Answer: The Lombardy poplar (Populus nigra 'Italica') is unbeatable as a fast growing, columnar screen tree with no discernable fall color. However they are very susceptible to canker disease which greatly reduces thier lifespan. Because of the canker, Lombardy poplars cannot be expected to survive beyond 15 to 20 years. Also, since they are fast growing, they are also weak-limbed and may be prone to damage during heavy winds.
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