Growing Plants

How Fast Do Poplar Trees Grow? What You Need To Know?

A group of trees known collectively as poplars include Lombardy poplar, cottonwood, quaking aspen, and white poplar.

In addition to the popular growth rate, they are renowned for their versatility in varying environmental circumstances.

So, how fast do poplar trees grow? I will give you the exact answer and provide helpful information about them.

General About Poplar Tree

how fast do poplar trees grow

Before going to the popular growth rate, let’s learn about the common essential characteristics of this plant.

The Nature of Poplars

Many common trees, such as aspens and cottonwoods, are botanically classified as poplars even if their popular names do not refer to this family of trees.

Plants like the tulip poplar use the term poplar while having little resemblance to actual poplars.

Poplars thrive in the rich soil along with the elevated water levels of riparian habitats and bottomlands, where their roots are often found.


Although poplars come in various shapes and sizes, their silky smooth mild gray bark or other colored bark and enormous spade-shaped and divided leaves make them famous.

Their leaves usually become golden yellow in the autumn.

The flowers, usually appearing within the catkins in the springtime, before or after the leaves, are beautiful additions to the trees’ branches.

Most cottonwood species have tiny seeds encased in a cottony fluff (thus the name) that is easily dispersed by the wind and may fully blanket the ground.

Primary Species

There are more than twenty distinct varieties of poplar, but just a few interest gardeners due to differences in requirements and environment.

  • Cottonwoods

The eastern cottonwood, or Populus deltoides, is a vast, rapid-growing tree endemic to moist areas around rivers and streams.

Poplar, called Carolina poplar or just poplar, can grow to 100 feet. These trees are known for their abundant seed production every spring.

The wind disperses the seeds, which are fastened to fine white hairs.

They are a prolific reseeding tree that may quickly become a problem. The Eastern cottonwood is a member of the poplar family and, like its relatives, has fragile wood and is prone to branch loss.

It’s infested with all sorts of nasty bugs and sickly organisms. It’s not a tree you want to plant in a city or suburb.

In addition, European aspen (Populus tremula) contains triangular or heart-shaped leaves which shimmer in the wind, much like quaking aspen.

The gray bark possesses a smooth gray color. European aspen ‘Erecta’ is the one you want. This kind, which grows to a height of 40 feet and a width of 7 feet, is sterile and cannot reproduce.

  • Hybrid Poplars

They have a highly regular look and take on all the most outstanding decorative qualities of white poplar. That is employed instead of the parents, making them the fastest-growing poplar tree.

  • Black Poplar

They may reach heights of 100 feet or more in a short amount of time. However, they don’t have the smooth bark or pale color of white poplars.

The species is best known for the Lombardy poplar cultivar, which develops highly columnar and boasts a canopy width of fewer than 10 feet.

  • White Poplar

They thrive in damp areas but can also be cultivated as shade trees within average garden soil, eventually reaching 80 feet in height as well in the period that it takes most shade trees to reach half of that size.

The inner surfaces of the leaves are silvery white, making them shimmer in windy conditions, and the poplar bark is seamless, light in color, and features a unique diamond arrangement.

  • Aspens

Typically residing in the northern hemisphere or at higher altitudes, these poplars reach heights of less than 50 feet.

They usually have nearly white poplar bark and feature unusually small leaves that remain slightly compared to the branches and flutter charmingly in the wind.

How Fast Do Poplar Trees Grow?

poplar tree growth rate

Poplar trees come in a wide range of sizes, but they all develop rapidly. Unlike sweet viburnum, which grows between 25 and 30 feet each year on average, their new growth is about 3 to 5 feet per year.

The different species will have a different range in height, with most falling within 50-80 feet in Poplar’s height.

Balsam Poplar

The typical height of a mature balsam poplar tree is 80 feet, so it grows quite swiftly during its life. Twenty-year-old balsam poplar trees may grow to be as tall as 35 feet.

Depending on their specific environment, Balsam poplars may grow up to two feet in just one year.

White Poplar

The white poplar has a quick growth rate that permits it to achieve heights of as much as 80 feet in only 20 years.

These trees may grow up to 100 feet tall and have a root system that extends no less than 2 feet below the surface.

Lombardy Poplar

The Lombardy poplar can reach a height of 190 feet, thereby becoming one of the tallest poplar species. In only 20 years, this particular poplar may reach 80 feet.

At the very least, the Lombardy poplar has 32-inch-deep roots.

Carolina Poplar

Another fast-growing poplar creature, the Carolina poplar, may reach 80 feet in only 20 years. It may grow as tall as 110 feet per year but only 2 feet deep at its roots.

Planting Poplar Tree

when to plant hybrid poplar trees


Where do poplar trees grow? The answer is in either full sun or partial shade. If you want a healthy tree with plenty of branches, give it at least 6 hours of sunshine daily.

Poplars are highly sought after due to their adaptability to various soil types.

Like eastern cottonwoods or quaking aspens, poplar trees thrive in their natural environments. They can’t thrive in the city or the suburbs because of the erratic weather and disturbed soil.

Their lifespan is drastically reduced in urban environments, and even the few that make it many decades usually have brittle wood and constantly lose limbs and other debris.

When And How

And when to plant hybrid poplar trees? A poplar tree should be planted in spring as the ground can be dug.

The place for planting holes should be no more than a couple of inches broader than the rootball. The highest point of the root ball ought to be flush with the surrounding slope when the tree is planted.

Fill in the planting hole using the surrounding soil and create a small basin to hold water for the roots. Once a week, give the tree roughly 10 liters of water.

Don’t let up on the consistent watering during the first growth season.

Poplar Tree Care Tips

Here are my tips to help you rise poplar tree, including:

  • Light: Poplar may thrive either in direct sunlight or partial shade. Pick a location that gets no less than six hours of sunshine daily.
  • Soil and Water: Poplar trees can adapt to many different soil types. It does well in both well-drained sandy loam and clay soils. Poplars, in general, thrive in consistently damp environments. There are poplar species that can survive drought.
  • Temperature and Humidity: Poplar trees have varying ideal humidity and temperature requirements. Humidity and high temperatures are particularly bad for quaking aspens. They like the cooler temperate climates of the mountains. In contrast, eastern cottonwood thrives in hot, humid climates and can withstand prolonged exposure to the sun.
  • Pruning: Poplar trees should be pruned at the beginning of the year or if you observe dead or broken limbs. Poplar is a weak-wooded tree that frequently loses limbs and sometimes the whole tree after a severe storm. The branches and twigs from a regular winter may be seen all over the grass under the shade of a poplar tree come April.
  • Fertilizer: Poplar trees may grow well without any fertilizer. Without fertilizer, they extract minerals from the ground and develop rapidly.


How Tall Do Poplar Trees Grow?

Poplar trees may grow to be quite tall, which is an interesting fact. It may reach heights of 15–50 m and has a trunk diameter of as much as two meters.

If you want your tree to reach its greatest potential size, you need to give it plenty of area.

When Is The Best Time To Prune Poplar Trees?

Poplars are best pruned in the spring, just before new growth appears.

The bare branches of a tree reveal its intricate structure. Remove dead, diseased, or otherwise unattractive branches whenever you see fit.

How Long Do Poplar Trees Live?

Poplar trees have a normal lifetime of 50 years with adequate maintenance. Poplar trees need special attention, so think about these suggestions.


In short, how fast do poplar trees grow? The popular tree growth rate is 3 to 5 feet more each year, depending on the tree type, growing conditions, and habitat.

Poplar trees, in a similar vein, have rapidly expanding root systems.

Planting a poplar tree requires a large area since the tree may send out root suckers, which grow from the earth’s surface and expand outward from the parent tree.

Keep poplars away from your home, driveway, and other structures.

Samuel Mark

Hello I am Samuel. Samuel's Garden is a garden blog where I share my experiences in garden caring and tree growth. Hope you enjoy it!

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