black cottonwood tree mature form black cottonwood tree spring leaf color
The Black Cottonwood Tree
Populus trichocarpa
Mature Height :
75-90 feet
Mature Spread :
30-35- feet
Mature Form :
Growth Rate :
Sun Exposure :
Full Sun to partial shade
Soil Moisture :
Soil Type :
Widely adaptable
Flower Color :
Foliage Color :
Fall Color :
Zones :
5 - 8
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About the Black Cottonwood

Populus trichocarpa

The Black Cottonwood, 'Populus trichocarpa', is the largest of the American poplars. It is also known also as balsam cottonwood, western balsam poplar, and California poplar. The Black Cottonwood prefers moist sites. Many kinds of wildlife use the foliage, twigs, and buds for food, and the tree is planted for shade and in windbreaks and shelterbelts.

Its dark green leaves contrast beautifully with its white trunk. This tree will become more drought tolerant when it is established. The leaf buds, as they swell in the spring, and the young leaves have a pleasing fragrance of balsam. The fragrance is especially pronounced as the leaves unfold.


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