Pitfalls

It would not be fair if I did not give you the down side of the hybrid poplars. This page will spoil a lot of sales for me, but doing this I know I can sleep soundly at night.

Poplars are not dirty such as the weeping willows that drop dead branches in the Spring, however...

 1. WEAK TOPS. Big (70ft.) trees tend to be brittle and some of their tops can be broken by high winds. I have had one tree lose its top. Most of the time I have had about 600 trees growing in my property (1.3 acre lot)

 2. FUZZ. When I purchased my first cuttings, I was told they would not give fuzz. They lied. Adult female trees (about 10 to 12 years old) will drop fuzz that resemble cotton. That stuff flies all over starting in early Summer. If you have a swimming pool close to these trees, be aware, that the fuzz is very annoying and forces you to skim your pool more often. It can clog up your filter. Fuzzies can also be very dangerous. If their density is high, and a flame just happens to be applied to them, they will ignite with incredible speed. I don't sell any female hybrid poplar but be aware there are many.

3. STICKY BUDS. Plant trees away from your house. In early spring, when trees start to grow, some of the buds will fall to the ground where you pick up with your shoes and track inside the house. The buds are very sticky and can give you some trouble removing them from a fine carpet... to put it mildly, your wife will kill you. On the serious side, not all clones drop these sticky buds, and if they do, all danger of getting buds stuck on your shoes are gone by the end of April.

 4. ROOTS. If you planted those trees and you have surface roots it is your fault!. Please read this file. To remove those roots I have used my trusty hatchet, cutting at both ends of the visible root and pulling it out of the ground. In some cases I had to fill the void with more dirt, but it was not a big deal

5. CANKER DISEASE (Dothichisa populea, Cytospora Canker and Cytospora chrysosperma) -All the above Latin came from a book. The real stuff is in my back yard. It showed up all of the sudden (September'98) on a 12-year old tree. The trunk of the tree just shrivels almost at ground level, keeping the nutrients from traveling up the trunk. The tree just started dropping all its leaves, and the ones that have not fallen turned yellow and will fall with the next wind. The advice found is to cut it, and burn it. They also tell you to spray the trees around it with a Bordeaux mixture. I have seen this in the past but I did not pay any attention because it never killed a whole tree, it always affected only small branches. Since it is a FUNGUS disease you must destroy the source and spray to prevent the disease from spreading- They don't tell you that, you must read between the lines
The incidence of this disease is so rare, at least here, that it really does not do much damage. The tree that was affected already is on my wood pile.

A visitor to my site offered a solution he found locally and helped him save 6 of his loved trees:"Mauger tree microinjection system". You have to take a short class and become certified to apply fungicides, inject your trees, and he claims the results were almost immediate

6. COLORS IN THE FALL. The old clones do not show any nice colors at all. This includes the DN-34 tree. The NM-6 turns a beautiful redish yellow before the leaves fall off. The OP-367 turns yellow. In trees that do not show off, the leaves just turn brown and fall.

7. Toxicity: Poplars are not toxic to horses - that's good. They are not toxic to deer either - that's bad.

8. Neighbors ... They can be pesky... until you give them some cuttings!

9. Fungal diseases Quick Facts
Five fungi cause most foliage diseases on aspen, cottonwoods and other poplar species.
* Foliage diseases develop readily in wet, cool weather.
* Foliage diseases decrease a tree's aesthetic value and can cause premature defoliation.
* Severe outbreaks can affect the general health of the tree.
* To reduce future disease problems, rake up and dispose of leaves and prune out branches with cankers.
* Timely fungicide application can prevent severe outbreaks.
Foliage diseases can reduce the aesthetic value of aspen and cottonwood. Occasionally, a severe disease outbreak causes premature defoliation or dieback of parts of the tree.

If a tree loses its leaves early in the season, it may grow new ones and its health is not seriously affected. If it loses them in midsummer, however, growing new leaves may prevent the tree from fully hardening off before cold weather or reduce the amount of stored food. This leads to increased danger of frost damage, reduced growth, and predisposition to other diseases or Insects. If it loses its leaves late in the season, it will not grow new ones or lose much vigor.

10. Deer. Deer consider poplars a delicacy. There are many ways to discourage deer from chewing on your tender tree tops. Try hanging dial soap from the trees. They say deer will not get close because the soap smells like humans. I sell a product called This One Works. It is latex based and you spray it on the leaves. This product was suggested to me by two of my customers, they claimed it really works. It took me a long time finding it, now I have it. Please go to the fertilizer pageif you are interested. I have found that a combination of soap and This One Works... works.

As I think of other problems with these trees, I will add them to this page.

[ Front Page ]