Hybrid Poplar (Shade Form)

Item #0636, Bare-root. Ships 3 - 4' tall with a 3/8" trunk.
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The fast-growing way to quick shade. Tall, oblong-shaped trees sport large, shiny, dark-green leaves that turn golden-yellow in fall. Inconspicuous reddish-purple flowers. No annoying “cotton” like other cottonwood poplars. Grows 5-8 feet per year once established. Plant single trees 30-35' apart for shade. Plant several trees closer, around 6-10' apart in a line for a lush privacy screen or natural windbreak that controls wind and soil erosion year 'round. Avoid planting near structures, pipes, and drains. Cold hardy. Populus deltoides subspecies deltoides

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Since 1816, Stark Bro’s has promised to provide customers with the very best fruit trees and plants. It’s just that simple. If your trees or plants do not survive, please let us know within one year of delivery. We will issue a one-time merchandise credit to your account equaling 125% of the original product purchase price. Read more about our warranty policy.


Bloom Color Purple, Red
Shade/Sun Full Sun
Soil Composition Loamy
Soil Moisture Well Drained
Soil pH Level 5.5 - 8.0
Zone Range 4 - 8

Zone Compatibility

This Variety's Zone Range 4 - 8
My Hardiness Zone ?
The USDA hardiness zones offer a guide to varieties that will grow well in certain climates. Each zone corresponds to the minimum winter temperatures experienced in a given area. Make sure that your hardiness zone lies within the zone compatability range of this variety before ordering.

Size & Spacing

Mature Size

When your tree matures, it will be approximately 60' tall x 30 - 35' wide.

Recommended Spacing

We recommend spacing these trees 30 - 35' apart to ensure room for growth.

Tools & Supplies

Having the proper tools and supplies when growing your own can make the difference between a good harvest and a great harvest! Here's a list that our experts recommend for this variety.

Planting & Care

Learn all about how to grow shade trees in The Growing Guide. An entire section of our website dedicated to your growing success.

Shipping Information

Arrives when it's time to plant

Your success is our priority. We work hard to make sure that your order arrives at the ideal time for planting in your location based on your local climate conditions.


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Questions & Answers

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Browse 15 questions Browse 15 questions and 42 answers
Why did you choose this?
Stark Bro's Store
Fast growing and love the sound the leaves make in the wind!
Barb K on Apr 5, 2021
needed poplar trees, saw a 10% off coupon.. BUT I didn't get the 10% discount. I still need the trees.
Have a great day
Jami S on Mar 12, 2021
Fast growing and love the sound the leaves make in the wind!
Barb K on Apr 5, 2021
Fast growing!
I ordered them from Miller Nursery 20 years ago they were prefect!
Olga P on Apr 4, 2021
needed poplar trees, saw a 10% off coupon.. BUT I didn't get the 10% discount. I still need the trees.
Have a great day
Jami S on Mar 12, 2021
Fast growing shade
John P on Mar 29, 2020
Already have 3 and love them, expanding our shade
Robert M on Mar 9, 2020
I need fast growing trees for a large property in New Mexico Zone 8 and this has the growth habit I am looking for
Gregory A on Jan 28, 2020
Shade without the cotton and supposed to be fast growing. Also wanted a narrower, wide shade tree for the location I am putting it in.
Babs_40 on Feb 11, 2019
As a wind barrier for my orchard.
Craig P on Feb 9, 2019
They grow quickly to provide screening for my more permanent trees.
T I on May 6, 2017
Previously had them at a previous house and loved the shade factor.
Jeffrey H on Feb 11, 2017
had this before and lightning hit 2 of them are good if you plant closer together
J D on May 20, 2016
Privacy Screen
Keith H on May 16, 2016
About the only reliable grower around here, high plains desert climate.
Nick P on Mar 23, 2016
Fast growing!
I ordered them from Miller Nursery 20 years ago they were prefect!
Olga P on Apr 4, 2021
Fast growing shade
John P on Mar 29, 2020
Is this a "messy tree"? Is it a "hard or soft wood" tree? Hybrid poplar shade trees?
Charles on Mar 2, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Hi Charles,
I wouldn't call it messy. It does drop its leaves in winter. I planted on a small slope with decomposed granite soil, basically, and yet it is doing well. It needs good watering until the roots get to the water table. Pretty Fall color. I live at 5300 feet on a mountain in Southern California, temperatures can drop to 20's, but it comes back every Spring. Tolerates our sometimes hot dry summers. Doesn't create a lot of shade yet. i think in a better soil and closer to the water table it would grow faster and create more shade. I have no insight into whether it's a hard or softwood.
Is the trunk white?
Kathy O on Jan 5, 2020
BEST ANSWER: Light tan
is this tree compatible with hot climates? with a lot of water?
Useless on Jun 8, 2018
BEST ANSWER: I planted 10 of these trees in Mar of 2017. That summer we saw temperatures up to ~105 F. This past winter we had temperatures down to -15 F. All 10 of them came through both extremes like champs and came out of dormancy this spring. So far they have put on another foot+ of growth in 2018 and the growing season is just getting started.

I also propagated some cuttings from these trees this year and the cuttings are doing well too.
How will it grow on sandy Cape Cod?
Charles B on May 3, 2016
BEST ANSWER: We have clay and it is growing great
I don't know about sandy soil though
What is the fall color of these trees?
Dawn M on Aug 31, 2017
BEST ANSWER: We are in Idaho and start have frost in September. The leaves begin turning fairly soon and become a light yellow/golden color. After a harder freeze they all come off the trees. Our trees have all overwintered well, even with temperatures falling well below zero.
Do you have these trees in a bigger size?
Kay V on Apr 11, 2021
BEST ANSWER: Unfortunately our trees are young only 2 years of age and the largest we have is our standard shipping height of 3-4 feet tall.
Can you plant a hybrid poplar approximately 50 ft from septic system? Also how far from driveway can they be planted
Frederick W on Feb 23, 2021
BEST ANSWER: We appreciate you reaching out to us. The general rule is that such a tree needs to be at least as many feet away from your septic drain field as it is tall. So a specimen 50 feet tall at maturity should stand at least 50 feet away.

If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to reach back out to us. Have a great day!
I am going to order some lombardy and shade form poplars and will be having them shipped to Phoenix and I will be potting them up here they are going to be planted in New Mexico in zone 8 a in early to mid May my question is since they are bare root should I plant them in 5 gallon or 7 gallon containers to get them started I don???t know how much root they have when they ship ???
Gregory A on Jan 12, 2020
BEST ANSWER: I put mine directly in the ground but I remember needing to dig a foot and a half deep hole with a good foot in diameter so that I could spread the rootlings out. My trees have done wonderfully and grown fast at 7700 feet, winters at 5 degrees F. Only problem has been my horse nibbling and stripping bark, also elk. Good luck.
How big are the cootonwood trees when shiped?
vince on Nov 22, 2019
BEST ANSWER: We appreciate you reaching out to us. The shipping size on these can very from season to season. Since we do not have the product in stock, I'm not sure what the shipping height would be at this time.

If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to reach back out to us. Have a great day!
What is the spread of the root system. Can you plant them close to a driveway without the roots cracking the concrete?
Rex A on Aug 25, 2018
BEST ANSWER: This is not the best tree to plant near a driveway, water line or septic tank because it has a large, spreading root system. Oak, hickory, walnuts or conifers - trees with tap roots - are much less like to damage a driveway than trees with lateral root systems, like maples and poplars.
What kind of tree is this?
mike on Mar 21, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Fast growing tree for shade once mature. Came as a >2 foot twig and grew to 8??? the first season, ~15??? last season; who knows this season! Requires bracing and support as it???s very ???whippy??? - should be self supporting by end of this season/start of next.
In reference to avoid planting near pipes and drains, how do these fare with in-ground sprinkler systems?
juliav on Mar 12, 2018
BEST ANSWER: 1st, I'm not a horticulturist... but this tree is known for a vigorous root system that helps to support this trees rapid growth. Pipes and drains typically have "slip" joints, easily penetrated by vigorous roots in search of water and thus easily 'clogged by the roots. Sprinkler systems are generally glued pvc plastic pipe... While i would not plant the tree within 6 or 8 feet of the sprinkler lines... growing (diameter) of close to tree roots could possibly break a line? I would believe they are safe together in same lawn. A last thought... I broke a sprinkler line digging a hole once... didn't realize it was there... and it was an easy fix to run to Lowe's and get 4 elbows and a stick of tube and 'reroute' around where we wanted the shrub.
How far away should I stay from a underground water supply line?
Donald on Oct 14, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Easiest answer: as far as possible! The roots of these trees will seek out underground water sources and, even though their root systems are fairly shallow, planting at least 25 feet away from pipes and other structures (including foundations) is best.
how far apart for privacy hedge.
( hybred poplar ) ?
Greg H on May 21, 2016
BEST ANSWER: These can be grown closer together, around 6-10 feet apart, for a wind break.

Customer Reviews

3.7 / 5.0
15 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Fast growing!
I purchased 5 of these tree's last year, I planted them a few days after they arrived. One year later they have doubled in size and now are all about 8' tall
June 4, 2016
over 6 years ago
good tree
I have had problems with getting these trees going at an early age, but once they are established tney grow fast and are beautiful. I must admit a lot of my problems have been with deer, late frosts, and Japanese beetles. The best of these ( I have 12 planted along my driveway) are 20 feet tall after 8 years. I recommend an organic fertilizer like A35 from Nitron Industries to get these going.
May 5, 2016
over 5 years ago
Fast growing with disease and breakage
I purchased these trees to get quick shade in the yard of my new house while slower growing trees got established. They weren't any problem to establish and they have grown quickly. However, they always have disease (little brown spots on the leaves) and the branches break easily in the wind. I just lost the top to a 2 year old, 12' tall tree. They also don't have a very nice shape. I am thinking of pulling these up before they get any bigger.
August 7, 2016
Noooooo !
These are the absolute worst tree to grow in your yard. The roots will be sticking out of the ground everywhere around the tree. I planted two at the advice of my neighbor because I wanted quick shade. After seeing what his trees were doing I cut mine down before they were 4 years old. The roots will sprout new trees many feet away, my neighbor has them in their flower beds, along the pool fence almost 20ft from the tree. The roots have cracked their driveway and the road in front of their house. Once they get going it's hard to completely eradicate them I had trees popping up from the roots of my trees I took down for about three years after cutting them down. And yes they are extremely messy . They drop little sticky seed pods in the spring that stick to your shoes, mower tires and stain anything they touch. My neighbor is now dreading planting them. They are a soft wood and like other poplars break easily in heavy winds too. Go with another type of tree. The only advantage these offer are their fast growth rate. Of the poplar family my choice would be the Tulip poplar, at least you would have flowers but still the issues with roots and the soft wood. Pick a nice Maple.
January 7, 2019
Fantastic trees
We have had great results with these trees. I love them. They make excellent shade trees within 3 years.
May 10, 2016
over 6 years ago
Fast and Beautiful
I bought and planted two of these poplars in the spring and they have grown more than I could have hoped. After planting them in the spring, one is about 9 ft tall and the other is around 8 ft. They leafed out almost immediately and have been beautiful all summer. I hope they make it through the winter well and I look forward to many years of beautiful shade in my back yard.
October 27, 2017
Hybrids in Montana
I purchased 5 Hybrid Poplars last spring. After a bad bad winter 3 are still doing very well.
May 11, 2016
over 5 years ago
Fast growing
Extremely fast growing. After planting, this tree will be 20 feet tall in a few short years.
Provides shade for my yard but I shouldn't have planted it so close to the fence. The roots can damage the fence.
May 8, 2016
over 6 years ago
The trees I received were well handled in delivery and are growing so good so far. I recommend this nursery to any one who is interested in gardening.
May 13, 2018
over 3 years ago
Good Tree but Deer Like Them
The trees came quickly and in excellent condition. Very happy with the purchase overall, but the deer did chew one of the trees right down to the twig. The other one seems to be doing okay so far.
May 22, 2016
over 5 years ago