Plants & Mushrooms

Poplar Tree – Types and Identification

Poplar Tree

There are various types of trees found in the vegetation around us. Some are tall, some are short, some broad while some narrow. These different types are what makes the environment so diverse and beautiful. One of these kinds is a poplar tree.

They are strong and narrow plus tall that always stand out in any park. However, there are various types of poplar trees as they are members of the genus Populus.

Therefore, it becomes difficult to recognize the exact type. One can identify by noticing the various parts.

Types of Poplar Trees

All the different types of poplar trees are members of the genus Populus. We derive the term Populus from the Latin language which means “many of”.

The Populus umbrella comprises of various dozen species of these trees. While each species has their own characteristics, these trees generally grow faster and also propagate easily.

poplar tree

The poplar is a tree which is rapidly growing and the largest hardwood tree comprises of soft and porous wood. Some types are the White Poplar and Carolina Poplar tree.

Next, there is also Lombardy or Tower Poplar Tree. After that comes Balsam Poplar tree and sucker-free poplar tree. There is also grey poplar, black poplar, and the cottonwood.

Identification of Poplar Trees

There are various features through which we can identify poplar trees. You will notice that each kind of poplar tree has unique leaves which distinguish them from each other.


To begin with, the balsam poplar trees have leaves which are quite thick and have pointy ends. Their edges are finely toothed and they resemble the shape of an egg.

They are pale underneath and dark green on the top. The leaves of the white poplar trees are either oval or five-lobed.

Further, it has wavy edges and its underside is textured in white colour. Next, the leaves of the grey poplar tree are round in shape which is irregularly toothed. They have a grey coloured underside with coarse margins and their shape is triangular.

After that, we have the leaves of the black poplar tree which are alternate and rounded with blunt teeth. Their top is dark green while the below is pale.

The leaves of the cottonwood tree are triangular in shape and broad-based with coarse and curved edges. It has a flat stem and is present in dark green colour during summers and yellow while autumn.

Above all, all leaves of poplar trees are lighter which allows them to move in the slightest of breeze. So, the chances are high you’ll probably hear the tree before seeing it.

Poplar Tree Barks

Other than the leaves, the barks of these trees are also quite distinctive. You can observe the barks of poplar trees to recognize them.

For instance, the bark of a white poplar tree’s bark has greyish-white marks on it which are in a diamond shape. These marks turn into black colour as the tree keeps ageing.

Next, the bark of the black poplar tree is greyish-brown in colour. Similarly, it turns grey upon ageing. Additionally, a balsam poplar has a sweet fragrance from coming from its opening buds.

Solved Question for You

Question– Which of the following is not a poplar tree?

A. Carolina
B. Tulip
C. Cottonwood
D. Balsam

Answer– The correct answer is option B. The tulip poplar is actually more strictly linked with magnolia than either a tulip or a poplar. The reference to tulips is derived from the shape of the greenish-yellow and orange flowers.

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