White Poplar, Silver-leaved Poplar, Silver Poplar

Populus alba

Family: Salicaceae (sal-i-KAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Populus (POP-yoo-lus) (Info)
Species: alba (AL-ba) (Info)



Foliage Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


over 40 ft. (12 m)


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)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

By simple layering

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Frazier Park, California

Champaign, Illinois

Wheaton, Illinois

Denison, Iowa

Benton, Kentucky

Dunmor, Kentucky

Mc Dowell, Kentucky

Hibbing, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Colebrook, New Hampshire

Mill Spring, North Carolina

Aledo, Texas

Midland, Texas

Price, Utah

Clarksville, Virginia

Norfolk, Virginia

Menasha, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 15, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

This European plant is a pretty, large tree with mostly cream-white bark and silvery foliage. However, it easily suckers to form a colony and it has escaped cultivation in northern Illinois in various spots to become invasive. There is a wild colony in Philadelphia, PA, near the railroad tracks. It is messy and weak-wooded, so it is not good for the residential landscape. It can be used in parks and large commercial properties.


On Aug 9, 2014, Ruthietoothie from Price, UT wrote:

We love our white poplars! We live amongst a grove of them and we are trying to figure out how to transplant the suckers to other places on our property. They are so magnificent in the wind, both in their sound and appearance! We could not possibly love them more!

We live in the desert southeast of Utah, and there are very few trees that will grow on their own here. Russian olive is another that volunteers itself to the landscape readily. I also love it, and respect its nasty thorns! I love how these trees grow and thrive, despite the desert landscape they find themselves in. Their message is one of survival, and it speaks volumes to me.

Incidentally, we are planning to build a treehouse/guest house in a small stand of our silver poplars soon. They appear to b... read more


On Feb 21, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Connecticut has banned the trade, transport, or planting of this species due to its invasiveness. It's a threat to natural areas and a species of concern to organizations dealing with the environment over most of North America.


On Oct 21, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

There is not many here in the Twin Cities - one interesting observation I have notice is that they either mostly or all are found only in certain surburbs that are build at a certain time - about 1970 to maybe early 1980 and that this tree may be planted by the builder or come from certain local nurseries? After that, no more trees were planted - one obvious reason is their short liveness - the trees are starting to die out around here at about the age of 20 to 30 - rather short for a big tree species - even cottonwood live longer than that.

They can be mistook by the average non gardening people for birch species as they have mostly white bark that look like paper birch but have very rough dark brown, nearly black bark at the base of the tree.

Alan Mitchell... read more


On Aug 20, 2008, kenjae7277 from Norfolk, VA wrote:

We "rescued" 7 sprouts and replanted them on our property in Clarksville, Virginia. The fast growth and the sparkling leaves have all the neighbors asking what it is. As for the sprouts that pop up here and there, we mow them and, as they get older, less and less of these sprouts appear.

We're in very heavy clay (we're talking just this side of cement), which could explain the lack of an invasion; However, I've not offered them to neighbors nor exchanged them for anything since reading the opinions and observations. We have one at our Norfolk home as well (sandy/loam) which, in 15 years, has behaved itself and is now over 30 feet in height. We have not suffered any breakage from it (Hurricane Isabel) or invasive behaviour...maybe we're just lucky with these trees.
... read more


On May 13, 2008, MissFabulous from Dunkirk, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is on MANY state's invasives list, and having it invading my woodlands, I can attest to this. It will quickly take over an area forcing other native species out, and it's growing habits aren't upright - it leans, so they fall down quickly, taking other trees with it like bowling pins. They're taking over woodlands by outcompeting native species and slower growing hardwoods and reproduce in incredible numbers annually. If you have this, kill it! Don't plant or sell or trade this please!


On Aug 18, 2007, bigcityal from Menasha, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

Not a tree I would plant , that's for sure. Not overly attractive looking at larger sizes, can sucker a lot, and because of tall growth can have wind damage.
Not sure if on the invasive list here - a nonnative species.


On Dec 27, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

White Poplar, Silver-leaved Poplar, Silver Poplar Populus alba is naturalized in Texas and other States and is considered an invasive plant in Texas.


On Nov 19, 2006, lkz5ia from Denison, IA (Zone 5b) wrote:

First white poplar was planted out in 1999 on our farm. This tree was dug up as a root sprout from a two-trunked tree in a residential area. I had tried on previous attempts to get a root sprout to grow, but one finally did grow. They are very fast growing trees, 3+ ft a year. Root sprouts were coming up 25ft away after 5 years. They are easy to start from stem cuttings, but the percentage that takes isn't as high as willow. But the advantage white poplar has over willow is in its drought resistance. Of the plants I have started from cuttings, white poplar is the most resistant to dry conditions. On a windy day, this tree can't be beat, casting its white undersides of its leaves for all to see.


On Jul 7, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Very beautiful trees, but if you want a perfect lawn, they are not for you. Characteristic of all poplars, young trees shoot up everywhere from the shallow root system. In a short time there will be hundreds of small 'treelets' growing everywhere. They will mow over with the lawnmower, but the seem to return in abundance. The root suckers are impossible to get rid of.

This is a European introduction that has naturalized here in North America.

These trees can get quite large, there were two at my parents home that were over 60 feet tall and about 3 feet in diameter.


On Sep 2, 2001, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is silvery-white,deciduous tree which can grow up to 75 feet.Young twigs and shoots are white.The leaves are silvery-white-wooly underneath and bluish green on the top. The leaves are 2-4 inches long with 3 or 5 distinct lobes. Male and female yellow flowers are in separate hanging catkins that appear in spring before the leaves come out. Leaves sometimes turn yellow or gold in fall.Branches are susceptible to breaking in storms or under heavy snow.They are tolerant of all but constantly water-logged soils. White poplar is more drought tolerant than other poplars.