Answer: I think you're already on the right track. Poplar species have traditionally been used for windbreaks and they also like water and are rapid growers. (Think about the lines of cottonwood trees you see approaching old ranches or running along creek beds.) Lombardy poplar (Populus nigra 'italica') is usually available at nurseries. Another possibility might be a maple, as they like a good supply of water. Hedge maple (Acer campestre) might be available in your area. Check with a reputable nursery--they often know what works best under local conditions. If possible, stick with natives or trees that have developed a good track record in your area. Good luck!
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