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White poplar tree appearance wood uses and lumber

White poplar trees are common throughout Europe, North Africa and West Asia. This tree can handle both air pollution and salty sea air well. White poplars are therefore often planted along highways and coastal areas. The scientific name of the white poplar tree is populus alba and is part of the salicaeae family. It is an attractive looking poplar species that has useful properties to people.

white poplar trees have great looking bark and leaves

White poplar tree, leaf and flower description

white poplar young and old barkThe white poplar tree can grow to heights up to 100 feet or 30 meters. The tree is classed deciduous and won't have leaves from late autumn till early spring.

Poplar leaves are arranged alternate with three to five lobes. White poplar leaves can reach lengths up to 5 inches or 13 cm. Yong leaves are white and turn shiny dark green on the sun side and white and wooly felt like on the other side.

In autumn the leaves turn dark yellow to brown and fall too the ground. Catkins are the flowers, and in a later stage the seeds of the white poplar tree.


White poplar tree bark and trunk

Young poplar trees have smooth white grey bark. When the tree gets older the bark gets darker with deep fissures. The trunk of old poplar trees often rots from inside out. This is the main reason most trees don't get very old. The trunk of older trees can have a diameter up to 5 feet or 1.5 meters.


White poplar tree wood properties and durability

Fresh white poplar heartwood has a yellow to brown color. The sapwood is paler yellow, exposure to sunlight gives the wood a darker color, more in line with the heartwood. The wood has a fine to medium but wooly texture, low strength and shock resistance properties and low steam bending qualities. The average dried weight of the wood at a moisture content of 12% is 480 kg per cubic meter. The durability of white poplar wood is classed as V low durability.


White poplar wood working tips and uses

white poplar wood is great for plywood and more White poplar wood is medium soft and easy to work with by hand or machine. Fresh lumber shrinks but after drying remains stable. Due to this shrinkage nails and screws should be used with caution because they often get loose.

Dry white poplar lumber nails, screws, glues, and works well both by hand or machine. The wood is used in a wide range of products like

  • firewood
  • veneer
  • turned articles
  • indoor furniture
  • plywood
  • pulpwood
  • pallets
  • clogs
  • and more!

More white poplar tree pictures!