The resin obtained from the buds was used by various native North American Indian tribes to waterproof the seams on their canoes. The resin on the buds has been used as an insect repellent. The bark has been burnt to repel mosquitoes. A pioneer species, capable of invading cleared land and paving the way for other woodland trees. It is not very shade tolerant and so it is eventually out-competed by the woodland trees.Wood - soft, light, rather woolly in texture, without smell or taste, of low flammability, not durable, very resistant to abrasion. It weighs 23lb per cubic foot, and is used for pulp, boxes etc. The wood is also used as a fuel, it gives off a pleasant odour when burning.
The leaf buds are antiscorbutic, antiseptic, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant, tonic. The leaf buds are covered with a resinous sap that has a strong turpentine odour and a bitter taste.They are boiled in order to separate the resin and the resin is then dissolved in alcohol. The resin is a folk remedy, used as a salve and wash for sores, rheumatism, wounds etc. It is made into a tea and used as a wash for sprains, inflammation, muscle pains etc. Internally, the tea is used in the treatment of lung ailments and coughs. The buds can also be put in hot water and used as an inhalant to relieve congested nasal passages. The bark is cathartic and tonic. 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. 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.A tea made from the inner bark is used as an eye wash and in the treatment of scurvy.
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.
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A fast-growing and generally short-lived tree, though specimens 150 - 200 years old have occasionally been recorded[229. This is a pioneer species, invading cleared land, old fields etc, but unable to tolerate shade competition and eventually being out-competed by other trees. It is not fully satisfactory in Britain. In spring and early summer the buds and young leaves have a strong fragrance of balsam. 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. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus.Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
Problems, pests & diseases
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