Alien Invasives

White Poplar (Populus alba)


06 October 2016

White Poplar (Populus alba)

White Poplar is a deciduous tree growing up to 16 metres tall with white or grey bark with horizontal lines that become rough and darker with age. Buds and young twigs are thickly white and woolly. The dark green leaves are shiny above and white or grey and woolly beneath. Greenish-yellow catkins appear in spring. It invades river banks, vleis and dongas as it suckers profusely.

Other names
Witpopulier (Afrikaans)
Invasive status
NEMBA Category 2
CARA 2002 Category 2

White Poplar
Originally from
Europe, Asia and North Africa
Where is it a problem?
Mpumalanga and Gauteng province
How does it spread?
Wind-dispersed seeds that may be carried long distances and free suckering
Why is it a problem?
Competes with and replaces indigenous riverine species. Dense stands formed by suckering from the roots can narrow and block water channels, causing flooding and increased siltation. Extensive stands are likely to cause a significant reduction in stream flow.
Planting alternatives
River Bushwillow (Combretum erythrophyllum)
Timber, shelter and ornamental

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