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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

Inner bark - raw or dried. It is usually ground into a powder and used as a flour, this is normally mixed with other flours for making bread etc[1][2]. It is best used in the spring[1]. The inner bark is mucilaginous[3] and extremely sweet, but it sours or ferments rapidly and so, unlike most inner barks, it cannot be dried for winter use, though it can be sun-dried for more immediate use[4].

Catkins - raw or cooked. A bitter flavour[1].

Sap - used for food[3].

Flowers

Inner bark

Material uses

An extract of the shoots can be used as a rooting hormone for all types of cuttings. It is extracted by soaking the chopped up shoots in cold water for a day[1].

A yellow dye is obtained from the leaf buds[3]. The bark of large trees is thick and corky. It is made into containers for carrying and storing food, also as a lining for underground food stores[5]. The inner bark has been shredded, spun together with red or yellow cedar inner bark (Thuja plicata, Juniperus spp and Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) and used as a twine[3]. A glue is made from the aromatic gum on the spring buds[5][6][3]. Very strong, it can also be used as a waterproofing for wood etc[5]. When mixed with pigment it can be used as a paint[5]. A string is made from the roots[5]. The supple young branches have been used as lashings or tying thongs[3]. The seed fluff is used as a stuffing material for pillows etc[5]. The wood ashes are a soap substitute[5], they can also be mixed with oil to make a soap[5]. The white inner bark is also a soap substitute, it can be dried and stored for later use[5]. The inner bark has also been used as a scouring pad[3]. The roots have been used for making baskets[3].

Wood - soft, moderately strong, easily worked, rather woolly in texture, without smell or taste, of low flammability, not durable, very resistant to abrasion. Used in making crates, packing material the staves of barrels, woodenware and for pulp[7][8][5][9]. It makes an excellent fuel[5].

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Western balsam poplar has a long history of herbal use. It was commonly used by many native North American Indian tribes who valued it especially for its antiseptic and expectorant properties, using it to treat lung complaints, wounds, skin conditions etc[3]. It is still commonly employed in modern herbalism with much the same uses.

The leaf buds are covered with a resinous sap that has a strong turpentine odour and a bitter taste[10]. They also contain salicin, a glycoside that probably decomposes into salicylic acid (aspirin) in the body[10]. The buds are antiscorbutic, antiseptic, balsamic, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant and tonic[11][6][12]. They are taken internally in the treatment of bronchitis and upper respiratory tract infections. They should not be prescribed to patients who are sensitive to aspirin[12]. Externally, the buds are used to treat colds, sinusitis, arthritis, rheumatism, muscular pain and dry skin conditions[12]. They can be put in hot water and used as an inhalant to relieve congested nasal passages[10]. The buds are harvested in the spring before they open and are dried for later use[12].

Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, the bark of most, if not all members of the genus contain salicin, a glycoside that probably decomposes into salicylic acid (aspirin) in the body[10][12]. The bark is therefore anodyne, anti-inflammatory and febrifuge. It is used especially in treating rheumatism and fevers, and also to relieve the pain of menstrual cramps[12].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Canopy

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - must be sown as soon as it is ripe in spring[13]. Poplar seed has an extremely short period of viability and needs to be sown within a few days of ripening[14]. Surface sow or just lightly cover the seed in trays in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the old frame. If sufficient growth is made, it might be possible to plant them out in late summer into their permanent positions, otherwise keep them in the cold frame until the following late spring and then plant them out. Most poplar species hybridize freely with each other, so the seed may not come true unless it is collected from the wild in areas with no other poplar species growing[7].

Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, 20 - 40cm long, November/December in a sheltered outdoor bed or direct into their permanent positions. Very easy.

Suckers in early spring[15].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Populus trichocarpa. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

A very easily grown plant, it does well in a heavy cold damp soil[16]. Prefers a deep rich well-drained circumneutral soil, growing best in the south and east of Britain[7][14]. Growth is much less on wet soils, on poor acid soils and on thin dry soils[7] but this species is more tolerant of acid soils than other members of the genus[7]. It dislikes shade and is intolerant of root or branch competition[7][14]. Plants are reasonably wind resistant, but they do not grow well in exposed upland sites[7].

Many forms of this species are susceptible to bacterial canker, the female clone 'Fritzi Pauley' is resistant[7][14]. A very fast growing[7] and ornamental tree[16], it does well in western Britain where trees have reached 25 metres tall in 20 years[7]. The leaf buds, as they swell in the spring, and the young leaves have a pleasing fragrance of balsam[17]. The fragrance is especially pronounced as the leaves unfold[17]. Poplars have very extensive and aggressive root systems that can invade and damage drainage systems. Especially when grown on clay soils, they should not be planted within 12 metres of buildings since the root system can damage the building's foundations by drying out the soil[7].

Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Populus trichocarpa. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Populus trichocarpa.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Populus trichocarpa
Genus
Populus
Family
Salicaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
5
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type











    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.31.41.5 Schofield. J. J. Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest. ()
    2. ? 2.02.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    3. ? 3.003.013.023.033.043.053.063.073.083.093.103.11 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.1 Turner. N. J. Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples UBC Press. Vancouver. ISBN 0-7748-0533-1 (1995-00-00)
    5. ? 5.005.015.025.035.045.055.065.075.085.095.105.11 Turner. N. J. Plants in British Columbian Indian Technology. British Columbia Provincial Museum ISBN 0-7718-8117-7 (1979-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.3 Lauriault. J. Identification Guide to the Trees of Canada Fitzhenry and Whiteside, Ontario. ISBN 0889025649 (1989-00-00)
    7. ? 7.007.017.027.037.047.057.067.077.087.097.107.11 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.1 Sargent. C. S. Manual of the Trees of N. America. Dover Publications Inc. New York. ISBN 0-486-20278-X (1965-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. ISBN 0442238622 (1980-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.110.210.310.4 Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (1980-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.112.212.312.412.512.6 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    13. ? Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.114.214.3 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    15. ? Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
    16. ? 16.016.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    17. ? 17.017.1 Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
    18. ? Livingstone. B. Flora of Canada National Museums of Canada ISBN 0-660-00025-3 (1978-00-00)


    Facts about "Populus trichocarpa"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familySalicaceae +
    Belongs to genusPopulus +
    Has binomial namePopulus trichocarpa +
    Has common nameWestern Balsam Poplar +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partFlowers +, Inner bark + and Sap +
    Has edible useUnknown use +
    Has fertility typeSelf sterile + and Wind +
    Has flowers of typeDioecious +
    Has growth rateVigorous +
    Has hardiness zone5 +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useAdhesive +, Basketry +, Containers +, Cork +, Dye +, Fuel +, Insulation +, Paint +, Rooting hormone +, Scourer +, Soap +, Soap making +, String +, Stuffing +, Waterproofing + and Wood +
    Has mature height40 +
    Has mature width12 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAnodyne +, Antiinflammatory +, Antiscorbutic +, Antiseptic +, Balsamic +, Diuretic +, Expectorant +, Febrifuge +, Stimulant + and Tonic +
    Has search namepopulus trichocarpa + and western balsam poplar +
    Has shade toleranceNo shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceVery acid +, Acid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy +, Clay + and Heavy clay +
    Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy namePopulus trichocarpa +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Inhabits ecosystem nicheCanopy +
    Is deciduous or evergreenDeciduous +
    Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedYes +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
    Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa +, Populus trichocarpa + and Populus trichocarpa +