Populus nigra ‘Italica’

Forms a narrow columnar crown that later broadens out especially on the underside. Has a straight trunk and steeply ascending branches. The trunk has many tubercles. The green leaves are diamond-shaped to broad triangular. The emerge brownish-green, are an even colour of green in the summer and yellowish-green in the autumn. The tree produces flowers in the form of male catkins. ‘Italica’ is suitable for wind breaks, parks and public gardens and as a solitary in urban areas. It has many problems with broken branches and crown and is thus unsuitable as an avenue and street tree. The tree is little sensitive to bacterial canker, moderately sensitive to rust and very sensitive to leaf spot disease. Prefers nutritious moist soils and is somewhat sensitive to dry conditions. ‘Italica’ resists (sea) wind but is sensitive to late winter frost. Despite the fact that it is a relatively narrow tree, Populus nigra ‘Italica’ requires plenty of room, both above and below ground. The tree is extensively used in windbreaks.

Lombardy Poplar ‘Italica’



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:




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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown – Tell us



Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Other details:

Unknown – Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

By simple layering

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


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

Flagstaff, Arizona

Bloomington, Illinois

Denison, Iowa

Falmouth, Kentucky

Falling Waters, West Virginia

Populus nigra

Phonetic Spelling POP-yoo-lus NY-gruh Description

Black Poplar or Lombardy Poplar, have many landscape problems. It is short-lived and best planted as a windbreak away from most landscapes. It is native to Europe, northwestern Africa, and western Asia. It sports dark gray bark on mature trees, is deeply furrowed and provides winter interest.

Female trees have cottony seeds that lead to frequent clean-ups. However, the male causes issues of its own with the abundance of pollen. These trees are noted for their large amount of falling leaves and twigs, again leading to clean up. Its shallow roots send off somewhat invasive suckers as well as causing issues with grass cutting, sidewalks lifting and invading into other areas of your landscape.

Populars are not good landscape trees because they are susceptible to a number of pests and diseases as well as other cultural problems. Insect problems include aphids, borers, caterpillars and scale. Cankers are problematic especially in hot and humid climates. Cytospora canker attacks the upper branches of the tree and trunk and is often fatal. Dieback, leaf spots, rusts, and powdery mildew are other diseases problems. Weak wood is easily damaged by wind and shallow roots can lift sidewalks, make lawn mowing difficult, and damage drainage systems. Frequent clean up is required from the endless amount of falling leaves and twigs. To quote Michael Dirr from his popular book Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, “if anyone plants poplars they deserve the disasters which automatically ensue.”

Cultivars / Varieties:

  • ‘Italica’
  • ‘Lombardi Gold’
    Yellow/gold leaves

Tags: #fall color#winter interest#windbreak#high maintenance#fast growing#messy#short lifespan

Lombardy Poplar Tree

Fast-Growing Privacy Wind Break

Why Lombardy Poplar Trees?

Block the wind, lower your heating bills, and enjoy your yard throughout the summer and winter, all at the same time. With the Lombardy Poplar, it’s possible – simply plant one every 5 to 8 feet, and you’ll have a dense barrier that can reach amazing heights quickly.

Nothing stops the wind faster. Lombardy Poplars commonly grow 6 feet per year, with some reaching growth rates of 9 to 12 feet. You often see Lombardys planted around farm fields to keep topsoil from blowing away – and they’ll work just as effectively for your home.

Plus, their Mediterranean look adds value to your property. These plush Poplars grow in an elegant, columnar fashion. Use them to line your driveway, the road or the edges of your property. Line your Northern borders for a full, voluminous look that’s enviable.

Why Fast-Growing-Trees.com is Better

Best of all? When you plant Lombardy Poplars, you get a large, solid wall, without taking up a lot of yard space. Unusual, upward-sloping branches form a stunning, columnar outline that’s second to none. And we’ve planted, grown and shipped each Lombardy Poplar from our nursery for amazing results…now, you reap the rewards.

Plant today and you’ll have silver-green leaves and unusual branches swaying in the breeze in no time. Lombardy Poplar Trees are not evergreens, but they continue to provide great wind blockage and privacy throughout the year. Order a few (or more) of your own today!

Planting & Care

1. Planting: These full sun lovers (6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day) are very drought tolerant and can be shaped into elegant columnar fashions becoming solid walls that take up little space in your yard. Although not evergreen, they provide great wind blockage and privacy all year.

When you’re ready to plant, dig your hole two times the width and the same depth of the root system of the plant you’re working with. This will give the roots plenty of room. Hold the tree straight and begin back filling the hole tamping down as you go to eliminate any air pockets from forming. When the hole has been completely backfilled, water the planting site to help settle the soil. Mulch around the base of the tree to prevent competing weeds/grasses from growing and to conserve water moisture in the soil.

FGT Tip: If you are experiencing extreme temperatures or a severe drought, it’s suggested that you place your tree in the shade, or plant it in a well-shaded area in your lawn.

2. Watering: During the first year, make sure your tree gets water during extended dry spells, particularly in the summer months. Drooping leaves are a sign of both over or under watering, so ensure you water your Lombardy about once or twice weekly.

3. Fertilizing: Fertilize conservatively. Organic fertilizer high in nitrogen works well. You can use a 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 fertilizer formula. Avoid fertilizing the tree directly. Instead, broadcast the fertilizer around the drip line.

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Life Span of Poplar Trees

Winter a poplar image by Viktor Khomenko from Fotolia.com

Poplars are well-known deciduous trees. They have been a large part of the American timber industry, which has led to the development of a fast-growing and popular hybrid. Commercial planting of poplars began in the 1970s as part of a government reforestation and reclamation project. Poplars are members of the willow family and have crossed with native tree species to create natural hybrids. Poplar trees are known to be extremely fast growing and have a variety of shapes and uses.


Poplars are closely related to cottonwoods and aspens. They have also cross-pollinated with these trees, creating hybrids of the two species. All poplars are deciduous, but leaves and canopy shape is different among the trees. White Poplar and Balm of Gilead Poplar were introduced from Asia. Cottonwood or Eastern Poplar is a massive hybrid, as is Swamp Poplar. Bigtooth and Quaking Aspen are also poplar hybrids. Southern Poplar is native to the U.S. and Lombardy Poplar is a cultivar.


Poplars are considered short-lived trees. There are trees that can live a 1,000 years and the poplar lifespan is one-tenth of that on average. The key may be the rapid growth of the plant. Producing repetitive cell cloning takes energy that is not expended on other tree processes. Some poplar species live longer than others–the growth rate may provide a clue why.

Life Span

The Virginia Big Tree Program has compiled a list of common trees of the Americas and their life spans. The Balsam Poplar lives an average of 100 years and can live up to 150 years. The Yellow Poplar has a much longer life span at 250 years on average, and a maximum of 450 years. The Hybrid Poplar will only reach 30 to 50 years of age, a relatively short life span. It is primarily used for timber and harvested between six and 12 years old.


Poplars will only live as long as environment and man will allow. Trees are heavily influenced by pollution and environmental stress. Poplars are often plagued by fungus, cankers and blight. Bronze birch borer and gypsy moths are just two of numerous pests that afflict poplars. Forestry management has some affect on tree age, due to culling to increase green spaces and encourage a healthy deciduous forest. Tree age is also influenced by adequate growing space.

Growth Rate

All poplars are known to be prodigious growers. The Lombardy Poplar is often planted as a hedge or windbreak as it will mature in just a few years. Hybrid poplars grow around 6 feet per year and can reach maturity in a short time. They can reach 20 feet high in just three years with a full mature height of 70 feet tall. The growth rate relation to life span shows promise in the case of the hybrid poplar, a rapid grower with a short life span.

UKTC Archive

Thanks guys On Sat, Jun 25, 2016 at 6:50 PM, <[email protected]> wrote: I would agree with rick n they ge rather grotty after that, have seen some examples in various urban settings Will Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone. Original Message From: Rick Milsom Sent: Saturday, 25 June 2016 18:30 To: UK Tree Care Reply To: [email protected] Subject: Re: Life expectancy of Lombardy Poplar Hi John I would go for 40-60 years urban.Only based on what I think ,nothing scientific! Cheers Rick On 25 Jun 2016 17:53, “John Hearne” <[email protected]> wrote: It’s just that I’ve seen so many rotten at the base over the years, often not so old by the look of them. I’ve always had them chalked up as generally being fast growing fungi fodder. So what 5837 category do I assign apparently healthy and sound but big 1m diam trees? I’ve plumped for B and suspect I’m being generous. On Fri, Jun 24, 2016 at 4:07 PM, Hare, Gareth < [email protected]> wrote: Not long enough for a certain Mr Ellison of this parish… One of his faves apparently. I have to confess to a sneaking admiration of them. We’ve got a couple of absolute monsters nearby which seem to be in rude good health. I’d be surprised if these were much less than 60-70. They do get a bit ‘rainforest-esque’ with their big buttress roots. Gareth D Hare Arboricultural Officer Lichfield District Council —–Original Message—– From: [email protected] On Behalf Of Jonathan Hazell Sent: 24 June 2016 15:48 To: UK Tree Care Subject: Re: Life expectancy of Lombardy Poplar Too long 😉 Jonathan Hazell 07501 XXX XXX jhazell.com Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone On 24 Jun 2016 13:46, “John Hearne” <[email protected]> wrote: Dear collective – straw poll: how long the safe life expectancy of an urban garden Lombardy Poplar? — Hearne Arboriculture www.hearnearboriculture.com — The UK Tree Care mailing list To unsubscribe send mailto:[email protected] The UKTC is supported by Bosky Trees http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/ — The UK Tree Care mailing list To unsubscribe send mailto:[email protected] The UKTC is supported by Bosky Trees http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/ This e-mail and any attachment(s), is confidential and may be legally privileged. It is intended solely for the addressee. If you are not the addressee, dissemination, copying or use of this e-mail or any of its content is prohibited and may be unlawful. If you are not the intended recipient please inform the sender immediately and destroy the e-mail, any attachment(s) and any copies. All liability for viruses is excluded to the fullest extent permitted by law. It is your responsibility to scan or otherwise check this e-mail and any attachment(s). Unless otherwise stated (i) views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender (ii) no contract may be construed by this e-mail. Emails may be monitored and you are taken to consent to this monitoring. — The UK Tree Care mailing list To unsubscribe send mailto:[email protected] The UKTC is supported by Bosky Trees http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/ — Hearne Arboriculture www.hearnearboriculture.com — The UK Tree Care mailing list To unsubscribe send mailto:[email protected] The UKTC is supported by Bosky Trees http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/ — The UK Tree Care mailing list To unsubscribe send mailto:[email protected] The UKTC is supported by Bosky Trees http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/ — The UK Tree Care mailing list To unsubscribe send mailto:[email protected] The UKTC is supported by Bosky Trees http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/ — Hearne Arboriculture www.hearnearboriculture.com — The UK Tree Care mailing list To unsubscribe send mailto:[email protected] The UKTC is supported by Bosky Trees http://www.boskytrees.co.uk/

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