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Short Description
Deciduous wood

The name poplar is used to describe three principle types of poplar which can be found in central Europe: the black or Lombardy poplar (Populus nigra), the silver poplar or white poplar (Populus alba) and the aspen (Populus tremula). In addition a hybrid of the Aspen and silver poplar is known as the gray poplar (Populus canescens).

The poplar belongs to the willow family (Salicaeae) and is widespread throughout central and southern Europe. The black and silver poplar commonly grows alongside watercourses. The aspen grows in forests and meadows and quickly takes root in wasteland areas. Specially bred hybrid variants are planted for timber purposes which grow quickly and with consistent properties.
Due to the gradual reduction in water meadow areas, the black poplar now belongs to one of the most endangered species in Germany.

Poplar grow very quickly, reaching a height of between 25m and 40m depending upon the type. Aspen and gray poplar can reach 100-150 years of age, black and silver poplar, several hundred years old.

The black poplar and its variants belong to the heartwood trees. i.e. the heartwood and sapwood have different colourings. The heartwood of the poplar is light-brown to greenish in colour when fresh, darkening to a light red-brown when dried. The heartwood of silver and gray poplars is reddish-yellow to yellowish-brown in colour. The broad sapwood is in all variants gray-whitish to yellowish-white. The heartwood and sapwood of the aspen are even grey to yellowish-white in colour. The growth rings are generally relatively broad and clear. The wood is only lightly striped or grained.

Density 0.40 - 0.50 g/cm3

The wood properties of the different poplar types vary only negligibly. Differences in properties result from the conditions under which the trees grow.

Poplar wood is generally very light and soft. It is not particularly hard and not naturally durable. It is not subject to much shrinkage, and stable when dry.

Poplar can be dried easily, though this should be undertaken slowly due to the high moisture content of the wood. It does not usually crack or warp. Surface finishing and working of the wood is straightforward, fresh wood is easier to work than dried wood.

Poplar wood is available as round or sawn timber, also as sliced veneer.

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