Populus balsamifera
BALSAM POPLAR
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Hardiness Zone: 2-8 Height: 75-100 feet; 23-30 metres; 15-20 feet Spread: 26 feet; 8 metres; 5-10 feet Sun: Full sun to part sun Water: Medium to wet Wildlife: Buds eaten by small mammals, grouse and ptarmigan. Buds also important source of resin for bees, being used to make propolis. Leaves are food for larvae of various butterflies, including the viceroy Tolerates: Clay soils; flooding; salt; pollution Culture: This extremely tough and adaptable poplar grows easily in all soils with abundant moisture. Keep this poplar at least 12 metres from building foundations since root systems are invasive. It is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. Noteworthy Characteristics: This fast growing, short-lived tree (60-100 years) has a shapely oval form. Its heart shaped leaves, which are dark green throughout the season, turn yellow in the fall. Balsam Poplar owes its name to the great smell of its opening leaf and flower buds in spring, when it perfumes the air with a very characteristic balsam smell.