Aspen VS Poplar – Similarities, Differences and More

Aspen trees on the article Aspen VS Poplar

Aspen and poplar plants are a famous variety of trees. Also aspen trees belong to the willow family and is native to the Northern Hemisphere.

Aspen trees are tall, large and are usually the tallest trees in the populus variety.

An aspen tree is usually a part of a larger organism and before a tree emerges it is common for its roots to be in the ground for many years prior to the tree growing.

A Poplar tree makes a great houseplant tree. They can grow quickly and provide shade and beauty to a backyard! They have a large variety of trees and homeowners love this tree!

Let’s find out more about Aspen and Poplar trees!

Aspen VS Poplar – Similarities

Poplar treesAn Aspen tree belongs to the family of Poplar. Aspen is generally used for making matches and paper because of its low inflammability.

Shredded aspen wood is also used for packing and making wood wool. Both Aspen and Poplar trees can grow tall and can grow upto 25 inches in height a year.

Both trees have a short life span and have fast growth. These trees can grow tall in height in a very short amount of time.

They also do not require too much care and hence people love to grow them in their own house as a houseplant! They don’t only provide the essential oxygen to its surroundings but also add beauty to wherever you plant this tree!

Aspen VS Poplar – Differences

Poplar trees have a wide spread that makes it great for shade and shelter. It can tolerate harsh weather conditions such as drought or extreme cold and also it does not produce any fuzz.

It’s a great tree if you are trying to save money as well as if you need a place to relax. This tree provides just the right amount of shade needed to read a book.

It needs partial shade to full sun but it might not survive if there’s too much sunlight throughout the day.

It is a low maintenance tree and it can also tolerate a high amount of population if you live near a busy area then this plant might be exactly what you need!

Aspen trees need full sunlight and will thrive if given direct sunlight for most of the day. It produces fluff and can spread upto 30 feet. It has a short life span and requires less maintenance.

In fall this tree changes its color to a brilliant yellow but if you live near an area where there’s too much pollution then your tree might not survive as it has a low tolerance for pollution.

Aspen trees have a smooth dark gray-green bark and catkins that appear before leaves in spring.

If you’re enjoying this article, check out our article on top 5 best small trees with non invasive roots.

What is Harder? Poplar or Aspen?

Aspen is a soft hardwood that means that although it is hard it is not as hard as the wood of oaks, cherries or maples.

Aspen has a creamy white sapwood with heartwood that changes its color from brown to greyish white.

It also has a fine grain with diffused pores. Although aspen is a soft wood it is fairly strong and also has an advantage because it is low in flammability.

This type of wood is safer than most of the other types and Aspen is a good wood to work with because it is easy to shape and does not split easily.

Poplar on the other hand is technically a hardwood but if you compare it to other commercially used woods available then it is one of the softest woods available.

It is easy to cut and nail this wood and has grain patterns across it. However since it does not take finishes well it is not used for higher grade furniture of where the appearance of the wood is important.

However it still has many uses and it is often used for crates, pallets, paper and furniture frames. It is also one of the cheapest woods available which you can find anywhere near your house.

So to conclude Aspen is technically a harder wood when compared to Poplar!

Since Poplar is a hard wood but it is not used a lot for commercial use as in for furniture and while Aspen is also a soft hardwood it is still a harder wood as compared to Poplar.

Some Facts About Poplar Tree

Aspen treesPoplar trees have the tendency to grow really tall in height and it can grow very quickly with powerful roots. Poplar trees also love moist soil and warm weather.

It is not recommended to plant a Poplar tree near or in your house due to its powerful roots that can cause problems later one once the tree has matured.

Poplar trees have leaves that are heart shaped and rimmed with small tiny teeth. They change its colour to gold in autumn and it is relatively easy to recognize this plant even if you’re not familiar with a Poplar tree.

Poplar trees bear both male and female and during spring you can see clusters of yellow blossoms hanging from the tree. Before the leaves appear a poplar tree will also give fruit that looks like a small capsule that has seeds in it.

Care of a Poplar Tree

If you are growing a poplar tree in a location that is ideal for this plant then you will see that it is not that difficult to take care of this tree at all.

They need a good fertilized soil, that should neither be too acidic but it should be neutral. They need direct sunlight and sufficient water that should keep their roots moist.

One important thing to remember about Poplar trees is that before you plant this tree make sure you have enough space because it can grow upto 50 to 165 feet. So it is better to have enough space for the tree to grow to its full size.

A major disadvantage about Poplar trees is that in order to hold up the huge trunk of this tree you need to have an area where there are no houses, or a sewage line. As these trees can disrupt the lines or can raise a sidewalk as well. Also a poplar tree does not have a long life so keep all these things in mind when you plant a poplar tree.

Aspen Tree Facts

Aspens have straight, slender trunks and round leaves. It also has a cluster of dangling flower spikes called catkins. It can grow between 20 to 80 feet and and 20 to 30 feet wide.

Aspen trees are also fast growers and can grow around 2 feet in height per year. Aspen trees have a long life and can live between 40 to 150 years.

Another advantage of Aspen trees is that they can tolerate harsh weather conditions and the cool environment in which an Aspen grows does not affect the growth of the tree.

Final Thoughts: Aspen VS Poplar

Poplar treeAspen vs poplar trees are both quite famous for the way they look and how they add beauty to its surroundings.

Although both trees are different from each other there are many similarities between them as well.

Both of these trees can be used for commercial use and are used to make paper and other items which can be made from soft hardwood.

Before you go, here are some more related articles I encourage you to read below to help solve more of your gardening issues:

What are the fastest growing evergreen trees for small gardens.

Are Coffee Grounds Good For Fig Trees 

Where Should You Plant A Japanese Maple Tree

What are the Best Trees to Plant Near Your House for Shade

How to Fertilize Your Oak Tree

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We provide a wide range of information from indoor to outdoor plants to product recommendations to make your gardening experience the best it can possibly be. We are not experts in gardening but through extensive research and experience we will give you the best information to provide the best care for your plants.

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