Populus deltoides x Populus nigra
Hybrid poplars are the thoroughbreds of the tree world. Their claim to fame is speed, with vertical growth of 5–8' per year not being uncommon. This cottonless hybrid can be harvested for firewood in five to seven years, making it a sustainable source. It also works well for visual screens and hillside or sand dune stabilization. While nice for quick shade, the hybrid poplar should only be planted in landscape where occasional limb breakage is not a problem.
Acidic, Alkaline, Wet
Hybrid poplar bark, twigs and leaves are eaten by rodents, rabbits, deer, beavers and porcupines. It provides forage for browsing wildlife such as white-tailed and mule deer up through the sapling stage. It also provides important nesting and roosting habitat for various species of birds.
There are many crosses that go by the name “hybrid poplar,” but this one between eastern cottonwood from the United States and black poplar from Europe and North Africa has been a favorite for a very long time. Botanists and hobbyists in colonial times are said to have exchanged the parent trees across the ocean, with both natural and artificial hybrids soon resulting. The oldest account of the tree was given by a scientist in 1785.