Poplar (Populus sp.)
The poplar family of trees has many members. Whether they are called Aspens, Cottonwoods or Poplars, they are generally fast growing, short-lived and weak wooded plants. While most of these trees lack ornamental value in general, certain of them have value in residential settings in some areas of the country. For instance, in the arid climate of the Great Plains Eastern Poplar (Populus deltoides) known also as Cottonwood, is about the only large tree that can be grown. I look at Poplars as a benefit if I need to have a visual screen. These trees grow so fast that you will have a useful screen in under 5 years. Because Poplars generally are very sensitive to air pollution, artificial lighting, compacted soil, salt and drought and heat, they are not very suitable for urban or low-lying areas. They are best in far suburbs and exurbs and rural areas of the country. Poplars are ideal for naturalizing open areas in the country or along streams.