White Poplar (Populus alba)

White Poplar (Populus alba) is a deciduous broadleaf tree which can grow to 20m. The bark is pale grey and young twigs have a covering of dense white hair that lasts until their second year.

  • White Poplar  -  Populus Alba  -  Leaves
  • White Poplar  -  Populus Alba  -  Mature Tree

Useful info about White Poplar trees

Latin NamePopulus alba
TypeDeciduous (loses its leaves in winter)
HeightCan grow up to 20 m (65ft)
SpreadThe branches can spread out to 12 m (39ft)
Soil Types PreferredClay, Loam, Sand
Locations SuitableFarmland, Gardens, Parks

Similar Species


White Poplar is commonly called silver poplar, or silverleaf poplar, and is most closely related to the Aspen.

It is native to Morocco, southern and central Europe as well as parts of central Asia.

It grows in moist sites, often by watersides, in regions with hot summers and cold to mild winters.

It is a medium-sized deciduous tree, growing to heights of up to 15 - 30 m (49 - 98 ft).

The leaves have a thick covering of white, scurfy, down on both sides. This down wears off in early spring.

Female catkins, greyish-green in colour, appear on the tree in spring and green seed capsules appear in late spring to early summer.


The white colouration is due to hairs which protect the breathing pores on the leaf. This makes it suitable for planting along road sides where pollution can be a problem.

A yellow dye can be produced from the bark of the White Poplar.

The wood is soft but close-grained and easy to carve.


Any uses for trees or tree extracts, whether edible or medicinal, have not been tried or tested by EFORESTS.

Please take caution and seek proper advice before attempting any recipes or medicinal extracts from any of the trees listed on our site.

Culture and Symbolism

Poplar trees are believed to represent courage, victory, fertility, youthfulness, abundance, protection and endurance.

Click here to dedicate a tree to be planted in a woodland in England, Scotland or Wales

Want to have a tree gift delivered to your door or to send a tree gift to someone special? We have a wide variety of UK native trees for sale in our tree shop.