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Everything You Need to Know About Superior Hybrid Poplar Trees

Superior hybrid poplar trees are a popular hardy, low-maintenance option for fast-growing shade trees or privacy screens with visual interest in the fall.

Poplar Trees Adobe

Superior hybrid poplar trees are an excellent choice for anyone trying to grow a shade tree or living privacy screen quickly. These towering trees can grow 5-8 feet per year until reaching a maximum height of around 50 feet.

Superior hybrid poplars are so low-maintenance that they’re practically hassle-free trees, disease-resistant and able to grow in a wide range of soils and light conditions. But with Superior hybrid poplars, it’s not all about practicality—in fall, the foliage is a beautifully vivid yellow.

Superior Hybrid Poplar Trees at a Glance

  • Extremely fast-growing
  • Excellent privacy screens
  • Disease-resistant
  • Spectacular yellow leaves in fall
  • Produce no cottony seeds
  • Attract deer

Appearance

Superior hybrid poplar trees grow in a pyramidal form, with triangular leaves that are 3-6 inches long and silvery-green on the top, with paler green undersides. In fall, the foliage is brilliant yellow, and their leaves drop in winter.

The trees grow to be 40-50 feet tall with a spread of 30 feet. They reach the height quickly, increasing in height by 5-8 feet per year.

Specifications

Appearance Pyramidal form with 3-6 inch long, triangular leaves that are silvery-green on top with pale green on undersides that turn brilliant yellow in fall
Appearance Pyramidal form with 3-6 inch long, triangular leaves that are silvery-green on top with pale green on undersides that turn brilliant yellow in fall
Height 40-50 feet
Hardiness Zones Zones 3-8
Type of tree Deciduous
Sunlight requirements Full sun to partial shade
Soil composition Highly adaptable, with preference for acidic or alkaline wet soils

Hardiness Zones

USDA Hardiness Zones indicate the regions where plants can grow based on minimum winter temperatures. Superior hybrid poplars grow in Zones 3-8, across almost the entire country. They do not grow in areas like the coldest parts of Minnesota, or the hottest parts of southern Texas and Florida.

Planting

The best time to plant a Superior hybrid poplar is during spring or fall. We recommend following these steps:

  • Choose a planting site with full sun or partial shade.
  • Clear away any turfgrass, weeds, or debris.
  • Dig a hole that is the same depth as the root ball and three times as wide.
  • Remove the Superior hybrid poplar from its container and spread the roots gently with your fingers or a small spade.
  • Begin backfilling the hole, then stop halfway and add water. Once it drains away, finish backfilling the hole.
  • Apply a 2-3 inch layer of mulch around the root zone to help conserve moisture, being careful not to let it touch the trunk.

Growing Conditions

Superior hybrid poplar trees are very low-maintenance and adaptable to a wide range of soils and levels of sunlight.

Sun and shade

These trees flourish in full sun, or at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight per day. However, they can also grow in partial shade.

Soil

Superior hybrid poplar trees are highly adaptable to a wide range of soils, with a preference for alkaline, acidic, and wet soils.

Watering

These trees require about an inch of water per week, accounting for rainfall in the forecast. They may need more frequent watering during hot, dry spells in summer.

Fertilizing

Do not fertilize your Superior hybrid poplar tree during planting or during the first season after planting. Feed your tree annually in the fall, using ½ pound of fertilizer with a ½-inch trunk diameter at the base. If the tree is larger, use one pound for each inch.

Pruning

Superior hybrid poplar trees do not require any pruning, since they naturally grow into an oval shape. If you want to prune a branch, do so in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.

Frequently Asked Questions

How tall do they get?

Superior hybrid poplars grow to a maximum height of 40-50 feet.

What do they look like?

These trees grow in an oval shape, with silvery-green, triangular leaves that turn yellow in fall. In winter, their branches are bare.

Do they grow quickly?

Yes, Superior hybrid poplars grow roughly 5-8 feet until maturity.

Are they deer-resistant?

No, deer will eat the leaves of a Superior hybrid poplar.

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