Poplar Large-toothed Aspen
=Habitat and Range.=--In rich or poor soils; woods, hillsides, borders
Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, southern Quebec, and Ontario.
New England,--common, occasional at altitudes of 2000 feet or more.
South to Pennsylvania and Delaware, along the mountains to
Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee; west to Minnesota.
=Habit.=--A tree 30-45 feet in height and 1 foot to 20 inches in
diameter at the ground, sometimes attaining much greater dimensions;
trunk erect, with an open, unsymmetrical, straggling head; branches
distant, small and crooked; branchlets round; spray sparse, consisting
of short, stout, leafy shoots; in time and manner of blossoming,
constant motion of foliage, and general habit, closely resembling P.
=Bark.=--Bark of trunk on old trees dark grayish-brown or blackish,
irregularly furrowed, broad-ridged, the outer portions separated into
small, thickish scales; trunk of young trees soft greenish-gray;
branches greenish-gray, darker on the underside; branchlets dark
greenish-gray, roughened with leaf-scars; season's twigs in fall dark
reddish-brown, at first tomentose, becoming smooth and shining.
=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Buds 1/8 inch long, mostly divergent, light
chestnut, more or less pubescent, dusty-looking, ovate, acute. Leaves
3-5 inches long, two-thirds as wide, densely white-tomentose when
opening, usually smooth on both sides when mature, dark green above,
lighter beneath, bright yellow in autumn; outline roundish-ovate,
coarsely and irregularly sinuate-toothed; teeth acutish; sinuses in
shallow curves; apex acute; base truncate or slightly heart-shaped;
leafstalks long, strongly flattened at right angles to the plane of the
blade; stipules thread-like, soon falling.
=Inflorescence.=--March to April. Sterile catkins 1-3 inches long,
fertile at first about the same length, but gradually elongating;
bracts cut into several lanceolate divisions, silky-hairy; stamens about
10; anthers red: ovaries short-stalked; stigmas two, 2-lobed, red.
=Fruit.=--Fruiting catkins at length 3-6 inches long; capsule conical,
acute, roughish-scurfy, hairy at tip: seeds numerous, hairy.
=Horticultural Value.=--Hardy throughout New England; grows almost
anywhere, but prefers moist, rich loam; grows rapidly and is safely
transplanted, but is unsymmetrical, easily broken by the wind, and
short-lived; seldom offered by nurserymen, but readily procured from
northern collectors of native plants. Useful to grow for temporary
effect with permanent trees, as it will fail by the time the desirable
kinds are well established. Propagated from seed or cuttings.
=Note.=--Points of difference between P. tremuloides and P.
grandidentata. These trees may be best distinguished in early spring by
the color of the unfolding leaves. In the sunlight the head of P.
tremuloides appears yellowish-green, while that of P. grandidentata
is conspicuously cotton white. The leaves of P. grandidentata are
larger and more coarsely toothed, and the main branches go off usually
at a broader angle. The buds of P. grandidentata are mostly divergent,
dusty-looking, dull; of P. tremuloides, mostly appressed, highly
polished with a resinous lustre.
1. Branch with sterile catkins.
2. Sterile flower, back view,
3. Sterile flower, front view.
4. Branch with fertile catkins.
5. Bract of fertile flower.
6. Fertile flower, front view.
7. Fruiting branch with mature leaves.
=Populus heterophylla, L.=
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