A fast-growing narrow deciduous screening tree, choose from the white poplar (Populus alba) or the Lombardy poplar (Populus nigra italica), which can both grow more than 27m. They’re frequently used as windbreaks in exposed locations, as they have excellent wind-resistance and thrive in full sun. While not suitable for a tightly-clipped hedge, poplars can be pruned back.
They will tolerate most soils, apart from chalk and both varieties have dense, twiggy branches that are almost vertical, giving shelter and privacy even after leaf fall when mature. The white poplars leaves are covered with a pale down underneath, giving a ‘variegated white/green effect in the wind. The Lombardy poplar has bright green ovate leaves and crimson male catkins before the leaves open.