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Lombardy poplar is best suited as a street tree or short-lived privacy screen. It is very fast-growing to approximately 40 feet.

Latin Name

Populus nigra 'Italica'



Also Known As

Black Poplar

Type of Plant

Trees Trees

Bloom Season

March - April


Summer Summer


Max height Max Height: 50'
Max spread Max Spread: 15'


  • Street Tree
  • Hedge

  • Sunlight Exposure

    Full Sun Full Sun


    Native Range

    Europe, northern Africa, western Asia


    On October 14, 1792, Washington instructed his farm manager, Anthony Whitting, to have the gardeners "plant cuttings of the Weeping Willow, yellow willow, or Lombardy Poplar" to create living fences. The shrinking availabiliy of timber with which to make rail fences caused him to turn to live hedges, which could be started with fast-growing Lombardy poplar and willows, while slower growing cedars and locusts would eventually take over. Unfortunately, and with great disappointment, he never succeeded due to various setbacks.

    Other Details

    Grown by Washington Grown by Washington

    Planted at Mount Vernon

    Planted at Mount Vernon Fruit Garden & Nursery Botanical Garden

  • Fruit Garden & Nursery
  • Botanical Garden

  • Hardiness Zones

    3a 3b 4a 4b 5a 5b 6a 6b 7a 7b 8a 8b 9a 9b USDA basemap

    Average annual extreme minimum temperature 1976-2005

    map legend 3a 3b 4a 4b 5a 5b 6a 6b 7a 7b 8a 8b 9a 9b

    Bartlett Tree Expert Company has been working with Mount Vernon Estate since 2011 providing expert arboricultural care and GPS mapping for the estate’s historic trees, as well as support from their research facility.   Mount Vernon is proud to partner with Bartlett Tree Experts and appreciates their sponsorship of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Plant Finder App.

    Bring Washington's Garden Home

    Purchase our historic seeds, collected from plants grown at Mount Vernon and plant them in your own garden.

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