Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Brooks Poplar
Populus 'Brooks #6'

Family: Salicaceae (sal-i-KAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Populus (POP-yoo-lus) (Info)
Cultivar: Brooks #6
Additional cultivar information: (aka #4)
Hybridized by Griffin; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1954


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)
30-40 ft. (9-12 m)
over 40 ft. (12 m)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring

Grown for foliage
Good Fall Color

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us


No positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral darylmitchell On Jun 7, 2005, darylmitchell from Saskatoon, SK (Zone 3a) wrote:

Brooks poplar is presumed to be a cross between a native cottonwood and a Russian poplar (Populus deltoides x Populus petrowskyana). It is a male clone introduced by Mr. Augustus Griffin, superintendent of the C.P.R.'s Engineering Division (later the Alberta government's Crop Diversification Centre South) at Brooks, Alberta in 1954. This poplar is a tall, fast-growing, upright, deciduous tree with rough bark. Leaves are alternate, simple, dark shiny green, and diamond-shaped. It carries its leaves fairly late in the year. Its mature height ranges from 10 to 25 m (33 to 80 ft) with a spread of about 15 m (50 ft). It can be expected to reach a height of 6 m (20 ft) in five to seven years from a one year old rooted cutting.

It has wide soil adaptation and while it requires generous amounts of water, it will survive while exposed to short periods of low moisture. It can be planted in full sun or half shade, and can tolerate early or late frosts. Brooks poplars are used for shade trees, accent plantings, street trees, parks plantings and shelterbelts. They are too large for an average suburban lot, but good for large properties and parks. Brooks #6 is a male clone and does not produce cotton like female plants. They provide habitat for many species of birds and other wildlife.

1. Extensive root system may spread up to four times the height of the tree. Roots may invade cracks in pavement, concrete and sewer lines, causing further damage. Roots will sucker if damaged.
2. Canker - usually associated with a major setback e.g. transplanting, heavy pruning, root disturbance, old age, and/or drought.
3. Forest tent caterpillars. Poplar gall mites have been found on this plant only on rare occasions.
4. Short-lived, with a useful lifespan of between 15 and 30 years.
5. Like many poplars, it has has soft, weak wood that can be damaged easily in storms. Twig and branch litter is common after strong winds.
6. Male catkins are coated in a fragrant, sticky resin and are messy.
7. Male trees release massive amounts of airborne pollen in spring, which can be a problem for allergy sufferers.

We had two Brooks poplars in our backyard when I was a kid. They were great to climb on and cast a lot of shade on hot summer days. However their roots killed the grass, and they littered the yard with sticky catkins in the spring. During windy or stormy weather, twigs and small branches broke loose and fell to the ground. They are better situated in parks and large estate properties.

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