The Q&A Archives: Hybrid poplars

Question: I have 10 Hybrid poplars that I planted last April along my back fence to block the view of large trucks just behind my fence. The grew tremendously the first year, one reaching 8 1/2 feet. I added some time release fertilizer spikes during the winter to continue feeding. We has a short winter and a very early spring and everything else has started sprouting and growing except for my poplars.

Answer: If your poplars were growing well last fall, they should have been established enough to live through the winter and begin growing again in the spring. Give them a few more weeks to wake up from their winter's slumber. If they do not leaf out by the end of April, they may have suffered some winter damage. You can check to see if there is still live material in the branches by cutting into one or two of them. Green material in the center indicates live tissue and you can expect your trees to leaf out this spring; brown tissue indicates dead tissue and that part of the branch may need to be pruned out. Wait a few more weeks before giving up on your poplars. Best wishes with them!

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