouting is suspected following fire in white poplar stands (Johnson 2010 personal communication [54]). In areas supporting white poplar together with bigtooth aspen, quaking aspen, and/or European aspen, hybrid seedlings may also occur. For more information on white poplar hybridization, see the earlier discussions in the Seed production, Seed dispersal, and Seedling establishment sections.

Preventing postfire establishment and spread: Preventing invasive plants from establishing in weed-free burned areas is the most effective and least costly management method. This may be accomplished through early detection and eradication, careful monitoring and follow-up, and limiting dispersal of invasive plant seed into burned areas. General recommendations for preventing postfire establishment and spread of invasive plants include:

  • Incorporate cost of weed prevention and management into fire rehabilitation plans
  • Acquire restoration funding
  • Include weed prevention education in fire training
  • Minimize soil disturbance and vegetation removal during fire suppression and rehabilitation activities
  • Minimize the use of retardants that may alter soil nutrient availability, such as those containing nitrogen and phosphorus
  • Avoid areas dominated by high priority invasive plants when locating firelines, monitoring camps, staging areas, and helibases
  • Clean equipment and vehicles prior to entering burned areas
  • Regulate or prevent human and livestock entry into burned areas until desirable site vegetation has recovered sufficiently to resist invasion by undesirable vegetation
  • Monitor burned areas and areas of significant disturbance or traffic from management activity
  • Detect weeds early and eradicate before vegetative spread and/or seed dispersal
  • Eradicate small patches and contain or control large infestations within or adjacent to the burned area
  • Reestablish vegetation on bare ground as soon as possible
  • Avoid use of fertilizers in postfire rehabilitation and restoration
  • Use only certified weed-free seed mixes when revegetation is necessary
For more detailed information on these topics see the following publications: [3,8,37,113].

Use of prescribed fire as a control agent: Although detailed management guidelines for the use of fire to control white poplar and its hybrids are lacking, some weed control documents suggest that annual repeated fire may reduce sprout abundance and limit spread [16,97]. Solecki [97] reports that cutting may be necessary in dense white poplar stands to encourage enough herbaceous fine fuel growth to carry a fire. For "very large" clones, this process may require several years of cutting and burning-in from the stand edges before the clone center can be burned [97].

Altered fuel characteristics: Although dense white poplar and/or hybrid stands have the potential to alter fuel characteristics, fire behavior, and fire frequency in invaded habitats, altered FIRE REGIMES in invaded habitats had not been reported as of 2010. For more information, see Fuels and FIRE REGIMES.
  • 8. Brooks, Matthew L. 2008. Effects of fire suppression and postfire management activities on plant invasions. In: Zouhar, Kristin; Smith, Jane Kapler; Sutherland, Steve; Brooks, Matthew L., eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Fire and nonnative invasive plants. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 6. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 269-280. [70909]
  • 97. Solecki, Mary Kay. 1997. Controlling invasive plants. In: Packard, Stephen; Mutel, Cornelia F., eds. The tallgrass restoration handbook: For prairies, savannas, and woodlands. Washington, DC: Island Press: 251-278. [43127]
  • 16. Czarapata, Elizabeth J. 2005. Invasive plants of the Upper Midwest: An illustrated guide to their identification and control. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press. 215 p. [71442]
  • 3. Asher, Jerry; Dewey, Steven; Olivarez, Jim; Johnson, Curt. 1998. Minimizing weed spread following wildland fires. Proceedings, Western Society of Weed Science. 51: 49. Abstract. [40409]
  • 37. Goodwin, Kim; Sheley, Roger; Clark, Janet. 2002. Integrated noxious weed management after wildfires. EB-160. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University, Extension Service. 46 p. Available online: http://www.montana.edu/wwwpb/pubs/eb160.html [2003, October 1]. [45303]
  • 54. Johnson, Kristine. 2010. [Email to Corey Gucker]. April 7. Regarding Populus alba. Gatlinburg, TN: Great Smoky Mountains National Park. On file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; FEIS files. [79621]
  • 113. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 2001. Guide to noxious weed prevention practices. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 25 p. Available online: http://www.fs.fed.us/invasivespecies/documents/FS_WeedBMP_2001.pdf [2009, November 19]. [37889]

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Fuels and Fire Regimes

More info for the terms: fire frequency, fire regime, frequency, fuel, natural

Fuels: The information available on white poplar fuel characteristics describes both low flammability and increased woody fuel loads. Flammability of white poplar was reported as low in a Virginia Cooperative Extension publication [1]. White poplar was recommended for use in firebreaks in parts of Australia because of its firm bark, dense, compact crown, and low levels of volatile oils in foliage [95]. However, white poplar wood is weak and prone to breakage [13]. Twigs and limbs are dropped throughout the year [34]. Weak wood suggests that groundlayer woody fuel loads may be high in dense white poplar stands.

FIRE REGIMES: The prevailing fire regime in white poplar's native habitats was not described in the available literature (2010). FIRE REGIMES in white poplar's nonnative habitats are difficult to characterize. Widespread planting of white poplar in North America has made many vegetation types potential habitat for white poplar. While dense white poplar and white poplar hybrid stands could alter fire frequency or fire behavior in invaded habitats, their impact on natural FIRE REGIMES had not been studied as of 2010. See the Fire Regime Table for more information on the FIRE REGIMES in vegetation communities that may support white poplar or its hybrids.

  • 13. Carter, Jack L. 1997. Trees and shrubs of New Mexico. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books. 534 p. [72647]
  • 34. Glass, William. 1996. Populus alba--white poplar. In: Randall, John M.; Marinelli, Janet, eds. Invasive plants: Weeds of the global garden. Handbook #149. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Botanic Garden: 39. [72853]
  • 95. Simpfendorfer, K. J. 1989. Trees, farms and fires. Land and Forests Bulletin No. 30. Victoria, Australia: Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands. 55 p. [10649]
  • 1. Appleton, Bonnie Lee; Frenzel, Cindy L.; Hillegass, Julie B.; Lyons, Robert E.; Steward, Larry G. 2009. Virginia firescapes: Firewise landscaping for woodland homes. Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication 430-300. Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia Cooperative Extension; Virginia Firewise Landscaping Task Force. 9 p. Available online: http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/430/430-300/430-300.pdf [2009, October 6]. [76014]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: codominant, hardwood, presence, succession, tree

White poplar is commonly associated with disturbed sites in both its native and nonnative ranges. In North America, it occurs in open sites [16,19] and old fields [83], as well as on floodplains [41], which are white poplar's most common habitat in Europe ([63], Lazowski cited in [66]). In its nonnative range, white poplar's presence in any habitat is dependent on prior plantings. Occurrence of white poplar hybrids depends on the presence of European aspen, quaking aspen, or bigtooth aspen. For clarification, see the Seed production, Seed dispersal, and Seedling establishment sections.

Studies suggest that shading does not substantially affect white poplar establishment and survival. Ordination analysis of hardwood floodplain forests along the Upper Rhine River in France showed that white poplar was associated with some of the most shaded plots [94]. During field studies in southeastern Iowa, researchers found that low survival and growth of P. alba × P. grandidentata cuttings were not related to light intensity when cuttings received 33% or more of full sun [32].

In its native and nonnative habitats, white poplar is common in early- to midseral communities. Along the Eygues River in France, it is one of the earliest colonizers of gravel bars left by formerly active channels [63]. White poplar and P. alba × P. tremula occur in lowland floodplain forests in Austria's Danube Valley. White poplar and the hybrid are closely associated with disturbed floodplains (Lazowski cited in [66]). In Hickman County, Kentucky, white poplar thickets developed in the initial stages of secondary succession after 43 feet (13 m) of sand was deposited by flooding of the Mississippi River [41]. In Wisconsin, white poplar occurs in early-successional dune communities, although severe tree damage from windblown sand was noted [15]. In southeastern Michigan, white poplar and its hybrids with native aspens occurred in early-seral communities on disturbed sites [102]. In an old field at Howard University's Beltsville campus in Maryland, white poplar was codominant in a midseral community with red maple and sweetgum [83].
  • 41. Grubbs, Jeffrey T.; Fuller, Marian J. 1991. Vascular flora of Hickman County, Kentucky. Castanea. 56(3): 193-214. [75356]
  • 63. Kondolf, G. Mathias; Piegay, Herve; Landon, Norbert. 2007. Changes in the riparian zone of the lower Eygues River, France, since 1830. Landscape Ecology. 22(3): 367-384. [77722]
  • 66. Lexer, C.; Fay, M. F.; Joseph, J. A.; Nica, M.-S.; Heinze, B. 2005. Barrier to gene flow between two ecologically divergent Populus species, P. alba (white poplar) and P. tremula (European aspen): the role of ecology and life history in gene introgression. Molecular Ecology. 14(4): 1045-1057. [77755]
  • 83. Poston, Muriel E.; Middendorf, George A., III. 1988. Maturation characteristics of Rubus pennsylvanicus fruit: are black and red the same? Oecologia. 77(1): 69-72. [13541]
  • 94. Siebel, Henk N.; Bouwma, Irene M. 1998. The occurrence of herbs and woody juveniles in a hardwood floodplain forest in relation to flooding and light. Journal of Vegetation Science. 9(5): 623-630. [73525]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 16. Czarapata, Elizabeth J. 2005. Invasive plants of the Upper Midwest: An illustrated guide to their identification and control. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press. 215 p. [71442]
  • 19. Dirr, Michael A. 1998. Manual of woody landscape plants: Their identification, ornamental characteristics, culture, propagation and uses. 5th ed. Champaign, IL: Stipes Publishing. 1187 p. [74836]
  • 15. Curtis, John T. 1959. Beach, dune, and cliff communities. In: The vegetation of Wisconsin. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press: 402-411. [60532]
  • 32. Gatherum, G. E.; Gordon, J. C.; Broerman, B. F. S. 1967. Effects of clone and light intensity on photosynthesis, respiration and growth of aspen-poplar hybrids. Silvae Genetica. 16: 128-132. [79613]

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Pollination and breeding system

More info for the terms: genotype, imperfect, introgression, phenology, succession, tree

White poplar flowers are wind pollinated [18,116]. However, because male white poplar trees are rare, successful pollination of white poplar generally requires hybridization with European aspen, bigtooth aspen, or quaking aspen ([28,101], Schlenker 1953 cited in [29]). Hybridization and backcrossing between white poplar and native aspens could cause nonnative gene introgression into the native gene pool [102,103]. Studies in southeastern Michigan, however, did not find widespread backcrossing or gene flow between white poplar and bigtooth aspen [100].

Hybridization between white poplar and native and nonnative aspens may be affected by the phenology and location of parent populations. In southeastern Michigan, P. alba × P. grandidentata is much more common than P. alba × P. tremuloides, and nearly all hybrids occur to the east of white poplar clones. The easterly distribution of hybrids was expected because of prevailing western winds, but based on the distribution and abundance of parent species, researchers expected a 1:1 ratio of P. alba × P. grandidentata and P. alba × P. tremuloides hybrids. A single season of observations did not reveal a phenological barrier to hybridization between white poplar and quaking aspen. However, researchers noted that female receptivity is difficult to observe and suggested that the degree of phenological differences and overlap may have been missed in just one season of observations [101,102].

In its native habitats, P. alba × P. tremula backcrossed with white poplar more often than with European aspen. Along the Ticino River in northern Italy, P. alba × P. tremula backcrossed with white poplar but not with European aspen. Researchers suspected their findings were related to the distance to European aspen trees or other preferential backcrossing, although these factors were not investigated [31]. Similar findings were reported in the Danube Valley near Vienna, Austria. Most hybridization occurred between white poplar females and European aspen males, and most backcrossing occurred with white poplar. Because European aspen produced male flowers several weeks earlier than white poplar, European aspen may have fertilized white poplar before white poplar pollen was shed [66].

Seed production: Several floras report that white poplar fails to produce seed [13,18,25]. In North America, most planted white poplar were female [101]; however, in a survey of eastern herbia, 5 of 8 had male white poplar branches in their collection [102]. In North America, most seed production by white poplar occurs through hybridization with bigtooth aspen, quaking aspen, or European aspen ([101], Schlenker 1953 cited in [29]). In southeastern Michigan, all white poplar clones surveyed were female. White poplar hybrids, however, were male, female, or hermaphroditic with separate staminate and pistillate catkins (review by [101], Schlenker 1953 cited in [29]).

Although white poplars generally become sexually mature at 5 to 7 years old (Braatne and others 1996 cited in [75]), one genotype grown from seed collected along the Italian peninsula flowered at 1 year old. Subsequent clones regenerated from this genotype failed to flower in their first year without at least 6 months of root chilling treatments [75].

White poplar hybrids can produce an abundance of viable seed. When white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata clones were pollinated openly in a greenhouse, white poplar averaged 23.9 seeds/shoot, and P. alba × P. grandidentata averaged 415.9 seeds/shoot [102]. All P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. tremula, and P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. alba × P. tremula hybrids that were experimentally produced in Ottawa produced viable seed. Seed set was best from crosses between white poplar and bigtooth aspen [57].

Seed dispersal: White poplar and its hybrids produce light-weight, plumose, wind-dispersed seeds ([116], Graham and others 1963 cited in [102]). In the greenhouse, the average weight of seeds produced by 9 open-pollinated white poplar clones was 0.177 mg/seed, and the average weight of seeds produced by P. alba × P. grandidentata clones was 0.199 mg [102]. Although cottonwood (Populus spp.) seeds have been reported to disperse 19 miles (30 km) or more (van der Pijl 1972 cited in [101]), surveys in southeastern Michigan revealed that most (91%) white poplar hybrid seedlings occurred within 1 mile (1.6 km) of white poplar clones [101].

Seed banking: Although field experiments are lacking, white poplar and hybrid seeds are reportedly very short-lived (England Forestry Commission Booklet [26]). A review reports that seed bank longevity is low for Salicaceae [58].

Germination: The optimal conditions for germination of white poplar and hybrid seeds were not reported. A review reports that within Salicaceae, germination is rapid and often occurs within 24 hours of seed shed. Germination percentages are drastically reduced in dry conditions, but germination occurs in moist conditions, at warm temperatures (59-81 °F (15-27° C)), and in dark environments [58]. Soaking reduced the germination of white poplar seeds in the laboratory. Just 23.4% of dry seeds failed to germinate; up to 34.2% of soaked seeds failed to germinate. Nearly 65% of dry white poplar seeds germinated without abnormalities (poor substrate attachment and imperfect geotropism). After soaking 1 to 60 minutes, just 24% to 27% of germinated seedlings lacked abnormalities. Duration of soaking did not greatly affect germination [82]. The survival of abnormal seedlings was not reported, but it could be expected that survival of abnormal seedlings was less than that of normal seedlings.

Germination of white poplar hybrid seeds can be high. When white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata were openly pollinated in a greenhouse, germination of seeds collected from white poplar averaged 34.7%, and germination of seeds collected from P. alba × P. grandidentata averaged 81.8% [102]. All P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. tremula, and P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. alba × P. tremula hybrids that were experimentally produced in Ottawa produced viable seed. Germination was best (61%) for seed produced by crosses between white poplar and bigtooth aspen. Germination of seed produced by the other crosses ranged from 21% to 40% [57].

Seedling establishment and plant growth: In the field, seedling recruitment is generally limited to white poplar hybrids. Information on nonhybrid white poplar seedling establishment is generally limited to studies conducted on trial plantings or in plantations. Establishment of white poplar and hybrid seedlings is likely best on sites with exposed mineral soil that lack other established vegetation.

Although nonhybridized white poplar seedlings are considered unlikely, researchers reported that white poplar "seedlings have been observed to freely colonize neighboring ruderal sands" on western Fire Island in Suffolk County, New York. Bigtooth aspen and quaking aspen were also reported on the island [22], suggesting that seedling recruitment may have been the result of hybridization between white poplar and native aspens. White poplar hybrids can produce seedlings. Many hybrids and backcrosses were experimentally created between white poplar, bigtooth aspen, and quaking aspen. All hybrids produced seed, and seedling survival was at least 29% [57]. When 10-week-old, greenhouse-grown white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata seedlings were transplanted outdoors, about 70% of white poplar and 93% of hybrid seedlings survived to the end of the growing season [102].

Excessively dry conditions, harsh winters, and established vegetation may limit survival and growth of white poplar and hybrid seedlings. When white poplar seedlings from Xinjiang, China, were planted at the Northern Great Plains Field Station in Mandan, North Dakota, most failed to survive longer than 10 years. Only 1 seedling survived more than 10 years, and it did not survive 36 years. Dry conditions and winter injury were the most common causes of mortality [33].

In southeastern Michigan, open sites with exposed mineral soil were best for the establishment of white poplar hybrid seedlings. In the Walsh Lake study area in Washtenaw County, P. alba × P. grandidentata established during a 9-year period following agricultural abandonment. In Livingston County, P. alba × P. grandidentata and P. alba × P. tremuloides established at the edge of lakes, ponds, and swamps and on dry, disturbed sites. Both kinds of sites had experienced disturbances that exposed mineral soil. In both counties, hybrid seedling establishment decreased as old-field and floodplain succession progressed [101].

Plant growth: Rapid growth is characteristic of white poplar and its hybrids [70,102]. While hybrids may grow faster than parent species, differences in growth rate may vary by genotype, site, and/or clone age [55,56,86]. Discoveries of rapid tree growth and biomass production by white poplar hybrids in the Great Lakes contributed to increased recommendations for planting hybrids on plantations and in wildlands [40,43,43,72].

Rapid growth of white poplar and its hybrids has been recorded in their native and nonnative ranges. Along the Henares River floodplain in Madrid, Spain, white poplar clones almost doubled in size in 5 years. In 4-year-old plantations, white poplar averaged 2.8 inches (7.2 cm) in DBH and 16 feet (4.9 m) tall. In 9-year-old plantations, white poplar averaged 6.5 inches (16.5 cm) in DBH and 30 feet (9.2 m) tall [70]. In southeastern Michigan, P. alba × P. grandidentata clones that were 28 to 53 years old had annual height increases of 1.1 to 2.3 feet (0.3-0.7 m) and annual DBH increases of 0.2 to 0.4 inch (0.5-1 cm) [102].

In North America, white poplar hybrids are often larger than their parent species of the same age. However, this was not the case in Hungary, where white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata grown in a common area were nearly the same size at 3, 7, and 10 years old. Often the maximum DBH reported for white poplar clones exceeded that of hybrids [86]. In a common area in southeastern Canada, P. alba × P. grandidentata was larger than both parent species of the same age. At 5 years old, average stem height was 14 feet (4.3 m) for white poplar clones, 11.7 feet (3.6 m) for bigtooth aspen clones, and 17.6 feet (5.4 m) for P. alba × P. grandidentata clones [56]. The clonal growth capacity of white poplar hybrids and parent species are compared in the vegetative regeneration discussion above. In Quebec, P. alba × P. grandidentata and P. alba × P. tremuloides were typically larger than the parent species when trees were 13 to 19 years old. In young age classes (6-7 years old), hybrid size was much more variable than parent species' sizes, and the maximum height and DBH were generally largest for hybrid clones [55].

  • 13. Carter, Jack L. 1997. Trees and shrubs of New Mexico. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books. 534 p. [72647]
  • 18. Diggs, George M., Jr.; Lipscomb, Barney L.; O'Kennon, Robert J. 1999. Illustrated flora of north-central Texas. Sida Botanical Miscellany, No. 16. Fort Worth, TX: Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 1626 p. [35698]
  • 26. Edlin, Herbert L. 1968. Know your broadleaves. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 20. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 142 p. [20459]
  • 28. Farrar, John Laird. 1995. Trees of the northern United States and Canada. Ames, IA: Blackwell Publishing. 502 p. [60614]
  • 31. Fossati, T.; Patrignani, G.; Zapelli, I.; Sabatti, M.; Sala, F.; Castiglione, S. 2004. Development of molecular markers to assess the level of introgression of Populus tremula into P. alba natural populations. Plant Breeding. 123(4): 382-385. [77745]
  • 66. Lexer, C.; Fay, M. F.; Joseph, J. A.; Nica, M.-S.; Heinze, B. 2005. Barrier to gene flow between two ecologically divergent Populus species, P. alba (white poplar) and P. tremula (European aspen): the role of ecology and life history in gene introgression. Molecular Ecology. 14(4): 1045-1057. [77755]
  • 100. Spies, T. A.; Barnes, B. V. 1981. A morphological analysis of Populus alba, Populus grandidentata and their natural hybrids in southeastern Michigan. Silvae Genetica. 30(2-3): 102-106. [77765]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 103. Stapleton, C. A.; McCorquodale, D. B.; Sneddon, C.; Williams, M.; Bridgland, J. 1998. The distribution and potential for invasiveness of some non-native vascular plants in northern Cape Breton. Technical Report in Ecosystem Science No. 015. Ottawa: Parks Canada, Canadian Heritage, Atlantic Region. 68 p. [77812]
  • 22. Dowhan, Joseph J.; Rozsa, Ron. 1989. Flora of Fire Island, Suffolk County, New York. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 116(3): 265-282. [22041]
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  • 29. Fechner, Gilbert H.; Barrows, Jack S. 1976. Aspen stands as wildfire fuel breaks. Eisenhower Consortium Bulletin 4. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 26 p. In cooperation with: Eisenhower Consortium for Western Environmental Forestry Research. [7611]
  • 33. George, Ernest J. 1953. Tree and shrub species for the Northern Great Plains. Circular No. 912. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 46 p. [4566]
  • 40. Green, Alan W.; Green, LeeRoy. 1959. Fast-starting species best in some Iowa plantations. Station Note No. 133. Columbus, OH: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Central States Forest Experiment Station. 2 p. [79623]
  • 43. Hall, R. B.; Hilton, G. D.; Maynard, C. A. 1982. Construction lumber from hybrid aspen plantations in the Central States. Journal of Forestry. 80: 291-294. [79616]
  • 55. Johnson, L. P. V. 1942. Studies on the relation of growth rate to wood quality in Populus hybrids. Canadian Journal of Research. 20: 28-40. [79400]
  • 56. Johnson, L. P. V. 1946. A note on inheritance in F1 and F2 hybrids of Populus alba L. X P. grandidentata Michx. Canadian Journal of Research. 24: 313-317. [79401]
  • 57. Johnson, L. P. V.; Heimburger, C. 1946. Preliminary report on interspecific hybridization in forest trees. Canadian Journal of Research. 24: 308-312. [79398]
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  • 70. Manzanenra, Jose A.; Martinez-Chacon, Maria F. 2007. Ecophysiological competence of Populus alba L., Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl., and Crataegus monogyna Jacq. used in plantations for the recovery of riparian vegetation. Environmental Management. 40(6): 902-912. [77725]
  • 72. McComb, A. L.; Hansen, Norman J. 1954. A naturally occurring aspen popular hybrid. Journal of Forestry. 52: 528-529. [79622]
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  • 82. Polya, L. 1961. Injury by soaking of Populus alba seeds. Nature. 189(4759): 159-160. [77759]
  • 86. Redei, K. 2000. Early performance of promising white poplar (Populus alba) clones in sandy ridges between the rivers Danube and Tsiza in Hungary. Forestry. 73(4): 407-413. [77760]
  • 116. van Loo, Marcela; Joseph, Jeffrey A.; Heinze, Berthold; Fay, Mike F.; Lexer, Christian. 2008. Clonality and spatial genetic structure in Populus x canescens and its sympatric backcross parent P. alba in a Central European hybrid zone. New Phytologist. 177(2): 506-516. [77767]

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Germination

More info for the term: imperfect

The optimal conditions for germination of white poplar and hybrid seeds were not reported. A review reports that within Salicaceae, germination is rapid and often occurs within 24 hours of seed shed. Germination percentages are drastically reduced in dry conditions, but germination occurs in moist conditions, at warm temperatures (59-81 °F (15-27° C)), and in dark environments [58]. Soaking reduced the germination of white poplar seeds in the laboratory. Just 23.4% of dry seeds failed to germinate; up to 34.2% of soaked seeds failed to germinate. Nearly 65% of dry white poplar seeds germinated without abnormalities (poor substrate attachment and imperfect geotropism). After soaking 1 to 60 minutes, just 24% to 27% of germinated seedlings lacked abnormalities. Duration of soaking did not greatly affect germination [82]. The survival of abnormal seedlings was not reported, but it could be expected that survival of abnormal seedlings was less than that of normal seedlings.

Germination of white poplar hybrid seeds can be high. When white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata were openly pollinated in a greenhouse, germination of seeds collected from white poplar averaged 34.7%, and germination of seeds collected from P. alba × P. grandidentata averaged 81.8% [102]. All P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. tremula, and P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. alba × P. tremula hybrids that were experimentally produced in Ottawa produced viable seed. Germination was best (61%) for seed produced by crosses between white poplar and bigtooth aspen. Germination of seed produced by the other crosses ranged from 21% to 40% [57].

  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 57. Johnson, L. P. V.; Heimburger, C. 1946. Preliminary report on interspecific hybridization in forest trees. Canadian Journal of Research. 24: 308-312. [79398]
  • 58. Karrenberg, S.; Edwards, P. J.; Kollmann, J. 2002. The life history of Salicaceae living in the active zone of floodplains. Freshwater Biology. 47: 733-748. [79298]
  • 82. Polya, L. 1961. Injury by soaking of Populus alba seeds. Nature. 189(4759): 159-160. [77759]

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Seed production

More info for the term: genotype

Several floras report that white poplar fails to produce seed [13,18,25]. In North America, most planted white poplar were female [101]; however, in a survey of eastern herbia, 5 of 8 had male white poplar branches in their collection [102]. In North America, most seed production by white poplar occurs through hybridization with bigtooth aspen, quaking aspen, or European aspen ([101], Schlenker 1953 cited in [29]). In southeastern Michigan, all white poplar clones surveyed were female. White poplar hybrids, however, were male, female, or hermaphroditic with separate staminate and pistillate catkins (review by [101], Schlenker 1953 cited in [29]).

Although white poplars generally become sexually mature at 5 to 7 years old (Braatne and others 1996 cited in [75]), one genotype grown from seed collected along the Italian peninsula flowered at 1 year old. Subsequent clones regenerated from this genotype failed to flower in their first year without at least 6 months of root chilling treatments [75].

White poplar hybrids can produce an abundance of viable seed. When white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata clones were pollinated openly in a greenhouse, white poplar averaged 23.9 seeds/shoot, and P. alba × P. grandidentata averaged 415.9 seeds/shoot [102]. All P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. tremula, and P. alba × P. grandidentata × P. alba × P. tremula hybrids that were experimentally produced in Ottawa produced viable seed. Seed set was best from crosses between white poplar and bigtooth aspen [57].

  • 13. Carter, Jack L. 1997. Trees and shrubs of New Mexico. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books. 534 p. [72647]
  • 18. Diggs, George M., Jr.; Lipscomb, Barney L.; O'Kennon, Robert J. 1999. Illustrated flora of north-central Texas. Sida Botanical Miscellany, No. 16. Fort Worth, TX: Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 1626 p. [35698]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 25. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764]
  • 29. Fechner, Gilbert H.; Barrows, Jack S. 1976. Aspen stands as wildfire fuel breaks. Eisenhower Consortium Bulletin 4. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 26 p. In cooperation with: Eisenhower Consortium for Western Environmental Forestry Research. [7611]
  • 57. Johnson, L. P. V.; Heimburger, C. 1946. Preliminary report on interspecific hybridization in forest trees. Canadian Journal of Research. 24: 308-312. [79398]
  • 75. Meilan, Richard; Sabatti, Maurizio; Ma, Caiping; Kuzminksy, Elena. 2004. An early-flowering genotype of Populus. Journal of Plant Biology. 47(1): 52-56. [77757]

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Vegetative regeneration

More info for the terms: cover, introgression, layering, phenology, tree

Vegetative regeneration and reproduction are vital to white poplar growth, spread, persistence, and recovery from injury [91,105]. Clonal growth and spread most commonly occur by root sprouting [60,119,122] but may also occur through fragmentation and layering [94]. Fragmentation describes the process by which new clones can develop from twig or root pieces that become partially buried in sand or silt ([94], review by [17]). Observations in South Africa led researchers to conclude that white poplar and P. alba × P. tremula were dispersed through the movement of vegetative parts in water [46].

White poplar root sprouts have been described as prolific [102], "vigorous" [73], and "objectionable" [68]. Dense colonies or thickets from root sprouts [60,119,122] can cover large areas [105]. When white poplar seedlings were grown and evaluated as shelterbelt trees in the northern Great Plains, root suckers were frequently reported long distances from the parent tree [33]. According to a review by Spies [102], vegetative sprouts can occur up to 160 feet (50 m) from the parent. In southeastern Michigan, the average size of individual P. alba × P. grandidentata or P. alba × P. tremuloides clones was 0.02 to 0.5 acre (0.01-0.2 ha). The average number of stems per clone ranged from 1 to 404. Populus alba × P. grandidentata sprouted more "vigorously" than bigtooth aspen or quaking aspen [102]. Surveys of white poplar stands on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia showed that most sites supported single-sex ramets from a single parent that in some cases, formed linear riparian stands extending several kilometers. Four monoclonal stands ranged from 38.6 mile² (100 km²) to over 1,500 mile² (4,000 km²). Fertile seed occurred in just 1 of 80 sampling sites, and no seedlings were observed at any site [10]. In lowland floodplain forests along the Danube in Austria and Slovakia, P. alba × P. tremula and white poplar clones extended over distances of 610 feet (186 m) and 430 feet (132 m), respectively. Researchers indicated that these were likely conservative clone size estimates, since trees were not exhaustively sampled [116].

Vegetative regeneration from root sprouts is important to white poplar persistence and recovery from injury. White poplar produces shoots from surviving roots long after the original parent tree has died [47,102,105]. In 1888, white poplar cuttings were planted at the Grayling Agricultural Experiment Station in Crawford County, Michigan. During visits to this planting site between 1998 and 2000, root sprouts from the original plantings were still present [62]. In Iowa, 2 studies from the 1950s reported that P. alba × P. grandidentata clones persisted and spread vegetatively from 2 or more seedlings that established in the early 1900s [67,72]. Sprouting is rapid and prolific following the death of white poplar trees or stems [73,84,105]. This regenerative potential, however, may decrease with tree age, according to a review of the Populus genus by Dickmann [17]. These studies and findings suggest that although white poplar is short-lived, once planted this species can permanently occupy its original planting site or a much larger area.

Studies indicate that white poplar may disperse and establish new populations from vegetative fragments [17,46], but most studies testing the regenerative capacity of white poplar involve experiments with somewhat artificial conditions. In a controlled study involving plant material from southeastern Canada, the vegetative regeneration potential of white poplar and P. alba × P. grandidentata appeared to be much greater than that of bigtooth aspen. About 90% of white poplar cuttings rooted and 65% to 98% of hybrid cuttings rooted, but only about 5% of bigtooth aspen cuttings rooted [56]. From P. alba × P. grandidentata plant material collected in southeastern Iowa, researchers found that root segments greater than 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) in diameter and 2 inches (5 cm) long often produced more than 1 sprout/root segment. When root segments were planted in unseasonably warm, dry weather, very few sprouted. However, some of the root segments sprouted the following growing season [42].

Pollination and breeding system: White poplar flowers are wind pollinated [18,116]. However, because male white poplar trees are rare, successful pollination of white poplar generally requires hybridization with European aspen, bigtooth aspen, or quaking aspen ([28,101], Schlenker 1953 cited in [29]). Hybridization and backcrossing between white poplar and native aspens could cause nonnative gene introgression into the native gene pool [102,103]. Studies in southeastern Michigan, however, did not find widespread backcrossing or gene flow between white poplar and bigtooth aspen [100].

Hybridization between white poplar and native and nonnative aspens may be affected by the phenology and location of parent populations. In southeastern Michigan, P. alba × P. grandidentata is much more common than P. alba × P. tremuloides, and nearly all hybrids occur to the east of white poplar clones. The easterly distribution of hybrids was expected because of prevailing western winds, but based on the distribution and abundance of parent species, researchers expected a 1:1 ratio of P. alba × P. grandidentata and P. alba × P. tremuloides hybrids. A single season of observations did not reveal a phenological barrier to hybridization between white poplar and quaking aspen. However, researchers noted that female receptivity is difficult to observe and suggested that the degree of phenological differences and overlap may have been missed in just one season of observations [101,102].

In its native habitats, P. alba × P. tremula backcrossed with white poplar more often than with European aspen. Along the Ticino River in northern Italy, P. alba × P. tremula backcrossed with white poplar but not with European aspen. Researchers suspected their findings were related to the distance to European aspen trees or other preferential backcrossing, although these factors were not investigated [31]. Similar findings were reported in the Danube Valley near Vienna, Austria. Most hybridization occurred between white poplar females and European aspen males, and most backcrossing occurred with white poplar. Because European aspen produced male flowers several weeks earlier than white poplar, European aspen may have fertilized white poplar before white poplar pollen was shed [66].

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  • 46. Henderson, L. 2007. Invasive, naturalized and casual alien plants in southern Africa: a summary based on the Southern African Plant Invaders Atlas (SAPIA). Bothalia. 37(2): 215-248. [77748]
  • 56. Johnson, L. P. V. 1946. A note on inheritance in F1 and F2 hybrids of Populus alba L. X P. grandidentata Michx. Canadian Journal of Research. 24: 313-317. [79401]
  • 62. Kilgore, Jason S.; Telewski, Frank W. 2004. Reforesting the jack pine barrens: a long-term common garden experiment. Forest Ecology and Management. 189(1-3): 171-187. [47461]
  • 67. Little, Elbert L., Jr.; Brinkman, Kenneth A.; McComb, A. L. 1957. Two natural Iowa hybrid poplars. Forestry Science. 3(3): 253-262. [79394]
  • 72. McComb, A. L.; Hansen, Norman J. 1954. A naturally occurring aspen popular hybrid. Journal of Forestry. 52: 528-529. [79622]
  • 116. van Loo, Marcela; Joseph, Jeffrey A.; Heinze, Berthold; Fay, Mike F.; Lexer, Christian. 2008. Clonality and spatial genetic structure in Populus x canescens and its sympatric backcross parent P. alba in a Central European hybrid zone. New Phytologist. 177(2): 506-516. [77767]
  • 60. Kartesz, John Thomas. 1988. A flora of Nevada. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 1729 p. [In 2 volumes]. Dissertation. [42426]
  • 73. Mehrhoff, L. J.; Silander, J. A., Jr.; Leicht, S. A.; Mosher, E. S.; Tabak, N. M. 2003. IPANE: Invasive Plant Atlas of New England, [Online]. Storrs, CT: University of Connecticut, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Producer). Available: http://nbii-nin.ciesin.columbia.edu/ipane/ [2008, May 28]. [70356]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the term: breeding system

White poplar predominantly regenerates vegetatively. Because only female trees are generally present at a given location [24], sexual reproduction is usually limited to white poplar hybrids [101].
  • 24. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1987. The Smithsonian guide to seaside plants of the Gulf and Atlantic coasts from Louisiana to Massachusetts, exclusive of lower peninsular Florida. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. 409 p. [12906]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: geophyte, phanerophyte

Raunkiaer [85] life form:
Phanerophyte
Geophyte
  • 85. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843]

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Life Form

More info for the term: tree

Tree

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Fire Regime Table

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Fire Regime Table

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Fire Regime Table

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Fire Regime Table

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Seed banking

Although field experiments are lacking, white poplar and hybrid seeds are reportedly very short-lived (England Forestry Commission Booklet [26]). A review reports that seed bank longevity is low for Salicaceae [58].
  • 26. Edlin, Herbert L. 1968. Know your broadleaves. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 20. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 142 p. [20459]
  • 58. Karrenberg, S.; Edwards, P. J.; Kollmann, J. 2002. The life history of Salicaceae living in the active zone of floodplains. Freshwater Biology. 47: 733-748. [79298]

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Seed dispersal

White poplar and its hybrids produce light-weight, plumose, wind-dispersed seeds ([116], Graham and others 1963 cited in [102]). In the greenhouse, the average weight of seeds produced by 9 open-pollinated white poplar clones was 0.177 mg/seed, and the average weight of seeds produced by P. alba × P. grandidentata clones was 0.199 mg [102]. Although cottonwood (Populus spp.) seeds have been reported to disperse 19 miles (30 km) or more (van der Pijl 1972 cited in [101]), surveys in southeastern Michigan revealed that most (91%) white poplar hybrid seedlings occurred within 1 mile (1.6 km) of white poplar clones [101].
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 116. van Loo, Marcela; Joseph, Jeffrey A.; Heinze, Berthold; Fay, Mike F.; Lexer, Christian. 2008. Clonality and spatial genetic structure in Populus x canescens and its sympatric backcross parent P. alba in a Central European hybrid zone. New Phytologist. 177(2): 506-516. [77767]

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Seed banking

Although field experiments are lacking, white poplar and hybrid seeds are reportedly very short-lived (England Forestry Commission Booklet [26]). A review reports that seed bank longevity is low for Salicaceae [58].
  • 26. Edlin, Herbert L. 1968. Know your broadleaves. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 20. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 142 p. [20459]
  • 58. Karrenberg, S.; Edwards, P. J.; Kollmann, J. 2002. The life history of Salicaceae living in the active zone of floodplains. Freshwater Biology. 47: 733-748. [79298]

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Seed dispersal

White poplar and its hybrids produce light-weight, plumose, wind-dispersed seeds ([116], Graham and others 1963 cited in [102]). In the greenhouse, the average weight of seeds produced by 9 open-pollinated white poplar clones was 0.177 mg/seed, and the average weight of seeds produced by P. alba × P. grandidentata clones was 0.199 mg [102]. Although cottonwood (Populus spp.) seeds have been reported to disperse 19 miles (30 km) or more (van der Pijl 1972 cited in [101]), surveys in southeastern Michigan revealed that most (91%) white poplar hybrid seedlings occurred within 1 mile (1.6 km) of white poplar clones [101].
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 116. van Loo, Marcela; Joseph, Jeffrey A.; Heinze, Berthold; Fay, Mike F.; Lexer, Christian. 2008. Clonality and spatial genetic structure in Populus x canescens and its sympatric backcross parent P. alba in a Central European hybrid zone. New Phytologist. 177(2): 506-516. [77767]

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Seed banking

Although field experiments are lacking, white poplar and hybrid seeds are reportedly very short-lived (England Forestry Commission Booklet [26]). A review reports that seed bank longevity is low for Salicaceae [58].
  • 26. Edlin, Herbert L. 1968. Know your broadleaves. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 20. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 142 p. [20459]
  • 58. Karrenberg, S.; Edwards, P. J.; Kollmann, J. 2002. The life history of Salicaceae living in the active zone of floodplains. Freshwater Biology. 47: 733-748. [79298]

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Seed dispersal

White poplar and its hybrids produce light-weight, plumose, wind-dispersed seeds ([116], Graham and others 1963 cited in [102]). In the greenhouse, the average weight of seeds produced by 9 open-pollinated white poplar clones was 0.177 mg/seed, and the average weight of seeds produced by P. alba × P. grandidentata clones was 0.199 mg [102]. Although cottonwood (Populus spp.) seeds have been reported to disperse 19 miles (30 km) or more (van der Pijl 1972 cited in [101]), surveys in southeastern Michigan revealed that most (91%) white poplar hybrid seedlings occurred within 1 mile (1.6 km) of white poplar clones [101].
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 116. van Loo, Marcela; Joseph, Jeffrey A.; Heinze, Berthold; Fay, Mike F.; Lexer, Christian. 2008. Clonality and spatial genetic structure in Populus x canescens and its sympatric backcross parent P. alba in a Central European hybrid zone. New Phytologist. 177(2): 506-516. [77767]

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Seed banking

Although field experiments are lacking, white poplar and hybrid seeds are reportedly very short-lived (England Forestry Commission Booklet [26]). A review reports that seed bank longevity is low for Salicaceae [58].
  • 26. Edlin, Herbert L. 1968. Know your broadleaves. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 20. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 142 p. [20459]
  • 58. Karrenberg, S.; Edwards, P. J.; Kollmann, J. 2002. The life history of Salicaceae living in the active zone of floodplains. Freshwater Biology. 47: 733-748. [79298]

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Seed dispersal

White poplar and its hybrids produce light-weight, plumose, wind-dispersed seeds ([116], Graham and others 1963 cited in [102]). In the greenhouse, the average weight of seeds produced by 9 open-pollinated white poplar clones was 0.177 mg/seed, and the average weight of seeds produced by P. alba × P. grandidentata clones was 0.199 mg [102]. Although cottonwood (Populus spp.) seeds have been reported to disperse 19 miles (30 km) or more (van der Pijl 1972 cited in [101]), surveys in southeastern Michigan revealed that most (91%) white poplar hybrid seedlings occurred within 1 mile (1.6 km) of white poplar clones [101].
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 116. van Loo, Marcela; Joseph, Jeffrey A.; Heinze, Berthold; Fay, Mike F.; Lexer, Christian. 2008. Clonality and spatial genetic structure in Populus x canescens and its sympatric backcross parent P. alba in a Central European hybrid zone. New Phytologist. 177(2): 506-516. [77767]

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Reaction to Competition

Poplars and poplar hybrids are  very intolerant of shade in the forest community, especially in  comparison with other more shade- and competition-tolerant  species. Poplar hybrids are usually established in pure  plantings, using dormant cuttings. With this method, hybrids  cannot tolerate weed, grass, and shrub competition during the  first 2 years after planting. Space around each tree is also  needed during the growth of the stand. If branches of trees  overlap, growth and vigor are reduced and recovery of growth rate  is slow.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Source: Silvics of North America

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Rooting Habit

Aigeiros- type hybrids have strong  horizontal surface roots from which plunging roots develop.  Leuce-type hybrids develop plunging roots constituting 40 to 50  percent of their entire root system. In other poplar hybrids,  horizontal roots have been measured at 15 m (50 ft) for a  10-year-old tree growing in sandy soil, 20 m (66 ft) for an old  tree, and 18 in (60 ft) for an old Populus alba. The development  of plunging roots is limited by the level of the water table or  by the soil condition (1).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

In the United States, white poplar typically flowers in the spring (March-early June) [51,60,92,107]. Catkins appear before the leaves [39]. If fruits are produced, they appear in April, May, or June [39,105].
  • 39. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 107. Strausbaugh, P. D.; Core, Earl L. 1977. Flora of West Virginia. 2nd ed. Morgantown, WV: Seneca Books, Inc. 1079 p. [23213]
  • 51. Holmgren, Noel H.; Holmgren, Patricia K.; Cronquist, Arthur. 2005. Intermountain flora: Vascular plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Vol. 2, Part B: Subclass Dilleniidae. New York: The New York Botanical Garden. 488 p. [63251]
  • 92. Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2nd ed. Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L. Moldenke. 611 p. [7604]
  • 105. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the north Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
  • 60. Kartesz, John Thomas. 1988. A flora of Nevada. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 1729 p. [In 2 volumes]. Dissertation. [42426]

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Phenology

More info on this topic.

In the United States, white poplar typically flowers in the spring (March-early June) [51,60,92,107]. Catkins appear before the leaves [39]. If fruits are produced, they appear in April, May, or June [39,105].
  • 39. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 107. Strausbaugh, P. D.; Core, Earl L. 1977. Flora of West Virginia. 2nd ed. Morgantown, WV: Seneca Books, Inc. 1079 p. [23213]
  • 51. Holmgren, Noel H.; Holmgren, Patricia K.; Cronquist, Arthur. 2005. Intermountain flora: Vascular plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Vol. 2, Part B: Subclass Dilleniidae. New York: The New York Botanical Garden. 488 p. [63251]
  • 92. Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2nd ed. Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L. Moldenke. 611 p. [7604]
  • 105. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the north Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
  • 60. Kartesz, John Thomas. 1988. A flora of Nevada. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 1729 p. [In 2 volumes]. Dissertation. [42426]

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Phenology

More info on this topic.

In the United States, white poplar typically flowers in the spring (March-early June) [51,60,92,107]. Catkins appear before the leaves [39]. If fruits are produced, they appear in April, May, or June [39,105].
  • 39. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 107. Strausbaugh, P. D.; Core, Earl L. 1977. Flora of West Virginia. 2nd ed. Morgantown, WV: Seneca Books, Inc. 1079 p. [23213]
  • 51. Holmgren, Noel H.; Holmgren, Patricia K.; Cronquist, Arthur. 2005. Intermountain flora: Vascular plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Vol. 2, Part B: Subclass Dilleniidae. New York: The New York Botanical Garden. 488 p. [63251]
  • 92. Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2nd ed. Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L. Moldenke. 611 p. [7604]
  • 105. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the north Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
  • 60. Kartesz, John Thomas. 1988. A flora of Nevada. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 1729 p. [In 2 volumes]. Dissertation. [42426]

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Phenology

More info on this topic.

In the United States, white poplar typically flowers in the spring (March-early June) [51,60,92,107]. Catkins appear before the leaves [39]. If fruits are produced, they appear in April, May, or June [39,105].
  • 39. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 107. Strausbaugh, P. D.; Core, Earl L. 1977. Flora of West Virginia. 2nd ed. Morgantown, WV: Seneca Books, Inc. 1079 p. [23213]
  • 51. Holmgren, Noel H.; Holmgren, Patricia K.; Cronquist, Arthur. 2005. Intermountain flora: Vascular plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Vol. 2, Part B: Subclass Dilleniidae. New York: The New York Botanical Garden. 488 p. [63251]
  • 92. Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2nd ed. Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L. Moldenke. 611 p. [7604]
  • 105. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the north Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
  • 60. Kartesz, John Thomas. 1988. A flora of Nevada. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 1729 p. [In 2 volumes]. Dissertation. [42426]

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Reproduction

Vegetative Reproduction

Poplar hybrids reproduce  vegetatively by natural and artificial means. Leuce-type  hybrids root best from root sections, though some selections  root adequately from dormant stem cuttings. Aigeiros-type hybrids  reproduce well from either greenwood or dormant stem cuttings,  although most hybrids are reproduced from dormant cuttings.  Dormant cuttings are produced predominately from hybrid stool  beds established for that purpose. The cuttings are usually  harvested in January to February, and stored in a cold chamber,  or frozen as whips or cuttings, until planting. The whips or  cuttings should not be allowed to desiccate. Cuttings should be  soaked in water for at least 24 hours before planting. When  hybrid poplars are planted in open fields or in areas with  competing vegetation, good control of weeds, grasses, and  vegetation is necessary for the poplars to survive. To establish  poplar plantings by vegetative means the following steps should  be taken: 1) plow or rototill the area during the summer before  planting; 2) disk, cultivate, or rototill the area several times  during the summer and fall so weeds grass, and vegetation will  not gain a foothold; 3) disk: cultivate, or rototill in the  spring before planting; 4) plant the poplars at the desired  spacing; 5) cultivate frequently the first 2 years to eliminate  competition. As early as 1945, it was established that hybrid  poplars performed best in a sod- and weed-free field (37). More  recent studies have shown cultivation to be advantageous  (4,15,16,17,45). If step 5 is omitted, heavy sod and weed cover  will reduce tree survival and growth.

    Weed control can be accomplished by use of chemicals, but these  can be very injurious to hybrid poplars. Chemicals are not  recommended unless great care is taken in their handling and use.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Seedling Development

Germination is epigeal. Seedlings  develop best on moist mineral soils where competing vegetation is  minimal for 1 or 2 years after establishment. Seed germination  capacity is retained only a few days under natural conditions.  Seeds of Populus deltoides can be stored for at  least 6 years at -20° C (-4° F) and 6 to 10 percent  moisture without substantial loss in viability (43).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Seed Production and Dissemination

Poplar hybrids  generally are prolific annual seed producers Individual trees of  Populus tremula, an exotic, may yield from 8,000 to 54,000,000  seeds per year; hybrid poplar seed yields are thought to be the  same. In Populus deltoides var. uirginiana 35 liters (1  bushel) of fresh fruit yields about 0.9 kg (2 lb) of seeds  Populus seeds range in weight from 310,900 to 16,650,000 seeds/kg  (141,000 to 7,550,000 seeds/lb) depending on the species,  location, and tree (36). The seeds are disseminated some distance  from the mother tree by the wind. Natural seed dispersal begins  at the same time as seed dispersal of the associated pure species  in the area. In northern New England, hybrids of inter- and  intersectional crosses involving Aigeiros and Tacamahaca sections  disperse seeds about June 1. Hybrids growing south of northern  New England disperse seeds somewhat earlier.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Source: Silvics of North America

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Flowering and Fruiting

Poplar hybrids are dioecious and  first flower at about 8 years of age. The flowers are borne in  catkins (or aments) in the spring before leafing. Male and female  catkins, when fully developed, are 10 to 15 cm (3.9 to 5.9 in)  long. In the female flower, the number of stigmas varies from two  to four and are either cap- or y-shaped. In the male flower, the  number of stamens varies from 30 to 80. The bract has 20 to 30   digits, depending on the cultivar. The central areas of the  bracts are light in color and the digits are dark brown,  sometimes tinged with black (34). Many poplar hybrids  have never produced flowers and thus are thought to be sterile.  Poplars flower between February and May and disperse seed between  April and June of the same year. Intersection Leuce hybrids  disperse seed a few weeks before intersection Aigeiros and  Tacamahaca or intersection Aigeiros-Tacamahaca hybrids.  Fruits are one-celled capsules borne in long pendulous clusters  (catkins), and each capsule is surrounded by tufts of long,  white, silky hairs attached to the short stalks of the seeds,  promoting wind dispersion over great distances (36).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Source: Silvics of North America

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Growth

Growth and Yield

Poplars grow best on fertile soils, and  early height growth can average 1.2 to 1.8 m (4 to 6 ft) per year  (7,8).

    Superior clones of poplar hybrids established with dormant  cuttings spaced 1.2 by 1.2 m (4 by 4 ft) on two upland sites in  Williamsburg, MA produced 2.5 to 15.3 in³ (1 to 6 cords) at  4 years, 7.6 to 35.7 m³ (3 to 14 cords) at 9 years, and 56.1  to 117.2 m³ (22 to 46 cords) at 15 years (38). Poplar  hybrids growing on a reclaimed strip-mine site in Pennsylvania  have maintained an average growth of 1.2 in (4 ft) per year and  have reached 19.8 m (65 ft) in height growth after 16 growing  seasons, producing an average of 12.6 m³/ha (2 cords/acre)  per year (6). Early field tests of closely spaced Populus  'Tristis' hybrids at 4 years of age produced 11.2, 12.6, and 7.6  t/ha (5.0, 5.6, and 3.4 dry tons/acre) per year of stems and  branches at spacings of 0.23 m (0.75 ft), 0.30 in (1 ft), and  0.61 m (2 ft), respectively (12).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Source: Silvics of North America

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Evolution and Systematics

Functional Adaptations

Functional adaptation

Wood reacts to bending: poplar
 

Tension wood of poplars reacts to bending stresses via a specialized gelatinous wall layer.

   
  "Conifers and angiosperms evolved different strategies to achieve the bending of the stem with secondary growth. Both these strategies involve the formation of the reaction wood asymmetrically on one side of the stem. Conifers produce the compression wood (CW) on the side of the stem that needs to elongate more compared with the opposite side, while angiosperms produce the tension wood (TW) on the side of the stem that needs to shrink relative to the other side. In a typical TW, a specialized gelatinous (G) wall layer is formed during the final stage of fiber differentiation, partially replacing S3-, S2- and, in some species, also S1-layers. Many properties of TW and CW differ from normal wood (NW) in opposite ways. While the typical TW is less lignified, and has more longitudinally oriented cellulose microfibrils, higher cellulose crystallinity and higher cellulose content, the CW contains more lignin and has a flatter microfibril angle, less crystalline cellulose and lower cellulose content than NW (reviewed in Timmel 1986, Pilate et al. 2004). It is thought that the structural differences between the reaction wood and the wood on the opposite side (so-called opposite wood, OW) induce different residual growth stresses of both sides of the stem, resulting in a bending moment (Fournier et al. 1994, Bamber 2001, Almeras et al. 2005, Clair et al. 2006a)." (Nishikubo et al. 2007:843)
  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Nishikubo, N.; Awano, T.; Banasiak, A.; Bourquin, V.; Ibatullin, F.; Funada, R.; Brumer, H.; Teeri, T. T.; Hayashi, T.; Sundberg, B.; Mellerowicz, E. J. 2007. Xyloglucan endo-transglycosylase (XET) functions in gelatinous layers of tension wood fibers in poplar - A glimpse into the mechanism of the balancing act of trees. Plant and Cell Physiology. 48(6): 843-855.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Genetics

Approximately 30 species of poplars are available for  hybridization as listed below; however, not all possible crosses  have been successful or seem feasible at this time (fig. 2).

                         Classification of  Populus (47)      Section and  species  Geographic  distribution      Turanga Bge.         euphratica  Olivier  West and Central Asia,      (syn: pruinosa  Schrenk)  North Africa      Leuce Duby         adenopoda  Maxim.  China      alba L.  Europe, Asia, North  Africa      davidiana  (Dode) Schneid.  Northeast Asia      grandidentata  Michx.  North America      sieboldii Miq.  Japan, Korea      tomentosa  Carr.  Asia      tremula L.  Europe, Asia      tremuloides  Michx.  North America      Leucoldes  Spach         ciliata Wall  Central Asia      heterophylla  L.  Southeastern United  States      lasiocarpa  Oliv.  China      wilsonii  Schneid.  China      Tacamahaca  Spach         angustifolia  James  North America      balsamifera L.  North America      cathayana  Rehd.  Northeast Asia      koreana Rehd.  Korea      laurifolia  Ledeb.  Siberia      maximowiczii  Henry  Northeast Asia, Japan      simonii Carr.  Asia      suaveolens  Fisch.  Asia      szechuanica  Schneid.  China      trichocarpa  Torr. & Gray  North America      yunnannensis  Dode  China      Aigelros Duby         deltoides  Bartr. ex Marsh.  North America      deltoides var.  occidentalis Rydb.
  (syn: sargentii Dode)  North America      fermontii  Wats.  North America      fermontii var.  wislizeni Wats.
  (syn: wislizeni Wats.)  North America      nigra L.  Europe, Asia, North  Africa                     
  -Summary of interspecific breeding in the genus Populus (7).


    An example of the genetics of one cultivar follows. One of the  widely grown hybrid cottonwood cultivars is 'Robusta,' reportedly  Populus angulata x P. plantierensis. Populus angulata  is a clone of eastern cottonwood (P. deltoides  var. deltoides); P. plantierensis is a hybrid of a  western European black poplar (P. nigra) and  Lombardy poplar (P. nigra var. italica). Lombardy  poplar is a fastigate form of black poplar, native to Iran. Populus  nigra var. betulifolia of western Europe is  distinguished from the more easterly forms by the slightly hairy  petioles and tips of young shoots. These are found in Pnigra var. plantierensis and transferred to the  'Robusta' clones. Good apical dominance, numerous side branches,  and very narrow branch angle are traits inherited as a single  dominant gene. Lombardy poplar is homozygous with respect to this  gene, while P nigra var. plantierensis is  heterozygous with respect to this gene (20).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records:264
Specimens with Sequences:352
Specimens with Barcodes:277
Species:41
Species With Barcodes:38
Public Records:163
Public Species:33
Public BINs:0
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Barcode data

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Conservation

Conservation Status

Information on state-level noxious weed status of plants in the United States is available at Plants Database.

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Management

Impacts and Control

More info for the terms: fire management, formation, introgression, invasive species, natural, prescribed fire, restoration, top-kill

 

Impacts: Although details and documentation of white poplar's impacts on native vegetation and drainage structures are lacking, these impacts are commonly noted in floras, weed control handbooks, and landscape manuals.

Concern about the impacts of white poplar in wildlands varies, as do recommendations for prioritizing its control. White poplar is listed as a "significant threat" by many eastern weed organizations [61,98,109,118]. In a survey of Wisconsin's authorities on local flora, white poplar ranked 35th out of 66 nonnative invasive plants evaluated for their negative impacts on native plant communities [87]. It was ranked 36th in a list of 81 nonnative, invasive species impacting natural habitats of Canada [14]. Based on models using climatic tolerances, biological traits, and invasiveness in other wildlands, researchers predicted that white poplar was a very high threat for establishing and proliferating in Manitoba's Riding Mountain National Park [80]. White poplar was assigned high priority for removal from Point Pelee National Park, Ontario (Dunster 1990 cited in [123]).

Photo © Richard Old, XID Services, Inc., Bugwood.org

White poplar was not considered a problematic species or a control priority in several other cases. It probably has less potential impact and receives lower priority for control in areas where it has not been widely planted and does not have the potential to hybridize with native aspens. In a survey answered by 35 Canadian botanists, most respondents indicated that white poplar was not a "problem species" and was invasive only locally. The survey was sent to botanists across Canada, but the regional distribution of respondents was not reported [123]. White poplar was relatively rare in Farmington, western Maine, and spread of clones was easily tracked back to areas where white poplar was planted [6]. Surveys of the flora in New London County, Connecticut, revealed that white poplar populations were uncommon and generally restricted to disturbed sites. Population sizes were stable [48].

Impacts from underground growth: The extensive white poplar root system has caused problems near houses or other urban developments. Several sources anecdotally report that white poplar roots can clog drains, sewers, and water channels [19,34,68]. In his manual of woody plants, Dirr [19] indicates that white poplar "becomes a nuisance and liability after a time". Dirr suggests that homeowners "avoid this pest". A pamphlet produced by England's Forestry Commission reports that white poplar can remove soil moisture rapidly during dry, hot days. In low-rainfall areas such as London and Essex, white poplar has caused rapid drying and shrinkage of clay soils, which can upset dwelling foundations [26].

Impacts to associated vegetation: Impacts on associated vegetation may change as white poplar stands expand and age. Through prolific root sprouting, white poplar can develop dense stands, which can crowd and shade native vegetation and reduce species diversity [16,97,120]. As stands age, the breakage of brittle white poplar wood can damage nearby vegetation [73]. In the central Transvaal area of South Africa, where white poplar is nonnative, there is "marked correlation between the occurrence of naturalized and planted white poplar", but white poplar no longer occurs as isolated stands; instead, it occupies whole river reaches and has spread from the water's edge to far outside the riparian zone. White poplar has "out-compete(d)" and suppressed existing vegetation in its formation of "absolutely pure stands" [121].

Hybridization: White poplar hybridizes with native aspens. Researchers fear that this hybridization could change the native aspen gene pool or produce "vigorous" hybrids that could replace native aspens. Because of its hybridization ability, white poplar was rated as a high priority for control in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia. Although current hybridization was not evaluated, white poplar populations occurred near quaking aspen and bigtooth aspen populations. Managers feared that hybridization could lead to the introgression of white poplar genes into the native aspen gene pool [103]. In southwestern Michigan, white poplar, native aspens, and their hybrids were evaluated. The impact of white poplar on the native aspen gene pools was considered low. As of the early 1980s, white poplar hybrid populations were clustered; recent hybridization, backcrossing, and extensive gene flow were not detected [101]. Hybrids were relatively disease and insect free [102].

Control: Because white poplar regenerates easily after top-kill (see Vegetative regeneration), it is difficult to control once established [13,88].

In all cases where invasive species are targeted for control, no matter what method is employed, the potential for other invasive species to fill their void must be considered [9]. Control of biotic invasions is most effective when it employs a long-term, ecosystem-wide strategy rather than a tactical approach focused on battling individual invaders [69].

Fire: For information on the use of prescribed fire to control this species, see Fire Management Considerations.

Prevention: Although there has been widespread planting of white poplar in North America, eliminating future plantings could improve future control efforts and reduce the potential for contamination of the gene pool for native aspens. Restricting sale of white poplar could limit future use. Informing land owners of white poplar's objectionable traits, as was done by Appleton and others [2], may help to limit future plantings.

It is commonly argued that the most cost-efficient and effective method of managing invasive species is to prevent their establishment and spread by maintaining "healthy" natural communities [69,93] and by monitoring several times each year [53]. Managing to maintain the integrity of the native plant community and mitigate the factors enhancing ecosystem invasibility is likely to be more effective than managing solely to control the invader [50].

Weed prevention and control can be incorporated into many types of management plans, including those for logging and site preparation, grazing allotments, recreation management, research projects, road building and maintenance, and fire management [113]. See the Guide to noxious weed prevention practices [113] for specific guidelines in preventing the spread of weed seeds and propagules under different management conditions.

Cultural control: No information is available on this topic.

Physical or mechanical control: Vegetative regeneration and spread can be encouraged by cutting white poplar stems [73]. To be a viable control option, cutting will likely need to be frequent, repeated, and/or paired with another control method. Weed handbooks suggest controlling white poplar by repeated and frequent cutting [34,120]. In the tallgrass restoration handbook, white poplar spread is said to be controlled by girdling large trees and repeatedly cutting sprouts [97]. In a review, Czarapata [16] reports that white poplar stems with less than a 2-inch (5 cm) DBH may be controlled by cutting followed by herbicide treatments. Sprouting of girdled stems larger than 2 inches (5 cm) in DBH may be limited by applying an herbicide to the wound [16].

Biological control: Biological control of invasive species has a long history that indicates many factors must be considered before using biological controls. Refer to these sources: [115,124] and the Weed control methods handbook [110] for background information and important considerations for developing and implementing biological control programs. For information on pests and diseases known to infect white poplar in the United States, see Spaulding [99].

Chemical control: Herbicides may be useful to control white poplar [34], but effectiveness may be improved if used in conjunction with other control methods [97].

Herbicides are effective in gaining initial control of a new invasion or a severe infestation, but they are rarely a complete or long-term solution to weed management [11]. See the Weed control methods handbook [110] for considerations on the use of herbicides in natural areas and detailed information on specific chemicals.

Integrated management: No information is available on this topic.
  • 13. Carter, Jack L. 1997. Trees and shrubs of New Mexico. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books. 534 p. [72647]
  • 6. Barton, Andrew M.; Brewster, Lauri B.; Cox, Anne N.; Prentiss, Nancy K. 2004. Non-indigenous woody invasive plants in a rural New England town. Biological Invasions. 6: 205-211. [47715]
  • 26. Edlin, Herbert L. 1968. Know your broadleaves. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 20. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 142 p. [20459]
  • 34. Glass, William. 1996. Populus alba--white poplar. In: Randall, John M.; Marinelli, Janet, eds. Invasive plants: Weeds of the global garden. Handbook #149. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Botanic Garden: 39. [72853]
  • 68. Little, Elbert L. 1961. Sixty trees from foreign lands. Agricultural Handbook No. 212. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 30 p. [53217]
  • 88. Roland, A. E.; Smith, E. C. 1969. The flora of Nova Scotia. Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Museum. 746 p. [13158]
  • 97. Solecki, Mary Kay. 1997. Controlling invasive plants. In: Packard, Stephen; Mutel, Cornelia F., eds. The tallgrass restoration handbook: For prairies, savannas, and woodlands. Washington, DC: Island Press: 251-278. [43127]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 103. Stapleton, C. A.; McCorquodale, D. B.; Sneddon, C.; Williams, M.; Bridgland, J. 1998. The distribution and potential for invasiveness of some non-native vascular plants in northern Cape Breton. Technical Report in Ecosystem Science No. 015. Ottawa: Parks Canada, Canadian Heritage, Atlantic Region. 68 p. [77812]
  • 120. Weber, Ewald. 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. Cambridge, MA: CABI Publishing. 548 p. [71904]
  • 11. Bussan, Alvin J.; Dyer, William E. 1999. Herbicides and rangeland. In: Sheley, Roger L.; Petroff, Janet K., eds. Biology and management of noxious rangeland weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 116-132. [35716]
  • 9. Brooks, Matthew L.; Pyke, David A. 2001. Invasive plants and fire in the deserts of North America. In: Galley, Krista E. M.; Wilson, Tyrone P., eds. Proceedings of the invasive species workshop: The role of fire in the control and spread of invasive species; Fire conference 2000: 1st national congress on fire ecology, prevention, and management; 2000 November 27 - December 1; San Diego, CA. Misc. Publ. No. 11. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 1-14. [40491]
  • 16. Czarapata, Elizabeth J. 2005. Invasive plants of the Upper Midwest: An illustrated guide to their identification and control. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press. 215 p. [71442]
  • 93. Sheley, Roger; Manoukian, Mark; Marks, Gerald. 1999. Preventing noxious weed invasion. In: Sheley, Roger L.; Petroff, Janet K., eds. Biology and management of noxious rangeland weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 69-72. [35711]
  • 69. Mack, Richard N.; Simberloff, Daniel; Lonsdale, W. Mark; Evans, Harry; Clout, Michael; Bazzaz, Fakhri A. 2000. Biotic invasions: causes, epidemiology, global consequences, and control. Ecological Applications. 10(3): 689-710. [48324]
  • 2. Appleton, Bonnie; Huff, Roger R.; French, Susan C. 1999. Evaluating trees for saltwater spray tolerance for oceanfront sites. Journal of Arboriculture. 25(4): 205-210. [37147]
  • 14. Catling, Paul; Mitrow, Gisele. 2005. A prioritized list of the invasive alien plants of natural habitats in Canada. Canadian Botanical Association Bulletin. 38(4): 55-57. [71460]
  • 19. Dirr, Michael A. 1998. Manual of woody landscape plants: Their identification, ornamental characteristics, culture, propagation and uses. 5th ed. Champaign, IL: Stipes Publishing. 1187 p. [74836]
  • 48. Hill, Steven R. 1996. The flora of Latimer Point and vicinity, New London County, Connecticut. Rhodora. 98(894): 180-216. [44935]
  • 50. Hobbs, Richard J.; Humphries, Stella E. 1995. An integrated approach to the ecology and management of plant invasions. Conservation Biology. 9(4): 761-770. [44463]
  • 53. Johnson, Douglas E. 1999. Surveying, mapping, and monitoring noxious weeds on rangelands. In: Sheley, Roger L.; Petroff, Janet K., eds. Biology and management of noxious rangeland weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 19-36. [35707]
  • 80. Otfinowski, R.; Kenkel, N. C.; Dixon, P.; Wilmshurst, J. F. 2008. Integrating climate and trait models to predict the invasiveness of exotic plants in Canada's Riding Mountain National Park. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 87(5): 1001-1012. [70500]
  • 99. Spaulding, Perley. 1958. Diseases of foreign forest trees growing in the United States: An annotated list. Agriculture Handbook No. 139. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 118 p. [9945]
  • 110. Tu, Mandy; Hurd, Callie; Randall, John M., eds. 2001. Weed control methods handbook: tools and techniques for use in natural areas. Davis, CA: The Nature Conservancy. 194 p. [37787]
  • 121. Wells, M. J.; Duggan, K.; Hendersen, L. 1980. Woody plant invaders of the central Transvaal. In: Neser, S.; Cairns, A. L. P., eds. Proceedings, 3rd national weeds conference of South Africa; 1979 August; Pretoria, South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: A. A. Balkema: 11-23. [47112]
  • 123. White, David J.; Haber, Erich; Keddy, Cathy. 1993. Invasive plants of natural habitats in Canada: An integrated review of wetland and upland species and legislation governing their control. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Wildlife Service. 121 p. [71462]
  • 124. Wilson, Linda M.; McCaffrey, Joseph P. 1999. Biological control of noxious rangeland weeds. In: Sheley, Roger L.; Petroff, Janet K., eds. Biology and management of noxious rangeland weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 97-115. [35715]
  • 61. Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant Council. 2008. Invasive exotic plant list, [Online]. Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council (Producer). Available: http://www.se-eppc.org/ky/list.htm [2009, January 5]. [72785]
  • 73. Mehrhoff, L. J.; Silander, J. A., Jr.; Leicht, S. A.; Mosher, E. S.; Tabak, N. M. 2003. IPANE: Invasive Plant Atlas of New England, [Online]. Storrs, CT: University of Connecticut, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Producer). Available: http://nbii-nin.ciesin.columbia.edu/ipane/ [2008, May 28]. [70356]
  • 87. Reinartz, James A. 2003. IPAW working list of the invasive plants of Wisconsin--March 2003: a call for comments and information, [Online]. In: Plants out of place: The newsletter of the Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin. Issue 4. Madison, WI: Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin (Producer). Available: http://www.ipaw.org/newsletters/issue4.pdf [2009, June 26]. [74814]
  • 98. South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council. 2008. Invasive plant list, [Online]. Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council (Producer). Available: http://www.se-eppc.org/southcarolina/SCEPPC_LIST_offical_2008.xls [2009, January 5]. [72717]
  • 109. Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council. 2001. Tennessee invasive exotic plant list, [Online]. In: Invasive exotic plants in Tennessee. Fairview, TN: Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council (Producer) Available: http://www.tneppc.org/Invasive_Exotic_Plant_List/The_List.htm [2009, June 12]. [74677]
  • 113. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 2001. Guide to noxious weed prevention practices. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 25 p. Available online: http://www.fs.fed.us/invasivespecies/documents/FS_WeedBMP_2001.pdf [2009, November 19]. [37889]
  • 115. Van Driesche, Roy; Lyon, Suzanne; Blossey, Bernd; Hoddle, Mark; Reardon, Richard, tech. coords. 2002. Biological control of invasive plants in the eastern United States. Publication FHTET-2002-04. Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team. 413 p. Available online: http://www.invasive.org/eastern/biocontrol/index.html [2009, November 19]. [54194]
  • 118. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. 2003. Invasive alien plant species of Virginia, [Online]. In: Natural Heritage Program--Invasive plants list. Richmond, VA: Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage; Virginia Native Plant Society (Producers). Available: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/documents/invlist.pdf [2009, March 23]. [44942]

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Impacts and Control

More info for the terms: fire management, formation, introgression, invasive species, natural, prescribed fire, restoration, top-kill

 

Impacts: Although details and documentation of white poplar's impacts on native vegetation and drainage structures are lacking, these impacts are commonly noted in floras, weed control handbooks, and landscape manuals.

Concern about the impacts of white poplar in wildlands varies, as do recommendations for prioritizing its control. White poplar is listed as a "significant threat" by many eastern weed organizations [61,98,109,118]. In a survey of Wisconsin's authorities on local flora, white poplar ranked 35th out of 66 nonnative invasive plants evaluated for their negative impacts on native plant communities [87]. It was ranked 36th in a list of 81 nonnative, invasive species impacting natural habitats of Canada [14]. Based on models using climatic tolerances, biological traits, and invasiveness in other wildlands, researchers predicted that white poplar was a very high threat for establishing and proliferating in Manitoba's Riding Mountain National Park [80]. White poplar was assigned high priority for removal from Point Pelee National Park, Ontario (Dunster 1990 cited in [123]).

Photo © Richard Old, XID Services, Inc., Bugwood.org

White poplar was not considered a problematic species or a control priority in several other cases. It probably has less potential impact and receives lower priority for control in areas where it has not been widely planted and does not have the potential to hybridize with native aspens. In a survey answered by 35 Canadian botanists, most respondents indicated that white poplar was not a "problem species" and was invasive only locally. The survey was sent to botanists across Canada, but the regional distribution of respondents was not reported [123]. White poplar was relatively rare in Farmington, western Maine, and spread of clones was easily tracked back to areas where white poplar was planted [6]. Surveys of the flora in New London County, Connecticut, revealed that white poplar populations were uncommon and generally restricted to disturbed sites. Population sizes were stable [48].

Impacts from underground growth: The extensive white poplar root system has caused problems near houses or other urban developments. Several sources anecdotally report that white poplar roots can clog drains, sewers, and water channels [19,34,68]. In his manual of woody plants, Dirr [19] indicates that white poplar "becomes a nuisance and liability after a time". Dirr suggests that homeowners "avoid this pest". A pamphlet produced by England's Forestry Commission reports that white poplar can remove soil moisture rapidly during dry, hot days. In low-rainfall areas such as London and Essex, white poplar has caused rapid drying and shrinkage of clay soils, which can upset dwelling foundations [26].

Impacts to associated vegetation: Impacts on associated vegetation may change as white poplar stands expand and age. Through prolific root sprouting, white poplar can develop dense stands, which can crowd and shade native vegetation and reduce species diversity [16,97,120]. As stands age, the breakage of brittle white poplar wood can damage nearby vegetation [73]. In the central Transvaal area of South Africa, where white poplar is nonnative, there is "marked correlation between the occurrence of naturalized and planted white poplar", but white poplar no longer occurs as isolated stands; instead, it occupies whole river reaches and has spread from the water's edge to far outside the riparian zone. White poplar has "out-compete(d)" and suppressed existing vegetation in its formation of "absolutely pure stands" [121].

Hybridization: White poplar hybridizes with native aspens. Researchers fear that this hybridization could change the native aspen gene pool or produce "vigorous" hybrids that could replace native aspens. Because of its hybridization ability, white poplar was rated as a high priority for control in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia. Although current hybridization was not evaluated, white poplar populations occurred near quaking aspen and bigtooth aspen populations. Managers feared that hybridization could lead to the introgression of white poplar genes into the native aspen gene pool [103]. In southwestern Michigan, white poplar, native aspens, and their hybrids were evaluated. The impact of white poplar on the native aspen gene pools was considered low. As of the early 1980s, white poplar hybrid populations were clustered; recent hybridization, backcrossing, and extensive gene flow were not detected [101]. Hybrids were relatively disease and insect free [102].

Control: Because white poplar regenerates easily after top-kill (see Vegetative regeneration), it is difficult to control once established [13,88].

In all cases where invasive species are targeted for control, no matter what method is employed, the potential for other invasive species to fill their void must be considered [9]. Control of biotic invasions is most effective when it employs a long-term, ecosystem-wide strategy rather than a tactical approach focused on battling individual invaders [69].

Fire: For information on the use of prescribed fire to control this species, see Fire Management Considerations.

Prevention: Although there has been widespread planting of white poplar in North America, eliminating future plantings could improve future control efforts and reduce the potential for contamination of the gene pool for native aspens. Restricting sale of white poplar could limit future use. Informing land owners of white poplar's objectionable traits, as was done by Appleton and others [2], may help to limit future plantings.

It is commonly argued that the most cost-efficient and effective method of managing invasive species is to prevent their establishment and spread by maintaining "healthy" natural communities [69,93] and by monitoring several times each year [53]. Managing to maintain the integrity of the native plant community and mitigate the factors enhancing ecosystem invasibility is likely to be more effective than managing solely to control the invader [50].

Weed prevention and control can be incorporated into many types of management plans, including those for logging and site preparation, grazing allotments, recreation management, research projects, road building and maintenance, and fire management [113]. See the Guide to noxious weed prevention practices [113] for specific guidelines in preventing the spread of weed seeds and propagules under different management conditions.

Cultural control: No information is available on this topic.

Physical or mechanical control: Vegetative regeneration and spread can be encouraged by cutting white poplar stems [73]. To be a viable control option, cutting will likely need to be frequent, repeated, and/or paired with another control method. Weed handbooks suggest controlling white poplar by repeated and frequent cutting [34,120]. In the tallgrass restoration handbook, white poplar spread is said to be controlled by girdling large trees and repeatedly cutting sprouts [97]. In a review, Czarapata [16] reports that white poplar stems with less than a 2-inch (5 cm) DBH may be controlled by cutting followed by herbicide treatments. Sprouting of girdled stems larger than 2 inches (5 cm) in DBH may be limited by applying an herbicide to the wound [16].

Biological control: Biological control of invasive species has a long history that indicates many factors must be considered before using biological controls. Refer to these sources: [115,124] and the Weed control methods handbook [110] for background information and important considerations for developing and implementing biological control programs. For information on pests and diseases known to infect white poplar in the United States, see Spaulding [99].

Chemical control: Herbicides may be useful to control white poplar [34], but effectiveness may be improved if used in conjunction with other control methods [97].

Herbicides are effective in gaining initial control of a new invasion or a severe infestation, but they are rarely a complete or long-term solution to weed management [11]. See the Weed control methods handbook [110] for considerations on the use of herbicides in natural areas and detailed information on specific chemicals.

Integrated management: No information is available on this topic.
  • 13. Carter, Jack L. 1997. Trees and shrubs of New Mexico. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books. 534 p. [72647]
  • 6. Barton, Andrew M.; Brewster, Lauri B.; Cox, Anne N.; Prentiss, Nancy K. 2004. Non-indigenous woody invasive plants in a rural New England town. Biological Invasions. 6: 205-211. [47715]
  • 26. Edlin, Herbert L. 1968. Know your broadleaves. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 20. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 142 p. [20459]
  • 34. Glass, William. 1996. Populus alba--white poplar. In: Randall, John M.; Marinelli, Janet, eds. Invasive plants: Weeds of the global garden. Handbook #149. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Botanic Garden: 39. [72853]
  • 68. Little, Elbert L. 1961. Sixty trees from foreign lands. Agricultural Handbook No. 212. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 30 p. [53217]
  • 88. Roland, A. E.; Smith, E. C. 1969. The flora of Nova Scotia. Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Museum. 746 p. [13158]
  • 97. Solecki, Mary Kay. 1997. Controlling invasive plants. In: Packard, Stephen; Mutel, Cornelia F., eds. The tallgrass restoration handbook: For prairies, savannas, and woodlands. Washington, DC: Island Press: 251-278. [43127]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 103. Stapleton, C. A.; McCorquodale, D. B.; Sneddon, C.; Williams, M.; Bridgland, J. 1998. The distribution and potential for invasiveness of some non-native vascular plants in northern Cape Breton. Technical Report in Ecosystem Science No. 015. Ottawa: Parks Canada, Canadian Heritage, Atlantic Region. 68 p. [77812]
  • 120. Weber, Ewald. 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. Cambridge, MA: CABI Publishing. 548 p. [71904]
  • 11. Bussan, Alvin J.; Dyer, William E. 1999. Herbicides and rangeland. In: Sheley, Roger L.; Petroff, Janet K., eds. Biology and management of noxious rangeland weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 116-132. [35716]
  • 9. Brooks, Matthew L.; Pyke, David A. 2001. Invasive plants and fire in the deserts of North America. In: Galley, Krista E. M.; Wilson, Tyrone P., eds. Proceedings of the invasive species workshop: The role of fire in the control and spread of invasive species; Fire conference 2000: 1st national congress on fire ecology, prevention, and management; 2000 November 27 - December 1; San Diego, CA. Misc. Publ. No. 11. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 1-14. [40491]
  • 16. Czarapata, Elizabeth J. 2005. Invasive plants of the Upper Midwest: An illustrated guide to their identification and control. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press. 215 p. [71442]
  • 93. Sheley, Roger; Manoukian, Mark; Marks, Gerald. 1999. Preventing noxious weed invasion. In: Sheley, Roger L.; Petroff, Janet K., eds. Biology and management of noxious rangeland weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 69-72. [35711]
  • 69. Mack, Richard N.; Simberloff, Daniel; Lonsdale, W. Mark; Evans, Harry; Clout, Michael; Bazzaz, Fakhri A. 2000. Biotic invasions: causes, epidemiology, global consequences, and control. Ecological Applications. 10(3): 689-710. [48324]
  • 2. Appleton, Bonnie; Huff, Roger R.; French, Susan C. 1999. Evaluating trees for saltwater spray tolerance for oceanfront sites. Journal of Arboriculture. 25(4): 205-210. [37147]
  • 14. Catling, Paul; Mitrow, Gisele. 2005. A prioritized list of the invasive alien plants of natural habitats in Canada. Canadian Botanical Association Bulletin. 38(4): 55-57. [71460]
  • 19. Dirr, Michael A. 1998. Manual of woody landscape plants: Their identification, ornamental characteristics, culture, propagation and uses. 5th ed. Champaign, IL: Stipes Publishing. 1187 p. [74836]
  • 48. Hill, Steven R. 1996. The flora of Latimer Point and vicinity, New London County, Connecticut. Rhodora. 98(894): 180-216. [44935]
  • 50. Hobbs, Richard J.; Humphries, Stella E. 1995. An integrated approach to the ecology and management of plant invasions. Conservation Biology. 9(4): 761-770. [44463]
  • 53. Johnson, Douglas E. 1999. Surveying, mapping, and monitoring noxious weeds on rangelands. In: Sheley, Roger L.; Petroff, Janet K., eds. Biology and management of noxious rangeland weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 19-36. [35707]
  • 80. Otfinowski, R.; Kenkel, N. C.; Dixon, P.; Wilmshurst, J. F. 2008. Integrating climate and trait models to predict the invasiveness of exotic plants in Canada's Riding Mountain National Park. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 87(5): 1001-1012. [70500]
  • 99. Spaulding, Perley. 1958. Diseases of foreign forest trees growing in the United States: An annotated list. Agriculture Handbook No. 139. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 118 p. [9945]
  • 110. Tu, Mandy; Hurd, Callie; Randall, John M., eds. 2001. Weed control methods handbook: tools and techniques for use in natural areas. Davis, CA: The Nature Conservancy. 194 p. [37787]
  • 121. Wells, M. J.; Duggan, K.; Hendersen, L. 1980. Woody plant invaders of the central Transvaal. In: Neser, S.; Cairns, A. L. P., eds. Proceedings, 3rd national weeds conference of South Africa; 1979 August; Pretoria, South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: A. A. Balkema: 11-23. [47112]
  • 123. White, David J.; Haber, Erich; Keddy, Cathy. 1993. Invasive plants of natural habitats in Canada: An integrated review of wetland and upland species and legislation governing their control. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Wildlife Service. 121 p. [71462]
  • 124. Wilson, Linda M.; McCaffrey, Joseph P. 1999. Biological control of noxious rangeland weeds. In: Sheley, Roger L.; Petroff, Janet K., eds. Biology and management of noxious rangeland weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 97-115. [35715]
  • 61. Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant Council. 2008. Invasive exotic plant list, [Online]. Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council (Producer). Available: http://www.se-eppc.org/ky/list.htm [2009, January 5]. [72785]
  • 73. Mehrhoff, L. J.; Silander, J. A., Jr.; Leicht, S. A.; Mosher, E. S.; Tabak, N. M. 2003. IPANE: Invasive Plant Atlas of New England, [Online]. Storrs, CT: University of Connecticut, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Producer). Available: http://nbii-nin.ciesin.columbia.edu/ipane/ [2008, May 28]. [70356]
  • 87. Reinartz, James A. 2003. IPAW working list of the invasive plants of Wisconsin--March 2003: a call for comments and information, [Online]. In: Plants out of place: The newsletter of the Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin. Issue 4. Madison, WI: Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin (Producer). Available: http://www.ipaw.org/newsletters/issue4.pdf [2009, June 26]. [74814]
  • 98. South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council. 2008. Invasive plant list, [Online]. Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council (Producer). Available: http://www.se-eppc.org/southcarolina/SCEPPC_LIST_offical_2008.xls [2009, January 5]. [72717]
  • 109. Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council. 2001. Tennessee invasive exotic plant list, [Online]. In: Invasive exotic plants in Tennessee. Fairview, TN: Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council (Producer) Available: http://www.tneppc.org/Invasive_Exotic_Plant_List/The_List.htm [2009, June 12]. [74677]
  • 113. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 2001. Guide to noxious weed prevention practices. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 25 p. Available online: http://www.fs.fed.us/invasivespecies/documents/FS_WeedBMP_2001.pdf [2009, November 19]. [37889]
  • 115. Van Driesche, Roy; Lyon, Suzanne; Blossey, Bernd; Hoddle, Mark; Reardon, Richard, tech. coords. 2002. Biological control of invasive plants in the eastern United States. Publication FHTET-2002-04. Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team. 413 p. Available online: http://www.invasive.org/eastern/biocontrol/index.html [2009, November 19]. [54194]
  • 118. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. 2003. Invasive alien plant species of Virginia, [Online]. In: Natural Heritage Program--Invasive plants list. Richmond, VA: Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage; Virginia Native Plant Society (Producers). Available: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/documents/invlist.pdf [2009, March 23]. [44942]

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Impacts and Control

More info for the terms: fire management, formation, introgression, invasive species, natural, prescribed fire, restoration, top-kill

 

Impacts: Although details and documentation of white poplar's impacts on native vegetation and drainage structures are lacking, these impacts are commonly noted in floras, weed control handbooks, and landscape manuals.

Concern about the impacts of white poplar in wildlands varies, as do recommendations for prioritizing its control. White poplar is listed as a "significant threat" by many eastern weed organizations [61,98,109,118]. In a survey of Wisconsin's authorities on local flora, white poplar ranked 35th out of 66 nonnative invasive plants evaluated for their negative impacts on native plant communities [87]. It was ranked 36th in a list of 81 nonnative, invasive species impacting natural habitats of Canada [14]. Based on models using climatic tolerances, biological traits, and invasiveness in other wildlands, researchers predicted that white poplar was a very high threat for establishing and proliferating in Manitoba's Riding Mountain National Park [80]. White poplar was assigned high priority for removal from Point Pelee National Park, Ontario (Dunster 1990 cited in [123]).

Photo © Richard Old, XID Services, Inc., Bugwood.org

White poplar was not considered a problematic species or a control priority in several other cases. It probably has less potential impact and receives lower priority for control in areas where it has not been widely planted and does not have the potential to hybridize with native aspens. In a survey answered by 35 Canadian botanists, most respondents indicated that white poplar was not a "problem species" and was invasive only locally. The survey was sent to botanists across Canada, but the regional distribution of respondents was not reported [123]. White poplar was relatively rare in Farmington, western Maine, and spread of clones was easily tracked back to areas where white poplar was planted [6]. Surveys of the flora in New London County, Connecticut, revealed that white poplar populations were uncommon and generally restricted to disturbed sites. Population sizes were stable [48].

Impacts from underground growth: The extensive white poplar root system has caused problems near houses or other urban developments. Several sources anecdotally report that white poplar roots can clog drains, sewers, and water channels [19,34,68]. In his manual of woody plants, Dirr [19] indicates that white poplar "becomes a nuisance and liability after a time". Dirr suggests that homeowners "avoid this pest". A pamphlet produced by England's Forestry Commission reports that white poplar can remove soil moisture rapidly during dry, hot days. In low-rainfall areas such as London and Essex, white poplar has caused rapid drying and shrinkage of clay soils, which can upset dwelling foundations [26].

Impacts to associated vegetation: Impacts on associated vegetation may change as white poplar stands expand and age. Through prolific root sprouting, white poplar can develop dense stands, which can crowd and shade native vegetation and reduce species diversity [16,97,120]. As stands age, the breakage of brittle white poplar wood can damage nearby vegetation [73]. In the central Transvaal area of South Africa, where white poplar is nonnative, there is "marked correlation between the occurrence of naturalized and planted white poplar", but white poplar no longer occurs as isolated stands; instead, it occupies whole river reaches and has spread from the water's edge to far outside the riparian zone. White poplar has "out-compete(d)" and suppressed existing vegetation in its formation of "absolutely pure stands" [121].

Hybridization: White poplar hybridizes with native aspens. Researchers fear that this hybridization could change the native aspen gene pool or produce "vigorous" hybrids that could replace native aspens. Because of its hybridization ability, white poplar was rated as a high priority for control in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia. Although current hybridization was not evaluated, white poplar populations occurred near quaking aspen and bigtooth aspen populations. Managers feared that hybridization could lead to the introgression of white poplar genes into the native aspen gene pool [103]. In southwestern Michigan, white poplar, native aspens, and their hybrids were evaluated. The impact of white poplar on the native aspen gene pools was considered low. As of the early 1980s, white poplar hybrid populations were clustered; recent hybridization, backcrossing, and extensive gene flow were not detected [101]. Hybrids were relatively disease and insect free [102].

Control: Because white poplar regenerates easily after top-kill (see Vegetative regeneration), it is difficult to control once established [13,88].

In all cases where invasive species are targeted for control, no matter what method is employed, the potential for other invasive species to fill their void must be considered [9]. Control of biotic invasions is most effective when it employs a long-term, ecosystem-wide strategy rather than a tactical approach focused on battling individual invaders [69].

Fire: For information on the use of prescribed fire to control this species, see Fire Management Considerations.

Prevention: Although there has been widespread planting of white poplar in North America, eliminating future plantings could improve future control efforts and reduce the potential for contamination of the gene pool for native aspens. Restricting sale of white poplar could limit future use. Informing land owners of white poplar's objectionable traits, as was done by Appleton and others [2], may help to limit future plantings.

It is commonly argued that the most cost-efficient and effective method of managing invasive species is to prevent their establishment and spread by maintaining "healthy" natural communities [69,93] and by monitoring several times each year [53]. Managing to maintain the integrity of the native plant community and mitigate the factors enhancing ecosystem invasibility is likely to be more effective than managing solely to control the invader [50].

Weed prevention and control can be incorporated into many types of management plans, including those for logging and site preparation, grazing allotments, recreation management, research projects, road building and maintenance, and fire management [113]. See the Guide to noxious weed prevention practices [113] for specific guidelines in preventing the spread of weed seeds and propagules under different management conditions.

Cultural control: No information is available on this topic.

Physical or mechanical control: Vegetative regeneration and spread can be encouraged by cutting white poplar stems [73]. To be a viable control option, cutting will likely need to be frequent, repeated, and/or paired with another control method. Weed handbooks suggest controlling white poplar by repeated and frequent cutting [34,120]. In the tallgrass restoration handbook, white poplar spread is said to be controlled by girdling large trees and repeatedly cutting sprouts [97]. In a review, Czarapata [16] reports that white poplar stems with less than a 2-inch (5 cm) DBH may be controlled by cutting followed by herbicide treatments. Sprouting of girdled stems larger than 2 inches (5 cm) in DBH may be limited by applying an herbicide to the wound [16].

Biological control: Biological control of invasive species has a long history that indicates many factors must be considered before using biological controls. Refer to these sources: [115,124] and the Weed control methods handbook [110] for background information and important considerations for developing and implementing biological control programs. For information on pests and diseases known to infect white poplar in the United States, see Spaulding [99].

Chemical control: Herbicides may be useful to control white poplar [34], but effectiveness may be improved if used in conjunction with other control methods [97].

Herbicides are effective in gaining initial control of a new invasion or a severe infestation, but they are rarely a complete or long-term solution to weed management [11]. See the Weed control methods handbook [110] for considerations on the use of herbicides in natural areas and detailed information on specific chemicals.

Integrated management: No information is available on this topic.
  • 13. Carter, Jack L. 1997. Trees and shrubs of New Mexico. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books. 534 p. [72647]
  • 6. Barton, Andrew M.; Brewster, Lauri B.; Cox, Anne N.; Prentiss, Nancy K. 2004. Non-indigenous woody invasive plants in a rural New England town. Biological Invasions. 6: 205-211. [47715]
  • 26. Edlin, Herbert L. 1968. Know your broadleaves. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 20. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 142 p. [20459]
  • 34. Glass, William. 1996. Populus alba--white poplar. In: Randall, John M.; Marinelli, Janet, eds. Invasive plants: Weeds of the global garden. Handbook #149. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Botanic Garden: 39. [72853]
  • 68. Little, Elbert L. 1961. Sixty trees from foreign lands. Agricultural Handbook No. 212. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 30 p. [53217]
  • 88. Roland, A. E.; Smith, E. C. 1969. The flora of Nova Scotia. Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Museum. 746 p. [13158]
  • 97. Solecki, Mary Kay. 1997. Controlling invasive plants. In: Packard, Stephen; Mutel, Cornelia F., eds. The tallgrass restoration handbook: For prairies, savannas, and woodlands. Washington, DC: Island Press: 251-278. [43127]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 103. Stapleton, C. A.; McCorquodale, D. B.; Sneddon, C.; Williams, M.; Bridgland, J. 1998. The distribution and potential for invasiveness of some non-native vascular plants in northern Cape Breton. Technical Report in Ecosystem Science No. 015. Ottawa: Parks Canada, Canadian Heritage, Atlantic Region. 68 p. [77812]
  • 120. Weber, Ewald. 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. Cambridge, MA: CABI Publishing. 548 p. [71904]
  • 11. Bussan, Alvin J.; Dyer, William E. 1999. Herbicides and rangeland. In: Sheley, Roger L.; Petroff, Janet K., eds. Biology and management of noxious rangeland weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 116-132. [35716]
  • 9. Brooks, Matthew L.; Pyke, David A. 2001. Invasive plants and fire in the deserts of North America. In: Galley, Krista E. M.; Wilson, Tyrone P., eds. Proceedings of the invasive species workshop: The role of fire in the control and spread of invasive species; Fire conference 2000: 1st national congress on fire ecology, prevention, and management; 2000 November 27 - December 1; San Diego, CA. Misc. Publ. No. 11. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 1-14. [40491]
  • 16. Czarapata, Elizabeth J. 2005. Invasive plants of the Upper Midwest: An illustrated guide to their identification and control. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press. 215 p. [71442]
  • 93. Sheley, Roger; Manoukian, Mark; Marks, Gerald. 1999. Preventing noxious weed invasion. In: Sheley, Roger L.; Petroff, Janet K., eds. Biology and management of noxious rangeland weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 69-72. [35711]
  • 69. Mack, Richard N.; Simberloff, Daniel; Lonsdale, W. Mark; Evans, Harry; Clout, Michael; Bazzaz, Fakhri A. 2000. Biotic invasions: causes, epidemiology, global consequences, and control. Ecological Applications. 10(3): 689-710. [48324]
  • 2. Appleton, Bonnie; Huff, Roger R.; French, Susan C. 1999. Evaluating trees for saltwater spray tolerance for oceanfront sites. Journal of Arboriculture. 25(4): 205-210. [37147]
  • 14. Catling, Paul; Mitrow, Gisele. 2005. A prioritized list of the invasive alien plants of natural habitats in Canada. Canadian Botanical Association Bulletin. 38(4): 55-57. [71460]
  • 19. Dirr, Michael A. 1998. Manual of woody landscape plants: Their identification, ornamental characteristics, culture, propagation and uses. 5th ed. Champaign, IL: Stipes Publishing. 1187 p. [74836]
  • 48. Hill, Steven R. 1996. The flora of Latimer Point and vicinity, New London County, Connecticut. Rhodora. 98(894): 180-216. [44935]
  • 50. Hobbs, Richard J.; Humphries, Stella E. 1995. An integrated approach to the ecology and management of plant invasions. Conservation Biology. 9(4): 761-770. [44463]
  • 53. Johnson, Douglas E. 1999. Surveying, mapping, and monitoring noxious weeds on rangelands. In: Sheley, Roger L.; Petroff, Janet K., eds. Biology and management of noxious rangeland weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 19-36. [35707]
  • 80. Otfinowski, R.; Kenkel, N. C.; Dixon, P.; Wilmshurst, J. F. 2008. Integrating climate and trait models to predict the invasiveness of exotic plants in Canada's Riding Mountain National Park. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 87(5): 1001-1012. [70500]
  • 99. Spaulding, Perley. 1958. Diseases of foreign forest trees growing in the United States: An annotated list. Agriculture Handbook No. 139. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 118 p. [9945]
  • 110. Tu, Mandy; Hurd, Callie; Randall, John M., eds. 2001. Weed control methods handbook: tools and techniques for use in natural areas. Davis, CA: The Nature Conservancy. 194 p. [37787]
  • 121. Wells, M. J.; Duggan, K.; Hendersen, L. 1980. Woody plant invaders of the central Transvaal. In: Neser, S.; Cairns, A. L. P., eds. Proceedings, 3rd national weeds conference of South Africa; 1979 August; Pretoria, South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: A. A. Balkema: 11-23. [47112]
  • 123. White, David J.; Haber, Erich; Keddy, Cathy. 1993. Invasive plants of natural habitats in Canada: An integrated review of wetland and upland species and legislation governing their control. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Wildlife Service. 121 p. [71462]
  • 124. Wilson, Linda M.; McCaffrey, Joseph P. 1999. Biological control of noxious rangeland weeds. In: Sheley, Roger L.; Petroff, Janet K., eds. Biology and management of noxious rangeland weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 97-115. [35715]
  • 61. Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant Council. 2008. Invasive exotic plant list, [Online]. Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council (Producer). Available: http://www.se-eppc.org/ky/list.htm [2009, January 5]. [72785]
  • 73. Mehrhoff, L. J.; Silander, J. A., Jr.; Leicht, S. A.; Mosher, E. S.; Tabak, N. M. 2003. IPANE: Invasive Plant Atlas of New England, [Online]. Storrs, CT: University of Connecticut, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Producer). Available: http://nbii-nin.ciesin.columbia.edu/ipane/ [2008, May 28]. [70356]
  • 87. Reinartz, James A. 2003. IPAW working list of the invasive plants of Wisconsin--March 2003: a call for comments and information, [Online]. In: Plants out of place: The newsletter of the Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin. Issue 4. Madison, WI: Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin (Producer). Available: http://www.ipaw.org/newsletters/issue4.pdf [2009, June 26]. [74814]
  • 98. South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council. 2008. Invasive plant list, [Online]. Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council (Producer). Available: http://www.se-eppc.org/southcarolina/SCEPPC_LIST_offical_2008.xls [2009, January 5]. [72717]
  • 109. Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council. 2001. Tennessee invasive exotic plant list, [Online]. In: Invasive exotic plants in Tennessee. Fairview, TN: Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council (Producer) Available: http://www.tneppc.org/Invasive_Exotic_Plant_List/The_List.htm [2009, June 12]. [74677]
  • 113. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 2001. Guide to noxious weed prevention practices. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 25 p. Available online: http://www.fs.fed.us/invasivespecies/documents/FS_WeedBMP_2001.pdf [2009, November 19]. [37889]
  • 115. Van Driesche, Roy; Lyon, Suzanne; Blossey, Bernd; Hoddle, Mark; Reardon, Richard, tech. coords. 2002. Biological control of invasive plants in the eastern United States. Publication FHTET-2002-04. Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team. 413 p. Available online: http://www.invasive.org/eastern/biocontrol/index.html [2009, November 19]. [54194]
  • 118. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. 2003. Invasive alien plant species of Virginia, [Online]. In: Natural Heritage Program--Invasive plants list. Richmond, VA: Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage; Virginia Native Plant Society (Producers). Available: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/documents/invlist.pdf [2009, March 23]. [44942]

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Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Impacts and Control

More info for the terms: fire management, formation, introgression, invasive species, natural, prescribed fire, restoration, top-kill

 

Impacts: Although details and documentation of white poplar's impacts on native vegetation and drainage structures are lacking, these impacts are commonly noted in floras, weed control handbooks, and landscape manuals.

Concern about the impacts of white poplar in wildlands varies, as do recommendations for prioritizing its control. White poplar is listed as a "significant threat" by many eastern weed organizations [61,98,109,118]. In a survey of Wisconsin's authorities on local flora, white poplar ranked 35th out of 66 nonnative invasive plants evaluated for their negative impacts on native plant communities [87]. It was ranked 36th in a list of 81 nonnative, invasive species impacting natural habitats of Canada [14]. Based on models using climatic tolerances, biological traits, and invasiveness in other wildlands, researchers predicted that white poplar was a very high threat for establishing and proliferating in Manitoba's Riding Mountain National Park [80]. White poplar was assigned high priority for removal from Point Pelee National Park, Ontario (Dunster 1990 cited in [123]).

Photo © Richard Old, XID Services, Inc., Bugwood.org

White poplar was not considered a problematic species or a control priority in several other cases. It probably has less potential impact and receives lower priority for control in areas where it has not been widely planted and does not have the potential to hybridize with native aspens. In a survey answered by 35 Canadian botanists, most respondents indicated that white poplar was not a "problem species" and was invasive only locally. The survey was sent to botanists across Canada, but the regional distribution of respondents was not reported [123]. White poplar was relatively rare in Farmington, western Maine, and spread of clones was easily tracked back to areas where white poplar was planted [6]. Surveys of the flora in New London County, Connecticut, revealed that white poplar populations were uncommon and generally restricted to disturbed sites. Population sizes were stable [48].

Impacts from underground growth: The extensive white poplar root system has caused problems near houses or other urban developments. Several sources anecdotally report that white poplar roots can clog drains, sewers, and water channels [19,34,68]. In his manual of woody plants, Dirr [19] indicates that white poplar "becomes a nuisance and liability after a time". Dirr suggests that homeowners "avoid this pest". A pamphlet produced by England's Forestry Commission reports that white poplar can remove soil moisture rapidly during dry, hot days. In low-rainfall areas such as London and Essex, white poplar has caused rapid drying and shrinkage of clay soils, which can upset dwelling foundations [26].

Impacts to associated vegetation: Impacts on associated vegetation may change as white poplar stands expand and age. Through prolific root sprouting, white poplar can develop dense stands, which can crowd and shade native vegetation and reduce species diversity [16,97,120]. As stands age, the breakage of brittle white poplar wood can damage nearby vegetation [73]. In the central Transvaal area of South Africa, where white poplar is nonnative, there is "marked correlation between the occurrence of naturalized and planted white poplar", but white poplar no longer occurs as isolated stands; instead, it occupies whole river reaches and has spread from the water's edge to far outside the riparian zone. White poplar has "out-compete(d)" and suppressed existing vegetation in its formation of "absolutely pure stands" [121].

Hybridization: White poplar hybridizes with native aspens. Researchers fear that this hybridization could change the native aspen gene pool or produce "vigorous" hybrids that could replace native aspens. Because of its hybridization ability, white poplar was rated as a high priority for control in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia. Although current hybridization was not evaluated, white poplar populations occurred near quaking aspen and bigtooth aspen populations. Managers feared that hybridization could lead to the introgression of white poplar genes into the native aspen gene pool [103]. In southwestern Michigan, white poplar, native aspens, and their hybrids were evaluated. The impact of white poplar on the native aspen gene pools was considered low. As of the early 1980s, white poplar hybrid populations were clustered; recent hybridization, backcrossing, and extensive gene flow were not detected [101]. Hybrids were relatively disease and insect free [102].

Control: Because white poplar regenerates easily after top-kill (see Vegetative regeneration), it is difficult to control once established [13,88].

In all cases where invasive species are targeted for control, no matter what method is employed, the potential for other invasive species to fill their void must be considered [9]. Control of biotic invasions is most effective when it employs a long-term, ecosystem-wide strategy rather than a tactical approach focused on battling individual invaders [69].

Fire: For information on the use of prescribed fire to control this species, see Fire Management Considerations.

Prevention: Although there has been widespread planting of white poplar in North America, eliminating future plantings could improve future control efforts and reduce the potential for contamination of the gene pool for native aspens. Restricting sale of white poplar could limit future use. Informing land owners of white poplar's objectionable traits, as was done by Appleton and others [2], may help to limit future plantings.

It is commonly argued that the most cost-efficient and effective method of managing invasive species is to prevent their establishment and spread by maintaining "healthy" natural communities [69,93] and by monitoring several times each year [53]. Managing to maintain the integrity of the native plant community and mitigate the factors enhancing ecosystem invasibility is likely to be more effective than managing solely to control the invader [50].

Weed prevention and control can be incorporated into many types of management plans, including those for logging and site preparation, grazing allotments, recreation management, research projects, road building and maintenance, and fire management [113]. See the Guide to noxious weed prevention practices [113] for specific guidelines in preventing the spread of weed seeds and propagules under different management conditions.

Cultural control: No information is available on this topic.

Physical or mechanical control: Vegetative regeneration and spread can be encouraged by cutting white poplar stems [73]. To be a viable control option, cutting will likely need to be frequent, repeated, and/or paired with another control method. Weed handbooks suggest controlling white poplar by repeated and frequent cutting [34,120]. In the tallgrass restoration handbook, white poplar spread is said to be controlled by girdling large trees and repeatedly cutting sprouts [97]. In a review, Czarapata [16] reports that white poplar stems with less than a 2-inch (5 cm) DBH may be controlled by cutting followed by herbicide treatments. Sprouting of girdled stems larger than 2 inches (5 cm) in DBH may be limited by applying an herbicide to the wound [16].

Biological control: Biological control of invasive species has a long history that indicates many factors must be considered before using biological controls. Refer to these sources: [115,124] and the Weed control methods handbook [110] for background information and important considerations for developing and implementing biological control programs. For information on pests and diseases known to infect white poplar in the United States, see Spaulding [99].

Chemical control: Herbicides may be useful to control white poplar [34], but effectiveness may be improved if used in conjunction with other control methods [97].

Herbicides are effective in gaining initial control of a new invasion or a severe infestation, but they are rarely a complete or long-term solution to weed management [11]. See the Weed control methods handbook [110] for considerations on the use of herbicides in natural areas and detailed information on specific chemicals.

Integrated management: No information is available on this topic.
  • 13. Carter, Jack L. 1997. Trees and shrubs of New Mexico. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books. 534 p. [72647]
  • 6. Barton, Andrew M.; Brewster, Lauri B.; Cox, Anne N.; Prentiss, Nancy K. 2004. Non-indigenous woody invasive plants in a rural New England town. Biological Invasions. 6: 205-211. [47715]
  • 26. Edlin, Herbert L. 1968. Know your broadleaves. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 20. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 142 p. [20459]
  • 34. Glass, William. 1996. Populus alba--white poplar. In: Randall, John M.; Marinelli, Janet, eds. Invasive plants: Weeds of the global garden. Handbook #149. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Botanic Garden: 39. [72853]
  • 68. Little, Elbert L. 1961. Sixty trees from foreign lands. Agricultural Handbook No. 212. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 30 p. [53217]
  • 88. Roland, A. E.; Smith, E. C. 1969. The flora of Nova Scotia. Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Museum. 746 p. [13158]
  • 97. Solecki, Mary Kay. 1997. Controlling invasive plants. In: Packard, Stephen; Mutel, Cornelia F., eds. The tallgrass restoration handbook: For prairies, savannas, and woodlands. Washington, DC: Island Press: 251-278. [43127]
  • 101. Spies, Thomas A.; Barnes, Burton V. 1982. Natural hybridization between Populus alba L. and the native aspens in southeastern Michigan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 12(3): 653-660. [77764]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 103. Stapleton, C. A.; McCorquodale, D. B.; Sneddon, C.; Williams, M.; Bridgland, J. 1998. The distribution and potential for invasiveness of some non-native vascular plants in northern Cape Breton. Technical Report in Ecosystem Science No. 015. Ottawa: Parks Canada, Canadian Heritage, Atlantic Region. 68 p. [77812]
  • 120. Weber, Ewald. 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. Cambridge, MA: CABI Publishing. 548 p. [71904]
  • 11. Bussan, Alvin J.; Dyer, William E. 1999. Herbicides and rangeland. In: Sheley, Roger L.; Petroff, Janet K., eds. Biology and management of noxious rangeland weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 116-132. [35716]
  • 9. Brooks, Matthew L.; Pyke, David A. 2001. Invasive plants and fire in the deserts of North America. In: Galley, Krista E. M.; Wilson, Tyrone P., eds. Proceedings of the invasive species workshop: The role of fire in the control and spread of invasive species; Fire conference 2000: 1st national congress on fire ecology, prevention, and management; 2000 November 27 - December 1; San Diego, CA. Misc. Publ. No. 11. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 1-14. [40491]
  • 16. Czarapata, Elizabeth J. 2005. Invasive plants of the Upper Midwest: An illustrated guide to their identification and control. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press. 215 p. [71442]
  • 93. Sheley, Roger; Manoukian, Mark; Marks, Gerald. 1999. Preventing noxious weed invasion. In: Sheley, Roger L.; Petroff, Janet K., eds. Biology and management of noxious rangeland weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 69-72. [35711]
  • 69. Mack, Richard N.; Simberloff, Daniel; Lonsdale, W. Mark; Evans, Harry; Clout, Michael; Bazzaz, Fakhri A. 2000. Biotic invasions: causes, epidemiology, global consequences, and control. Ecological Applications. 10(3): 689-710. [48324]
  • 2. Appleton, Bonnie; Huff, Roger R.; French, Susan C. 1999. Evaluating trees for saltwater spray tolerance for oceanfront sites. Journal of Arboriculture. 25(4): 205-210. [37147]
  • 14. Catling, Paul; Mitrow, Gisele. 2005. A prioritized list of the invasive alien plants of natural habitats in Canada. Canadian Botanical Association Bulletin. 38(4): 55-57. [71460]
  • 19. Dirr, Michael A. 1998. Manual of woody landscape plants: Their identification, ornamental characteristics, culture, propagation and uses. 5th ed. Champaign, IL: Stipes Publishing. 1187 p. [74836]
  • 48. Hill, Steven R. 1996. The flora of Latimer Point and vicinity, New London County, Connecticut. Rhodora. 98(894): 180-216. [44935]
  • 50. Hobbs, Richard J.; Humphries, Stella E. 1995. An integrated approach to the ecology and management of plant invasions. Conservation Biology. 9(4): 761-770. [44463]
  • 53. Johnson, Douglas E. 1999. Surveying, mapping, and monitoring noxious weeds on rangelands. In: Sheley, Roger L.; Petroff, Janet K., eds. Biology and management of noxious rangeland weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 19-36. [35707]
  • 80. Otfinowski, R.; Kenkel, N. C.; Dixon, P.; Wilmshurst, J. F. 2008. Integrating climate and trait models to predict the invasiveness of exotic plants in Canada's Riding Mountain National Park. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 87(5): 1001-1012. [70500]
  • 99. Spaulding, Perley. 1958. Diseases of foreign forest trees growing in the United States: An annotated list. Agriculture Handbook No. 139. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 118 p. [9945]
  • 110. Tu, Mandy; Hurd, Callie; Randall, John M., eds. 2001. Weed control methods handbook: tools and techniques for use in natural areas. Davis, CA: The Nature Conservancy. 194 p. [37787]
  • 121. Wells, M. J.; Duggan, K.; Hendersen, L. 1980. Woody plant invaders of the central Transvaal. In: Neser, S.; Cairns, A. L. P., eds. Proceedings, 3rd national weeds conference of South Africa; 1979 August; Pretoria, South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: A. A. Balkema: 11-23. [47112]
  • 123. White, David J.; Haber, Erich; Keddy, Cathy. 1993. Invasive plants of natural habitats in Canada: An integrated review of wetland and upland species and legislation governing their control. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Wildlife Service. 121 p. [71462]
  • 124. Wilson, Linda M.; McCaffrey, Joseph P. 1999. Biological control of noxious rangeland weeds. In: Sheley, Roger L.; Petroff, Janet K., eds. Biology and management of noxious rangeland weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press: 97-115. [35715]
  • 61. Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant Council. 2008. Invasive exotic plant list, [Online]. Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council (Producer). Available: http://www.se-eppc.org/ky/list.htm [2009, January 5]. [72785]
  • 73. Mehrhoff, L. J.; Silander, J. A., Jr.; Leicht, S. A.; Mosher, E. S.; Tabak, N. M. 2003. IPANE: Invasive Plant Atlas of New England, [Online]. Storrs, CT: University of Connecticut, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Producer). Available: http://nbii-nin.ciesin.columbia.edu/ipane/ [2008, May 28]. [70356]
  • 87. Reinartz, James A. 2003. IPAW working list of the invasive plants of Wisconsin--March 2003: a call for comments and information, [Online]. In: Plants out of place: The newsletter of the Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin. Issue 4. Madison, WI: Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin (Producer). Available: http://www.ipaw.org/newsletters/issue4.pdf [2009, June 26]. [74814]
  • 98. South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council. 2008. Invasive plant list, [Online]. Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council (Producer). Available: http://www.se-eppc.org/southcarolina/SCEPPC_LIST_offical_2008.xls [2009, January 5]. [72717]
  • 109. Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council. 2001. Tennessee invasive exotic plant list, [Online]. In: Invasive exotic plants in Tennessee. Fairview, TN: Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council (Producer) Available: http://www.tneppc.org/Invasive_Exotic_Plant_List/The_List.htm [2009, June 12]. [74677]
  • 113. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 2001. Guide to noxious weed prevention practices. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 25 p. Available online: http://www.fs.fed.us/invasivespecies/documents/FS_WeedBMP_2001.pdf [2009, November 19]. [37889]
  • 115. Van Driesche, Roy; Lyon, Suzanne; Blossey, Bernd; Hoddle, Mark; Reardon, Richard, tech. coords. 2002. Biological control of invasive plants in the eastern United States. Publication FHTET-2002-04. Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team. 413 p. Available online: http://www.invasive.org/eastern/biocontrol/index.html [2009, November 19]. [54194]
  • 118. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. 2003. Invasive alien plant species of Virginia, [Online]. In: Natural Heritage Program--Invasive plants list. Richmond, VA: Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage; Virginia Native Plant Society (Producers). Available: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/documents/invlist.pdf [2009, March 23]. [44942]

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Other uses and values

After discovering the high productivity and growth rates of naturally occurring P. alba × P. grandidentata stands in Iowa, widespread planting trials of these hybrids were recommended. Researchers compared the growth and profitability of P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. deltoides × P. nigra, and silver maple (Acer saccharinum) for pulp production on a variety of sites in Iowa. After 6 years of growth, P. alba × P. grandidentata produced the greatest height and DBH and had the highest survival rate (94%). Researchers reported that P. alba × P. grandidentata had the greatest potential for profit as a short-rotation, woody biomass crop for pulp and/or fiber production [36]. Researchers have also engineered an herbicide-resistant strain of P. alba × P. grandidentata [21]. This strain has been grown in field trials [74].
  • 21. Donahue, Raymon A.; David, Tim D.; Michler, Charles H.; Riemenschneider, Don E.; Carter, Doug R.; Marquardt, Paula E.; Sankhla, Narendra; Sankhla, Daksha; Haissig, Bruce E.; Isebrands, J. G. 1994. Growth, photosynthesis, and herbicide tolerance of genetically modified hybrid poplar. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 24(12): 2377-2383. [77720]
  • 36. Goerndt, Michael E.; Mize, Carl. 2008. Short-rotation woody biomass as a crop on marginal lands in Iowa. Northern Journal of Applied Forestry. 25(2): 82-86. [77746]
  • 74. Meilan, R.; Han, K.-H.; Ma, C.; DiFazio, S. P.; Eaton, J. A.; Hoien, E. A.; Stanton, B. J.; Crockett, R. P.; Tayolor, M. L.; James, R. R.; Skinner, J. S.; Jouanin, L.; Pilate, G.; Strauss, S. H. 2002. The CP4 transgene provides high levels of tolerance to Roundup herbicide in field-grown hybrid poplars. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 32(6): 967-976. [77726]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

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Few studies reported on the value of white poplar and white poplar hybrids to wildlife and livestock as of 2010. Use of white poplar was only noted in 2 studies. In Illinois, yellow-bellied sapsucker holes occurred in white poplar trees but were not abundant [38]. Based on observations made in western Massachusetts, white poplar was considered an attractive food source for eastern cottontails. However, only slight injury occurred from winter feeding by eastern cottontails [108]. It is likely that white poplar and its hybrids are utilized for food and cover by a wider variety of wildlife species than is indicated in the reviewed literature.

Palatability and/or nutritional value: No information is available on this topic.

Cover value: It is likely that white poplar and hybrid stands provide shade and cover for wildlife and livestock. White poplar has been recommended to improve wildlife habitat [42]; however, its cover value was not evaluated in the literature as of 2010.

  • 38. Graber, Jean W.; Graber, Richard R.; Kirk, Ethelyn L. 1977. Illinois birds: Picidae. Biological Notes No. 102. Urbana, IL: State of Illinois, Department of Registration and Education; Natural History Survey Division, Natural History Survey. 73 p. [64983]
  • 108. Sweetman, Harvey L. 1949. Further studies of the winter feeding habits of cottontail rabbits. Ecology. 30(3): 371-376. [72521]
  • 42. Hall, R. B.; Colletti, J. P.; Schultz, R. C.; Faltonson, R. R.; Kolison, S. H., Jr.; Hanna, R. D.; Hillson, T. D.; Morrison, J. W. 1990. Commercial-scale vegetative propagation of aspens. In: Adams, Roy D., ed. Aspen symposium '89: Proceedings; 1989 July 25-27; Duluth, MN. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-140. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 211-219. [12432]

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Other uses and values

After discovering the high productivity and growth rates of naturally occurring P. alba × P. grandidentata stands in Iowa, widespread planting trials of these hybrids were recommended. Researchers compared the growth and profitability of P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. deltoides × P. nigra, and silver maple (Acer saccharinum) for pulp production on a variety of sites in Iowa. After 6 years of growth, P. alba × P. grandidentata produced the greatest height and DBH and had the highest survival rate (94%). Researchers reported that P. alba × P. grandidentata had the greatest potential for profit as a short-rotation, woody biomass crop for pulp and/or fiber production [36]. Researchers have also engineered an herbicide-resistant strain of P. alba × P. grandidentata [21]. This strain has been grown in field trials [74].
  • 21. Donahue, Raymon A.; David, Tim D.; Michler, Charles H.; Riemenschneider, Don E.; Carter, Doug R.; Marquardt, Paula E.; Sankhla, Narendra; Sankhla, Daksha; Haissig, Bruce E.; Isebrands, J. G. 1994. Growth, photosynthesis, and herbicide tolerance of genetically modified hybrid poplar. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 24(12): 2377-2383. [77720]
  • 36. Goerndt, Michael E.; Mize, Carl. 2008. Short-rotation woody biomass as a crop on marginal lands in Iowa. Northern Journal of Applied Forestry. 25(2): 82-86. [77746]
  • 74. Meilan, R.; Han, K.-H.; Ma, C.; DiFazio, S. P.; Eaton, J. A.; Hoien, E. A.; Stanton, B. J.; Crockett, R. P.; Tayolor, M. L.; James, R. R.; Skinner, J. S.; Jouanin, L.; Pilate, G.; Strauss, S. H. 2002. The CP4 transgene provides high levels of tolerance to Roundup herbicide in field-grown hybrid poplars. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 32(6): 967-976. [77726]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the term: cover

Few studies reported on the value of white poplar and white poplar hybrids to wildlife and livestock as of 2010. Use of white poplar was only noted in 2 studies. In Illinois, yellow-bellied sapsucker holes occurred in white poplar trees but were not abundant [38]. Based on observations made in western Massachusetts, white poplar was considered an attractive food source for eastern cottontails. However, only slight injury occurred from winter feeding by eastern cottontails [108]. It is likely that white poplar and its hybrids are utilized for food and cover by a wider variety of wildlife species than is indicated in the reviewed literature.

Palatability and/or nutritional value: No information is available on this topic.

Cover value: It is likely that white poplar and hybrid stands provide shade and cover for wildlife and livestock. White poplar has been recommended to improve wildlife habitat [42]; however, its cover value was not evaluated in the literature as of 2010.

  • 38. Graber, Jean W.; Graber, Richard R.; Kirk, Ethelyn L. 1977. Illinois birds: Picidae. Biological Notes No. 102. Urbana, IL: State of Illinois, Department of Registration and Education; Natural History Survey Division, Natural History Survey. 73 p. [64983]
  • 108. Sweetman, Harvey L. 1949. Further studies of the winter feeding habits of cottontail rabbits. Ecology. 30(3): 371-376. [72521]
  • 42. Hall, R. B.; Colletti, J. P.; Schultz, R. C.; Faltonson, R. R.; Kolison, S. H., Jr.; Hanna, R. D.; Hillson, T. D.; Morrison, J. W. 1990. Commercial-scale vegetative propagation of aspens. In: Adams, Roy D., ed. Aspen symposium '89: Proceedings; 1989 July 25-27; Duluth, MN. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-140. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 211-219. [12432]

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Other uses and values

After discovering the high productivity and growth rates of naturally occurring P. alba × P. grandidentata stands in Iowa, widespread planting trials of these hybrids were recommended. Researchers compared the growth and profitability of P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. deltoides × P. nigra, and silver maple (Acer saccharinum) for pulp production on a variety of sites in Iowa. After 6 years of growth, P. alba × P. grandidentata produced the greatest height and DBH and had the highest survival rate (94%). Researchers reported that P. alba × P. grandidentata had the greatest potential for profit as a short-rotation, woody biomass crop for pulp and/or fiber production [36]. Researchers have also engineered an herbicide-resistant strain of P. alba × P. grandidentata [21]. This strain has been grown in field trials [74].
  • 21. Donahue, Raymon A.; David, Tim D.; Michler, Charles H.; Riemenschneider, Don E.; Carter, Doug R.; Marquardt, Paula E.; Sankhla, Narendra; Sankhla, Daksha; Haissig, Bruce E.; Isebrands, J. G. 1994. Growth, photosynthesis, and herbicide tolerance of genetically modified hybrid poplar. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 24(12): 2377-2383. [77720]
  • 36. Goerndt, Michael E.; Mize, Carl. 2008. Short-rotation woody biomass as a crop on marginal lands in Iowa. Northern Journal of Applied Forestry. 25(2): 82-86. [77746]
  • 74. Meilan, R.; Han, K.-H.; Ma, C.; DiFazio, S. P.; Eaton, J. A.; Hoien, E. A.; Stanton, B. J.; Crockett, R. P.; Tayolor, M. L.; James, R. R.; Skinner, J. S.; Jouanin, L.; Pilate, G.; Strauss, S. H. 2002. The CP4 transgene provides high levels of tolerance to Roundup herbicide in field-grown hybrid poplars. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 32(6): 967-976. [77726]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the term: cover

Few studies reported on the value of white poplar and white poplar hybrids to wildlife and livestock as of 2010. Use of white poplar was only noted in 2 studies. In Illinois, yellow-bellied sapsucker holes occurred in white poplar trees but were not abundant [38]. Based on observations made in western Massachusetts, white poplar was considered an attractive food source for eastern cottontails. However, only slight injury occurred from winter feeding by eastern cottontails [108]. It is likely that white poplar and its hybrids are utilized for food and cover by a wider variety of wildlife species than is indicated in the reviewed literature.

Palatability and/or nutritional value: No information is available on this topic.

Cover value: It is likely that white poplar and hybrid stands provide shade and cover for wildlife and livestock. White poplar has been recommended to improve wildlife habitat [42]; however, its cover value was not evaluated in the literature as of 2010.

  • 38. Graber, Jean W.; Graber, Richard R.; Kirk, Ethelyn L. 1977. Illinois birds: Picidae. Biological Notes No. 102. Urbana, IL: State of Illinois, Department of Registration and Education; Natural History Survey Division, Natural History Survey. 73 p. [64983]
  • 108. Sweetman, Harvey L. 1949. Further studies of the winter feeding habits of cottontail rabbits. Ecology. 30(3): 371-376. [72521]
  • 42. Hall, R. B.; Colletti, J. P.; Schultz, R. C.; Faltonson, R. R.; Kolison, S. H., Jr.; Hanna, R. D.; Hillson, T. D.; Morrison, J. W. 1990. Commercial-scale vegetative propagation of aspens. In: Adams, Roy D., ed. Aspen symposium '89: Proceedings; 1989 July 25-27; Duluth, MN. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-140. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 211-219. [12432]

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Other uses and values

After discovering the high productivity and growth rates of naturally occurring P. alba × P. grandidentata stands in Iowa, widespread planting trials of these hybrids were recommended. Researchers compared the growth and profitability of P. alba × P. grandidentata, P. deltoides × P. nigra, and silver maple (Acer saccharinum) for pulp production on a variety of sites in Iowa. After 6 years of growth, P. alba × P. grandidentata produced the greatest height and DBH and had the highest survival rate (94%). Researchers reported that P. alba × P. grandidentata had the greatest potential for profit as a short-rotation, woody biomass crop for pulp and/or fiber production [36]. Researchers have also engineered an herbicide-resistant strain of P. alba × P. grandidentata [21]. This strain has been grown in field trials [74].
  • 21. Donahue, Raymon A.; David, Tim D.; Michler, Charles H.; Riemenschneider, Don E.; Carter, Doug R.; Marquardt, Paula E.; Sankhla, Narendra; Sankhla, Daksha; Haissig, Bruce E.; Isebrands, J. G. 1994. Growth, photosynthesis, and herbicide tolerance of genetically modified hybrid poplar. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 24(12): 2377-2383. [77720]
  • 36. Goerndt, Michael E.; Mize, Carl. 2008. Short-rotation woody biomass as a crop on marginal lands in Iowa. Northern Journal of Applied Forestry. 25(2): 82-86. [77746]
  • 74. Meilan, R.; Han, K.-H.; Ma, C.; DiFazio, S. P.; Eaton, J. A.; Hoien, E. A.; Stanton, B. J.; Crockett, R. P.; Tayolor, M. L.; James, R. R.; Skinner, J. S.; Jouanin, L.; Pilate, G.; Strauss, S. H. 2002. The CP4 transgene provides high levels of tolerance to Roundup herbicide in field-grown hybrid poplars. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 32(6): 967-976. [77726]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the term: cover

Few studies reported on the value of white poplar and white poplar hybrids to wildlife and livestock as of 2010. Use of white poplar was only noted in 2 studies. In Illinois, yellow-bellied sapsucker holes occurred in white poplar trees but were not abundant [38]. Based on observations made in western Massachusetts, white poplar was considered an attractive food source for eastern cottontails. However, only slight injury occurred from winter feeding by eastern cottontails [108]. It is likely that white poplar and its hybrids are utilized for food and cover by a wider variety of wildlife species than is indicated in the reviewed literature.

Palatability and/or nutritional value: No information is available on this topic.

Cover value: It is likely that white poplar and hybrid stands provide shade and cover for wildlife and livestock. White poplar has been recommended to improve wildlife habitat [42]; however, its cover value was not evaluated in the literature as of 2010.

  • 38. Graber, Jean W.; Graber, Richard R.; Kirk, Ethelyn L. 1977. Illinois birds: Picidae. Biological Notes No. 102. Urbana, IL: State of Illinois, Department of Registration and Education; Natural History Survey Division, Natural History Survey. 73 p. [64983]
  • 108. Sweetman, Harvey L. 1949. Further studies of the winter feeding habits of cottontail rabbits. Ecology. 30(3): 371-376. [72521]
  • 42. Hall, R. B.; Colletti, J. P.; Schultz, R. C.; Faltonson, R. R.; Kolison, S. H., Jr.; Hanna, R. D.; Hillson, T. D.; Morrison, J. W. 1990. Commercial-scale vegetative propagation of aspens. In: Adams, Roy D., ed. Aspen symposium '89: Proceedings; 1989 July 25-27; Duluth, MN. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-140. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 211-219. [12432]

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Special Uses

Hybrid poplars were initially developed for conventional pulpwood  (42). In recent years, more interest has been placed on  evaluation of hybrid poplar for short-rotation chip production  for pulp and energy uses (4,21,27,28,29). However, at this time,  investment rates of return are not attractive for large scale  conversions to short rotation intensive culture systems (4,14).

    There are many estimates of poplar hybrid biomass yields in the  literature, but the following values are averages from  intensively managed plantations on many sites in the northeastern  United States (9): First-year height growth is 0.9 to 2.4 rn (3  to 8 ft); mean annual height growth after 10 to 20 years is 0.9  to 1.4 m (3 to 4.5 ft); mean annual diameter growth after 10 to  20 years is 1.0 to 1.5 cm (0.4 to 0.6 in); mean annual volume  increment after 10 to 20 years is 7.0 to 24.5 m³/ha (100 to  350 ft³/acre); and mean annual biomass increment after 5 to  20 years is 4.5 to 20.2 t/ha (2 to 9 tons/acre).

    Growth and yield vary appreciably depending on location, site  quality, clone or cultivar used, and silvicultural conditions.  These values given are only generally representative. Diameter  growth of individual trees depends heavily on stocking density.  Wide spacings or frequent thinnings promote rapid diameter  growth.

    Biomass consists of ovendry, leafless stems and branches.  Attainment of maximum mean annual increment occurs only if stands  are heavily fertilized and irrigated and occurs much sooner at  tree spacings of 2 m (6.6 ft) or less.

    In the northeastern United States, moose and deer often browse on  poplar hybrids in recently planted plantations. Poplar buds are a  choice food supply for ruffed grouse and several kinds of  songbirds. Grouse and pheasant also eat the catkins.

    In urban areas, poplar hybrids are useful where fast-growing trees  are needed for shade, landscaping, and screening around  industrial buildings, apartment complexes, recreational playing  areas, parking lots, and landfills. These trees live less than  100 years so more tolerant species should be interplanted with  them.

    Poplar hybrids are used to stabilize soils on hillsides, along  streams and rivers, landfills, and borrow pits. They are also  planted as fence rows to reduce air speed in agricultural areas  where soil is transported by the wind.

    Hybrid poplars have been extensively used as test organism for  research studies because of their ease of propagation, fast  growth, and the variety of clonal parentages. They have been used  to study the effect of air pollutants  (2,3,10,13,18,19,22,23,24,25,26, 30,31,32,33,46) and wood  compartmentalization (11,39,40), to name just two.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Populus

"Poplar" redirects here. For other uses, see Poplar (disambiguation) and Populus (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip poplar), the source of poplar wood, or with Populous or Populace

Populus is a genus of 25–35 species of deciduous flowering plants in the family Salicaceae, native to most of the Northern Hemisphere. English names variously applied to different species include poplar /ˈpɒp.lər/, aspen, and cottonwood.

In the September 2006 issue of Science Magazine, the Joint Genome Institute announced that the Western Balsam Poplar (P. trichocarpa) was the first tree for which its full DNA code had been determined by DNA sequencing.[2]

Description[edit]

The genus has a large genetic diversity, and can grow from anywhere between 15–50 m (49–164 ft) tall, with trunks of up to 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) diameter.

Male catkins of Populus × canadensis

The bark on young trees is smooth, white to greenish or dark grey, often with conspicuous lenticels; on old trees it remains smooth in some species, but becomes rough and deeply fissured in others. The shoots are stout, with (unlike in the related willows) the terminal bud present. The leaves are spirally arranged, and vary in shape from triangular to circular or (rarely) lobed, and with a long petiole; in species in the sections Populus and Aigeiros, the petioles are laterally flattened, so that breezes easily cause the leaves to wobble back and forth, giving the whole tree a "twinkling" appearance in a breeze. Leaf size is very variable even on a single tree, typically with small leaves on side shoots, and very large leaves on strong-growing lead shoots. The leaves often turn bright gold to yellow before they fall during autumn.[3][4]

The flowers are mostly dioecious (rarely monoecious) and appear in early spring before the leaves. They are borne in long, drooping, sessile or pedunculate catkins produced from buds formed in the axils of the leaves of the previous year. The flowers are each seated in a cup-shaped disk which is borne on the base of a scale which is itself attached to the rachis of the catkin. The scales are obovate, lobed and fringed, membranous, hairy or smooth, usually caducous. The male flowers are without calyx or corolla, and comprise a group of 4–60 stamens inserted on a disk; filaments short, pale yellow; anthers oblong, purple or red, introrse, two-celled; cells opening longitudinally. The female flower also has no calyx or corolla, and comprises a single-celled ovary seated in a cup-shaped disk. The style is short, with 2–4 stigmas, variously lobed, and numerous ovules. Pollination is by wind, with the female catkins lengthening considerably between pollination and maturity. The fruit is a two to four-valved dehiscent capsule, green to reddish-brown, mature in mid summer, containing numerous minute light brown seeds surrounded by tufts of long, soft, white hairs which aid wind dispersal.[3][5]

Ecology[edit]

Poplars of the cottonwood section are often wetlands or riparian trees. The aspens are among the most important boreal broadleaf trees.[3]

Poplars and aspens are important food plants for the larvae of a large number of Lepidoptera species - see List of Lepidoptera that feed on poplars. Pleurotus populinus, the aspen oyster mushroom, is found exclusively on dead wood of Populus trees in North America.

Classification[edit]

Group of four poplars on a hill through the seasons, April, September, October, February (Germany)

The genus Populus has traditionally been divided into six sections on the basis of leaf and flower characters;[4][6] this classification is followed below. Recent genetic studies have largely supported this, confirming some previously suspected reticulate evolution due to past hybridisation and introgression events between the groups. Some species (noted below) had differing relationships indicated by their nuclear DNA (paternally inherited) and chloroplast DNA sequences (maternally inherited), a clear indication of likely hybrid origin.[7] Hybridisation continues to be common in the genus, with several hybrids between species in different sections known.[3][8]

Selected species[edit]

Populus nigra in autumn
  • Populus section Turanga – subtropical poplars. Southwest Asia, east Africa; subtropical to tropical

Cultivation[edit]

Fastigiate Black Poplar cultivar of the Plantierensis Group, in Hungary
Poplars dominate the flora of Khorog City Park, GBAO, Tajikistan

Many poplars are grown as ornamental trees, with numerous cultivars used. They have the advantage of growing very big, very fast. Almost all poplars take root readily from cuttings or where broken branches lie on the ground.

Trees with fastigiate (erect, columnar) branching are particularly popular, and are widely grown across Europe and southwest Asia. However, like willows, poplars have very vigorous and invasive root systems stretching up to 40 m from the trees; planting close to houses or ceramic water pipes may result in damaged foundations and cracked walls and pipes due to their search for moisture.

A simple, reproducible, high frequency micropropagation protocol in Eastern Cottonwood Populus deltoides has been reported by Yadav et al. 2009[9]

The poplar in India[edit]

Popular Populus variety G48 in Punjab, India; Jhalli Farms Village Niara/Hoshiarpur (20 March 2011)

In India, the poplar is grown commercially by farmers, mainly in the Punjab region. Popular poplar varieties are as follows:

  1. G48 (grown in the plains of Punjab, Haryana, UP)
  2. w22 (grown in mountainous regions, e.g., Himachal Pradesh, Pathankot, Jammu)

The poplar is grown from "kalam" (cuttings), harvested annually in January and February, and is commercially available up to 15 November.

The most common use of poplar is in plywood. Yamuna Nagar in state of Haryana has a large plywood industry reliant upon poplar. It is graded according in sizes known as "over" (over 24 inches in girth), "under" (18–24 inches), and "sokta" (less than 18 inches).

Uses[edit]

Traditional Pamiri House

Although the wood from Populus is known as poplar wood, a common high-quality hardwood "poplar" with a greenish colour is actually from an unrelated genus Liriodendron. Populus wood is a lighter, more porous material.

Its flexibility and close grain make it suitable for a number of applications, similar to those for willow. The Greeks and Etruscans made shields of poplar, and Pliny also recommended poplar for this purpose.[10] Poplar continued to be used for shield construction through the Middle Ages and was renowned for a durability similar to that of oak, but at a substantial reduction in weight.

Manufacturing[edit]

Energy[edit]

There is interest in using poplar as an energy crop for biomass or biofuel, in energy forestry systems, particularly in light of its high energy-in / energy-out ratio, large carbon mitigation potential and fast growth.

Rotor poplar and willow cuttings planter, planting a new nursery of poplar for biomass with short rotation

In the United Kingdom, poplar (as with fellow energy crop willow) is typically grown in a short rotation coppice system for two to five years (with single or multiple stems), then harvested and burned - the yield of some varieties can be as high as 12 oven dry tonnes per hectare every year[12]

Art and literature[edit]

Poplar was the most common wood used in Italy for panel paintings; the Mona Lisa and most famous early renaissance Italian paintings are on poplar. The wood is generally white, often with a slightly yellowish colour.

Some stringed instruments are made with one-piece poplar backs; violas made in this fashion are said[by whom?] to have a particularly resonant tone. Similarly, though typically it is considered to have a less attractive grain than the traditional sitka spruce, poplar is beginning to be targeted by some harp luthiers as a sustainable and even superior alternative for their soundboards:[13] in these cases another hardwood veneer is sometimes applied to the resonant poplar base both for cosmetic reasons, and supposedly to fine-tune the acoustic properties.

Two notable poems in English lament the cutting down of poplars, William Cowper's The Poplar Field and Gerard Manley Hopkins' Binsey Poplars felled 1879.

Abel Meeropol's poem Strange Fruit mentions poplar trees in the context of lynching.

Land management[edit]

Lombardy Poplars are used as a windbreak around agricultural fields to protect against wind erosion.

Agriculture[edit]

Logs from the poplar provide a growing medium for Shiitake mushrooms.[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Genus Populus (poplars)". Taxonomy. UniProt. Retrieved 4 February 2010. 
  2. ^ Joint Genome Institute, Populus trichocarpa
  3. ^ a b c d Meikle, R. D. (1984). Willows and Poplars of Great Britain and Ireland. BSBI Handbook No. 4. ISBN 0-901158-07-0.
  4. ^ a b Rushforth, K. (1999). Trees of Britain and rope. Collins ISBN 0-00-220013-9.
  5. ^ a b Keeler, H. L. (1900). Our Native Trees and How to Identify Them. New York: Charles Scriber's Sons. pp. 410–412. 
  6. ^ Eckenwalder, J.E. (1996). "Systematics and evolution of Populus". In R.F. Stettler; H.D. Bradshaw; P.E. Heilman; T.M. Hinckley. Biology of Populus and its implications for management and conservation. Ottawa: NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada. ISBN 9780660165066. 
  7. ^ Hamzeh, M., & Dayanandan, S. (2004). Phylogeny of Populus (Salicaceae) based on nucleotide sequences of chloroplast TRNT-TRNF region and nuclear rDNA. Amer. J. Bot. 91: 1398-1408. Available online
  8. ^ Eckenwalder, J.E. (2001). "Key to species and main crosses". In D.I. Dickmann; J.G. Isebrands; J.E. Eckenwalder; J. Richardson. Poplar culture in North America. Ottawa: NRC Research Press. pp. 325–330. ISBN 978-0-660-18145-5. 
  9. ^ http://www.springerlink.com/content/553472252334p7kq/fulltext.pdf
  10. ^ [1] The Cambridge Companion to Archaic Greece, p.69.
  11. ^ Poplar cultivation in Europe
  12. ^ Aylott, Matthew J.; Casella, E; Tubby, I; Street, NR; Smith, P; Taylor, G (2008). "Yield and spatial supply of bioenergy poplar and willow short-rotation coppice in the UK" (PDF). New Phytologist 178 (2 fvhc): 358–370. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2008.02396.x. PMID 18331429. Retrieved 22 October 2008. 
  13. ^ [2] Rees Harps Website, "Harp Myth #8".
  14. ^ Shiitake growth studies performed by RMIT
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Aspen

This article is about trees. For other uses, see Aspen (disambiguation).
American aspens, Populus tremuloides.

Aspen is a common name for certain tree species; some, but not all, are classified by botanists in the section Populus, of the poplar genus.[1]

Species[edit]

These species are called aspens:

Habitat and longevity[edit]

The aspens are all native to cold regions with cool summers, in the north of the Northern Hemisphere, extending south at high altitudes in the mountains. They are all medium-sized deciduous trees reaching 15–30 m (49–98 ft) tall.

All of the aspens typically grow in large clonal colonies, derived from a single seedling, and spread by means of root suckers; new stems in the colony may appear at up to 30–40 m (98–131 ft) from the parent tree. Each individual tree can live for 40–150 years above ground, but the root system of the colony is long-lived. In some cases, this is for thousands of years, sending up new trunks as the older trunks die off above ground. For this reason, it is considered to be an indicator of ancient woodlands. One such colony in Utah, given the nickname of "Pando", is estimated to be 80,000 years old,[2] making it possibly the oldest living colony of aspens. Some aspen colonies become very large with time, spreading about 1 m (3.3 ft) per year, eventually covering many hectares. They are able to survive forest fires, because the roots are below the heat of the fire, with new sprouts growing after the fire burns out.

Aspens do not thrive in the shade, and it is difficult for seedlings to grow in an already mature aspen stand. Fire indirectly benefits aspen trees, since it allows the saplings to flourish in open sunlight in the burned landscape. Lately, aspens have an increased popularity in forestry, mostly because of their fast growth rate and ability to regenerate from sprouts, making the reforestation after harvesting much cheaper, since no planting or sowing is required.

In contrast with many trees, aspen bark is base-rich,[clarification needed] meaning aspens are important hosts for bryophytes[3] and act as food plants for the larvae of butterfly (Lepidoptera) species—see List of Lepidoptera that feed on poplars.

Young aspen bark is an important seasonal forage for the European hare and other animals in early spring. Aspen is also a tree of choice of the European beaver.

Uses[edit]

Aspen wood is white and soft, but fairly strong, and has low flammability. It has a number of uses, notably for making matches and paper where its low flammability makes it safer to use than most other woods. Shredded aspen wood is used for packing and stuffing, sometimes called excelsior (wood wool). It is also a popular animal bedding, since it lacks the phenols associated with pine and juniper, which are thought to cause respiratory system ailments in some animals. Heat-treated aspen is a popular material for the interiors of a sauna. While standing trees sometimes tend to rot from the heart outward, the dry timber weathers very well, becoming silvery-grey and resistant to rotting and warping, and has traditionally been used for rural construction in the northwestern regions of Russia (especially for roofing, in the form of thin slats).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "technology transfer fact sheet: Populus spp.". Forest Products Laboratory: R&D USDA. Madison, Wisconsin: United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. Retrieved 20 September 2010. 
  2. ^ Quaking Aspen by the Bryce Canyon National Park Service
  3. ^ The Biodiversity and Management of Aspen woodlands: Proceedings of a one-day conference held in Kingussie, Scotland, on 25th May 2001

Further reading[edit]

  • Fox, Mark, Linda E. Tackaberry, Pascal Drouin, Yves Bergeron, Robert L. Bradley, Hughes B. Massicotte, and Han Chen (2013). "Microbial community structure of soils under four productivity classes of aspen forests in Northern British Columbia", Ecoscience 20(3):264-275 DOI:10.2980/20-3-3611
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Populus sect. Populus

Populus section Populus, of the Populus (poplar) genus, includes the aspen trees and the white poplar Populus alba.[2] The five typical aspens are all native to cold regions with cool summers, in the north of the Northern Hemisphere, extending south at high altitudes in the mountains. The White Poplar, by contrast, is native to warmer regions, with hot, dry summers.[citation needed] These trees are all medium-sized deciduous trees ranging 15–30 metres (49–98 ft) tall.

All of the species in section Populus typically grow in large clonal colonies derived from a single seedling, and spreading by means of root suckers; new stems in the colony may appear at up to 30–40 metres from the previous trees. Each individual tree can live for 40–150 years above ground, but the root system of the colony is long-lived, sending up new trunks as the older trunks die off above ground, spreading about a metre per year, sometimes eventually covering many hectares. They are able to survive forest fires because the roots are below the heat of the fire, and new sprouts can grow from the roots. One such colony of American aspen (P. tremuloides) in Utah, given the nickname of "Pando", is estimated to be 80,000 years old, making it possibly the oldest living colony of aspens.

Species[edit]

Some of the species in the section are:[3]

Natural hybrids between species in the section include:

Ecology[edit]

Aspens do not thrive very well in the shade, and it is difficult for aspen seedlings to grow in an already mature aspen stand. Fire indirectly benefits aspen trees, since it allows the saplings to flourish in open sunlight in the burned landscape. Lately, aspens have an increased popularity in forestry, mostly because of their fast growth rate and ability to regenerate from sprouts, making the reforestation after harvesting much cheaper, since no planting or sowing is required.

In contrast with many trees, aspen bark is base-rich, meaning that aspens are important hosts for bryophytes[8] and act as food plants for the larvae of butterfly (Lepidoptera) species—see List of Lepidoptera that feed on poplars.

Young aspen bark is an important seasonal forage for the european hare and other animals in early spring. Aspen is also a tree of choice of the european beaver.

Uses[edit]

Aspen wood is white and soft, but fairly strong, and has low flammability. It has a number of uses, notably for making matches and paper where its low flammability makes it safer to use than most other woods. Shredded aspen wood is used for packing and stuffing, sometimes called excelsior (wood wool). It is also a popular animal bedding, since it lacks the phenols associated with pine and juniper, which are thought to cause respiratory system ailments in some animals. Heat-treated aspen is a popular material for the interiors of a sauna. While standing trees sometimes tend to rot from the heart outward, the dry timber weathers very well, becoming silvery-grey and resistant to rotting and warping, and has traditionally been used for rural construction in the northwestern regions of Russia (especially for roofing, in the form of thin slats).

Aspens and other members of the Populus genus contain salicylates, compounds related to aspirin. Leaves and leaf buds of aspens have been used to treat burns, irritations, aches, and swollen joints.[citation needed] A bitter herbal tea made from bark and leaves has been used to treat mild urinary tract inflammations. The Ojibwe used the inner bark of the trunk as a poultice, and the Cree ate the inner bark in the spring as a mild purgative.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tropicos.org". Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 25 Feb 2012. 
  2. ^ "technology transfer fact sheet: Populus spp.". Forest Products Laboratory: R&D USDA. Madison, Wisconsin: United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. Retrieved 20 September 2010. 
  3. ^ "Populus Sect. Populus". Flora of China. 
  4. ^ "Populus adenopoda". USDA GRIN taxonomy. 
  5. ^ "Populus sieboldii". USDA GRIN taxonomy. 
  6. ^ "Populus tomentosa". USDA GRIN taxonomy. 
  7. ^ "Populus × canescens". USDA GRIN taxonomy. 
  8. ^ The Biodiversity and Management of Aspen woodlands: Proceedings of a one-day conference held in Kingussie, Scotland, on 25th May 2001
  9. ^ Native American ethnobotany, pg. 427-433, Daniel E. Moerman 1998
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

The scientific name of white poplar is Populus alba L. (Salicaceae) [30,39,59,84,107,125]. White poplar is part of the aspen and white poplar group or the Populus section of the genus Populus [17].

Hybrids:

Populus × canescens (Aiton) Sm. (gray poplar),
a cross between P. alba × P. tremula (European aspen)

Populus × heimburgeri B. Boivin (Heimburger's poplar),
a cross between P. alba × P. tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Populus × rouleauiana B. Boivin (Roulwau's poplar),
a cross between P. alba × P. grandidentata (bigtooth aspen) ([39], Boivin 1966 cited in [102])

Populus × tomentosa Carrière (Chinese white poplar),
a cross between P. alba × P. adenopoda (Chinese aspen) [30]
White poplar hybrids with European aspen, quaking aspen, and bigtooth aspen occur primarily east of the Great Plains region of North America [39]. However, hybrids are possible in any area where the parent species' distributions overlap. Hybridization has the potential to affect white poplar invasiveness. This is discussed later in the seed production, dispersal, vegetative spread, and
potential impacts sections. Populus alba × P. adenopoda hybrids have been planted in the southeastern United States, although rarely [30].
White poplar hybrids are identified using scientific parent names in this review.
  • 39. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 107. Strausbaugh, P. D.; Core, Earl L. 1977. Flora of West Virginia. 2nd ed. Morgantown, WV: Seneca Books, Inc. 1079 p. [23213]
  • 84. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 17. Dickmann, Donald I. 2001. An overview of the genus Populus. In: Dickman, Donald I.; Isebrands, J. G.; Eckenwalder, James E.; Richardson, Jim, eds. Poplar culture in North America. Ottawa, ON: National Research Council of Canada, Research Press: 1-42. [79277]
  • 59. Kartesz, John T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 1st ed. In: Kartesz, John T.; Meacham, Christopher A. Synthesis of the North American flora (Windows Version 1.0), [CD-ROM]. Chapel Hill, NC: North Carolina Botanical Garden (Producer). In cooperation with: The Nature Conservancy; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service; U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. [36715]
  • 30. Flora of North America Association. 2010. Flora of North America: The flora, [Online]. Flora of North America Association (Producer). Available: http://www.fna.org/FNA. [36990]
  • 125. Wu, Z. Y.; Raven, P. H.; Hong, D. Y., eds. 2010. Flora of China, [Online]. Volumes 1-25. Beijing: Science Press; St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden Press. In: eFloras. St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Herbaria (Producers). Available: http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2 and http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china. [72954]

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The scientific name of white poplar is Populus alba L. (Salicaceae) [30,39,59,84,107,125]. White poplar is part of the aspen and white poplar group or the Populus section of the genus Populus [17].

Hybrids:

Populus × canescens (Aiton) Sm. (gray poplar),
a cross between P. alba × P. tremula (European aspen)

Populus × heimburgeri B. Boivin (Heimburger's poplar),
a cross between P. alba × P. tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Populus × rouleauiana B. Boivin (Roulwau's poplar),
a cross between P. alba × P. grandidentata (bigtooth aspen) ([39], Boivin 1966 cited in [102])

Populus × tomentosa Carrière (Chinese white poplar),
a cross between P. alba × P. adenopoda (Chinese aspen) [30]
White poplar hybrids with European aspen, quaking aspen, and bigtooth aspen occur primarily east of the Great Plains region of North America [39]. However, hybrids are possible in any area where the parent species' distributions overlap. Hybridization has the potential to affect white poplar invasiveness. This is discussed later in the seed production, dispersal, vegetative spread, and
potential impacts sections. Populus alba × P. adenopoda hybrids have been planted in the southeastern United States, although rarely [30].
White poplar hybrids are identified using scientific parent names in this review.
  • 39. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 107. Strausbaugh, P. D.; Core, Earl L. 1977. Flora of West Virginia. 2nd ed. Morgantown, WV: Seneca Books, Inc. 1079 p. [23213]
  • 84. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 17. Dickmann, Donald I. 2001. An overview of the genus Populus. In: Dickman, Donald I.; Isebrands, J. G.; Eckenwalder, James E.; Richardson, Jim, eds. Poplar culture in North America. Ottawa, ON: National Research Council of Canada, Research Press: 1-42. [79277]
  • 59. Kartesz, John T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 1st ed. In: Kartesz, John T.; Meacham, Christopher A. Synthesis of the North American flora (Windows Version 1.0), [CD-ROM]. Chapel Hill, NC: North Carolina Botanical Garden (Producer). In cooperation with: The Nature Conservancy; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service; U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. [36715]
  • 30. Flora of North America Association. 2010. Flora of North America: The flora, [Online]. Flora of North America Association (Producer). Available: http://www.fna.org/FNA. [36990]
  • 125. Wu, Z. Y.; Raven, P. H.; Hong, D. Y., eds. 2010. Flora of China, [Online]. Volumes 1-25. Beijing: Science Press; St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden Press. In: eFloras. St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Herbaria (Producers). Available: http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2 and http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china. [72954]

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The scientific name of white poplar is Populus alba L. (Salicaceae) [30,39,59,84,107,125]. White poplar is part of the aspen and white poplar group or the Populus section of the genus Populus [17].

Hybrids:

Populus × canescens (Aiton) Sm. (gray poplar),
a cross between P. alba × P. tremula (European aspen)

Populus × heimburgeri B. Boivin (Heimburger's poplar),
a cross between P. alba × P. tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Populus × rouleauiana B. Boivin (Roulwau's poplar),
a cross between P. alba × P. grandidentata (bigtooth aspen) ([39], Boivin 1966 cited in [102])

Populus × tomentosa Carrière (Chinese white poplar),
a cross between P. alba × P. adenopoda (Chinese aspen) [30]
White poplar hybrids with European aspen, quaking aspen, and bigtooth aspen occur primarily east of the Great Plains region of North America [39]. However, hybrids are possible in any area where the parent species' distributions overlap. Hybridization has the potential to affect white poplar invasiveness. This is discussed later in the seed production, dispersal, vegetative spread, and
potential impacts sections. Populus alba × P. adenopoda hybrids have been planted in the southeastern United States, although rarely [30].
White poplar hybrids are identified using scientific parent names in this review.
  • 39. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 107. Strausbaugh, P. D.; Core, Earl L. 1977. Flora of West Virginia. 2nd ed. Morgantown, WV: Seneca Books, Inc. 1079 p. [23213]
  • 84. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 17. Dickmann, Donald I. 2001. An overview of the genus Populus. In: Dickman, Donald I.; Isebrands, J. G.; Eckenwalder, James E.; Richardson, Jim, eds. Poplar culture in North America. Ottawa, ON: National Research Council of Canada, Research Press: 1-42. [79277]
  • 59. Kartesz, John T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 1st ed. In: Kartesz, John T.; Meacham, Christopher A. Synthesis of the North American flora (Windows Version 1.0), [CD-ROM]. Chapel Hill, NC: North Carolina Botanical Garden (Producer). In cooperation with: The Nature Conservancy; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service; U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. [36715]
  • 30. Flora of North America Association. 2010. Flora of North America: The flora, [Online]. Flora of North America Association (Producer). Available: http://www.fna.org/FNA. [36990]
  • 125. Wu, Z. Y.; Raven, P. H.; Hong, D. Y., eds. 2010. Flora of China, [Online]. Volumes 1-25. Beijing: Science Press; St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden Press. In: eFloras. St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Herbaria (Producers). Available: http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2 and http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china. [72954]

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The scientific name of white poplar is Populus alba L. (Salicaceae) [30,39,59,84,107,125]. White poplar is part of the aspen and white poplar group or the Populus section of the genus Populus [17].

Hybrids:

Populus × canescens (Aiton) Sm. (gray poplar),
a cross between P. alba × P. tremula (European aspen)

Populus × heimburgeri B. Boivin (Heimburger's poplar),
a cross between P. alba × P. tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Populus × rouleauiana B. Boivin (Roulwau's poplar),
a cross between P. alba × P. grandidentata (bigtooth aspen) ([39], Boivin 1966 cited in [102])

Populus × tomentosa Carrière (Chinese white poplar),
a cross between P. alba × P. adenopoda (Chinese aspen) [30]
White poplar hybrids with European aspen, quaking aspen, and bigtooth aspen occur primarily east of the Great Plains region of North America [39]. However, hybrids are possible in any area where the parent species' distributions overlap. Hybridization has the potential to affect white poplar invasiveness. This is discussed later in the seed production, dispersal, vegetative spread, and
potential impacts sections. Populus alba × P. adenopoda hybrids have been planted in the southeastern United States, although rarely [30].
White poplar hybrids are identified using scientific parent names in this review.
  • 39. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 107. Strausbaugh, P. D.; Core, Earl L. 1977. Flora of West Virginia. 2nd ed. Morgantown, WV: Seneca Books, Inc. 1079 p. [23213]
  • 84. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 102. Spies, Thomas Allen. 1978. The occurrence, morphology, and reproductive biology of natural hybrids of Populus alba in southeastern Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. 125 p. Thesis. [77815]
  • 17. Dickmann, Donald I. 2001. An overview of the genus Populus. In: Dickman, Donald I.; Isebrands, J. G.; Eckenwalder, James E.; Richardson, Jim, eds. Poplar culture in North America. Ottawa, ON: National Research Council of Canada, Research Press: 1-42. [79277]
  • 59. Kartesz, John T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 1st ed. In: Kartesz, John T.; Meacham, Christopher A. Synthesis of the North American flora (Windows Version 1.0), [CD-ROM]. Chapel Hill, NC: North Carolina Botanical Garden (Producer). In cooperation with: The Nature Conservancy; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service; U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. [36715]
  • 30. Flora of North America Association. 2010. Flora of North America: The flora, [Online]. Flora of North America Association (Producer). Available: http://www.fna.org/FNA. [36990]
  • 125. Wu, Z. Y.; Raven, P. H.; Hong, D. Y., eds. 2010. Flora of China, [Online]. Volumes 1-25. Beijing: Science Press; St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden Press. In: eFloras. St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Herbaria (Producers). Available: http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2 and http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china. [72954]

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Common Names

for Populus alba:

white poplar

European white poplar

silver poplar

for Populus alba hybrids:

gray poplar

Heimburger's poplar

Roulwau's poplar

Chinese white poplar

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Common Names

for Populus alba:

white poplar

European white poplar

silver poplar

for Populus alba hybrids:

gray poplar

Heimburger's poplar

Roulwau's poplar

Chinese white poplar

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Common Names

for Populus alba:

white poplar

European white poplar

silver poplar

for Populus alba hybrids:

gray poplar

Heimburger's poplar

Roulwau's poplar

Chinese white poplar

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Common Names

for Populus alba:

white poplar

European white poplar

silver poplar

for Populus alba hybrids:

gray poplar

Heimburger's poplar

Roulwau's poplar

Chinese white poplar

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Synonyms

for Populus alba L.:

Populus alba var. bolleana Lauche [122]

Populus alba var. pyramidalis Bunge [51,125]

for Populus × canescens Aiton (Sm.):

Populus alba L. var. canescens (Aiton) [25]
  • 51. Holmgren, Noel H.; Holmgren, Patricia K.; Cronquist, Arthur. 2005. Intermountain flora: Vascular plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Vol. 2, Part B: Subclass Dilleniidae. New York: The New York Botanical Garden. 488 p. [63251]
  • 122. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 25. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764]
  • 125. Wu, Z. Y.; Raven, P. H.; Hong, D. Y., eds. 2010. Flora of China, [Online]. Volumes 1-25. Beijing: Science Press; St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden Press. In: eFloras. St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Herbaria (Producers). Available: http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2 and http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china. [72954]

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Synonyms

for Populus alba L.:

Populus alba var. bolleana Lauche [122]

Populus alba var. pyramidalis Bunge [51,125]

for Populus × canescens Aiton (Sm.):

Populus alba L. var. canescens (Aiton) [25]
  • 51. Holmgren, Noel H.; Holmgren, Patricia K.; Cronquist, Arthur. 2005. Intermountain flora: Vascular plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Vol. 2, Part B: Subclass Dilleniidae. New York: The New York Botanical Garden. 488 p. [63251]
  • 122. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 25. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764]
  • 125. Wu, Z. Y.; Raven, P. H.; Hong, D. Y., eds. 2010. Flora of China, [Online]. Volumes 1-25. Beijing: Science Press; St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden Press. In: eFloras. St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Herbaria (Producers). Available: http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2 and http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china. [72954]

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Synonyms

for Populus alba L.:

Populus alba var. bolleana Lauche [122]

Populus alba var. pyramidalis Bunge [51,125]

for Populus × canescens Aiton (Sm.):

Populus alba L. var. canescens (Aiton) [25]
  • 51. Holmgren, Noel H.; Holmgren, Patricia K.; Cronquist, Arthur. 2005. Intermountain flora: Vascular plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Vol. 2, Part B: Subclass Dilleniidae. New York: The New York Botanical Garden. 488 p. [63251]
  • 122. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 25. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764]
  • 125. Wu, Z. Y.; Raven, P. H.; Hong, D. Y., eds. 2010. Flora of China, [Online]. Volumes 1-25. Beijing: Science Press; St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden Press. In: eFloras. St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Herbaria (Producers). Available: http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2 and http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china. [72954]

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Synonyms

for Populus alba L.:

Populus alba var. bolleana Lauche [122]

Populus alba var. pyramidalis Bunge [51,125]

for Populus × canescens Aiton (Sm.):

Populus alba L. var. canescens (Aiton) [25]
  • 51. Holmgren, Noel H.; Holmgren, Patricia K.; Cronquist, Arthur. 2005. Intermountain flora: Vascular plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Vol. 2, Part B: Subclass Dilleniidae. New York: The New York Botanical Garden. 488 p. [63251]
  • 122. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 25. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764]
  • 125. Wu, Z. Y.; Raven, P. H.; Hong, D. Y., eds. 2010. Flora of China, [Online]. Volumes 1-25. Beijing: Science Press; St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden Press. In: eFloras. St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Herbaria (Producers). Available: http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2 and http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china. [72954]

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