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Populus × canescens

grey poplar

A large fast growing deciduous tree to a height of more than 30m, spreading or upright in habit, with dark green glossy leaves that are grey underneath. In early spring, red catkins appear on male trees, and rarely seen, green catkins on females

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Size
Ultimate height
Higher than 12 metres
Time to ultimate height
20–50 years
Ultimate spread
Wider than 8 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Red Green Grey Silver
Summer Green Grey Silver
Autumn Green Grey Silver
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Salicaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Genus

Populus are deciduous trees, mostly very fast-growing and large, with male and female catkins on separate trees, opening before the leaves. Male catkins are the more ornamental, female ones can be a nuisance from the cottony, wind-blown seeds

Name status

Correct

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How to grow

Cultivation

Cultivated for their very rapid growth as specimen trees. Useful as windbreaks. Tolerant of any soil other than constantly waterlogged soils. Avoid growing within 40m of buildings as the vigorous root systems may damage drains and foundations, particularly on clay soils; has the potential to become a nuisance

Propagation

Propagate by hardwood cuttings in winter and suckers in autumn or late winter

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Wildlife gardens
Pruning

Pruning group 1 in late summer to avoid infection from bacterial canker and bleeding from pruning cuts. Train as a central-leader standard. Never allow competing leaders to develop. Established trees need little pruning; sucker removal in autumn or winter

Pests

May be susceptible to Willow leaf beetles and root aphids

Diseases

May be susceptible to leaf spots, poplar bacterial canker and tree rusts

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