Populus tremuloides (pop’-u-lus trem-u-loy’-dez)
Family: Salicaceae, Willow
- 1b – Alternate leaf arrangement — go to 18
Leaf: Round, with an abrupt point at tip. Roundish teeth (20-40 pairs of fine teeth). Shiny green above, pale dull green beneath. Flat petiole, set at right angle to the blade.
Bud: Lowermost bud scales is centered directly over the leaf scar of the lateral buds. 6-7 bud scales. Buds are chestnut brown, shiny, gummy, pressed close to the stem. Not as large as cottonwood buds. Buds are clustered near the end of the branch.
Leaf Scar: Wide. U-shaped. Three bundle scars. Stipule scars not as noticeable as the ones of cottonwoods.
Stem: Grayish-green when young. White may rub off on your hand like chalk. Smooth.
Bark: Greenish-white, smooth. Large black knots where branches fell off.
Pith: Brown, solid.
Flower: On separate male or female trees. Male tassels have red stamens.
Fruit: Catkins. Seeds are tufted like cotton.
Habit: Small ornamental. Suckers profusely. 15-30 feet tall. Colorado native to foothills and montane zones.
Culture: Prefers moist conditions (but not tolerant of high irrigation) and elevations above 6,000 feet. Performs poorly in irrigated landscapes of the high plains.