Populus alba, White Poplar

Large shrubs and trees
Scientific Name
Populus alba
Common Name/s
White Poplar
Weed Information

Threat: High threat environmental weed.

Description: A broad-leaved deciduous tree growing up to 12 metres tall with distinctive silver white trunk.

Flowers: Male and female flowers are produced on separate trees. No male flowering trees yet recorded in Australia. Flowers borne in clusters (Catkins) 5–10cm long. After flowering in October the unfertilised female flowers become white, wind borne ‘fluff’ which spreads widely causing respiratory irritation to some people.

Leaves: 5–10cm long with three to five lobes, blue green upper surface with white undersides. Leaves turn brilliant yellow in autumn. It is a popular tree planted in parks and gardens for this reason.

Stems: Smooth white or grey bark becoming rough at base of trunk.

Note: White Poplar may be mistaken for Silver Birch. It spreads primarily by suckers which may form dense thickets in gullies and along streams. Suckering is stimulated by soil disturbance damaging roots.

Control measures: Hand weeding, cut and paint or drill/frill and fill with suitable herbicide, spot spraying.

Dispersal: Wind.