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Populus x acuminata is often confused with:
Populus deltoides Populus deltoides
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Populus deltoides Populus deltoides
Ulmus rubra Tree form (Guilford County, NC)-Mid Summer
Paulownia tomentosa Paulowina tomentosa

Populus x acuminata

Previously known as:

  • Populus acuminata
Phonetic Spelling
POP-yoo-lus
Description

Lanceleaf Cottonwood is a hybrid tree in the willow (Salicaceae) family native to the floodplains and streams in the Rocky Mountain region growing at elevations of between 4,500-8,500 feet.  It is a naturally occurring cross between the Eastern Cottonwood Populus deltoides and the Narrowleaf Cottonwood Populous angustifolia.   It is commonly planted as a shade tree in the four corners region of the United States.  As this tree typically grows in riparian areas it requires frequent supplemental water in a landscape.  Frequent pruning to remove weak branches, cleaning up seeds and fallen leaves add to the maintenance tasks for this tree.  It also sends out shallow roots with suckers that can damage sidewalks or driveways. 

Its seeds are white and fluffy and dispersed in the wind.  They resemble cotton, hence the common name Cottonwood. "Acuminata" is Latin for pointed and refers to the leaf shape and and "Populous" means people.

Being native to the west, this tree will not do well in the hot humid southeastern USA.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Borers, aphids, scales, and thrips are insect problems. Cytospora canker, slime flux, anthracnose, crown rot, and sooty mold are disease problems.  It has shallow roots, suckers easily, and has prolific fluffy seeds that spread far and wide making it weedy.  It is also susceptible to limb breakage.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#shade tree#weedy#riparian#high maintenance#fast growing#messy#weak wood#wind dispersed seeds#fall color yellow
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#shade tree#weedy#riparian#high maintenance#fast growing#messy#weak wood#wind dispersed seeds#fall color yellow
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Populus
    Family:
    Salicaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Western Canada to Mexico
    Dimensions:
    Height: 40 ft. 0 in. - 60 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 30 ft. 0 in. - 40 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Oval
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasional Flooding
    Occasionally Wet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    The seed capsules of the female produce silky white hairs when they split open
  • Flowers:
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Insignificant
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Sinuate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    2-4 inch ovate leaves, long petioles that flatten near the blade. The leaf margins are like waves or sinuate. Yellow fall color.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Scaly
    Bark Description:
    Scaly grey-brown bark
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Riparian
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Problems:
    Messy
    Weak Wood
    Weedy