Populus alba

White Poplar

Origin Of Species
Europe and Central Asia
Physical Description
White poplar is a tall deciduous tree that reaches seventy feet in height and two feet in diameter.  The bark is smooth and greenish-white.  The alternating leaves are anywhere from two to five inches long and are either oval or lobed with three to five broad teeth.  The upper portions are dark green and the lower side is covered with a dense white hair, giving the tree its characteristic white appearance.  Flowers appear in March and April.  Seeds are contained in a ball of fluff in late spring that is easily blown by the wind. 
Habitat And Distribution
White poplar is located in sunny areas, such as forest edges and fields, but is also prominent in wetlands.  It may be found in nearly every state in the United States, especially prominent in Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
Location On Campus
White poplar is not known to be on campus, although scattered colonies occur throughout the Richmond area.
Negative Impacts
The ability of the seeds to be easily dispersed by wind allows the tree to spread from cultivated landscapes.  White poplar can grow in a variety of soils, producing extremely large seed crops.  It is able to effectively out-compete native trees and shrubs for sunlight, water, nutrients, and space.  White poplar is able to grow again quickly after disturbances.
VDCR Invasiveness Ranking
Moderately Invasive Species

Additional Images: Leaves   Tree   Trees   Leaves with stems

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