The Q&A Archives: Planting Lombardy Poplars

Question: We own a home situated so the wind hits full force, thus we thought to order poplar trees specifically, what is the proper process for pruning a crab apple tree? Thanks. John

Answer: Lombardy poplars are usually planted in a long row in a distance from the house to redirect the wind flow, rather than right up against the house. They can grow to be quite tall, but are relatively short-lived. I would expect a diameter of about 6 feetfor a mature tree. You might consider a slightly shorter, denser tree for your purposes. Perhaps an evergreen such as arborvitae, which would protect your house during the cold months as well. Prune your crab apple tree in early spring, before thetree has broken dormancy and the buds begin to swell. Begin by removing any damaged or diseased branches. Next, remove branches that are crossing or rubbing. Prune lower branches if you want space under the tree. Crab apples generally need only light pruning to stay attractive and healthy.

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