WSU Clark County Extension

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Lombardy Poplar

Scientific name: Populus nigra ‘Italica’

Type:Deciduous tree
Plant Requirements
Zone:3 to 9
Sun:Full sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:60 ft
Width:12 ft
Bloom:Spring flowers
Bloom Time:March
Bloom Color:Green
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description Lombardy Poplar is often seen in rural areas along fence lines as property owners use it to form a fast growing windbreak or screen. Also known as Lombardy Black Poplar.

This is a deciduous tree which grows to 40’-60’ in height but only 10’ in width. It has a strictly slender columnar habit of short and upward pointing branches.

The leaves are triangular in shape and range in width from 1.5”-3.5” and 2”-3.5” in length. They are bright green during the summer before turning a blazing yellow in the fall. Leaves are arranged in an alternate fashion and are simple.

The cultivar Italica is a male. The short catkins are 2"-3” in length and appear in the late winter before the leaves come out.

Bark on larger trunks begins to split forming rough, fissured and dark gray patterns.

This cultivar does best on full sun sites. It can take both wet feet as well as acidic and alkaline soils. It will survive drought very well.

Multiple suckers often appear at the base of trees and occasionally on roots far from the tree The roots are considered invasive.

This species is very prone to stem cankers which shorten the tree’s life span. Otherwise the foliage is not prone to any disease problems.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
Computing and Web Resources, PO Box 6234, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6234