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04.25.13

Lombardy Poplars

This is a "warning" post. I had planted a row of these about 4 years ago, with the intention of blocking out the neighbor behind us. Our 6 foot privacy fence, on a slope, was only about 5 feet in reality. True to their information, they do grow extremely fast and provide excellent privacy. Within 3 years they were about 15 feet tall.

Unfortunately, we spent last summer trying to exterminate them. The roots are VERY invasive. I found a root up against our above ground pool, and my pool means much more to me than privacy. I didn't need roots poking up through the vinyl liner.

The way we got rid of them was to cut them down, and then spend the entire summer applying TORDON stump killer to the shoots. There were shoots everywhere, even 15 feet up into the yard, in every direction. The drought we had last year was a blessing in disguise for us, because it helped in preventing more roots, since they like water. Tordon works fantastically in immediately killing the shoot.

So, if you like these and want to plant, I would suggest you do it out on the back 40 where it won't bother anything.

74 Comments Displaying 15 of 74 comments | See Previous
  • Edith Sandy Lake, PA
    these are also a very soft wood and can come down in high winds .. i had one come threw my roof . one night when the winds were high
  • Lisa Guadagnoli Des Moines, IA
    These would be good for eroding river banks to save land from sliding into rivers.
  • Martha Hinkle Tecumseh, OK
    Sounds like Kudzu . . nice looking, fast growing vine . . . that TAKES OVER and chokes out everything, including trees.
  • Sherri B Stevens, PA
    Farmers around here talk about using copper nails to kill trees they didn't want. Anyone know if that indeed is true? Maybe that would work and not destroy the underground waters....
  • Kathy Ranum Brainerd, MN
    DO NOT USE TORDON ON LAWNS UNLESS YOU WANT TO POLLUTE YOUR SOIL AND GROUNDWATER!!! Please use a grass and weed killer available at your local garden center. They will be more than happy to help you in that area. Can we get of the Tordon subject please,
  • Becky J Troy, IL
    Kathy Ranum not sure where you are getting that I was using it on the grass. it was applied to the poplars only. Unfortunately, they were coming up in the grass, so not much you can do about that.
  • Deborah D Cuba City, WI
    To Berneice...Austrees....we have them and planted about 10 years ago...they are full grown trees, you can literally stick a branch in the ground and it will grow! We planted away from the home and they are in no where's land and doing well.
  • Candace Seaton Huntsville, AL
    Once again, a plant suffers because people are too lazy to do their homework or too cheap to ask an expert for advice...I hear this all the time..."How do I keep my (some tree meant to grow to 25') at 3 feet high?"
  • Becky J Troy, IL
    Candace, height was never the problem. I adored these until they threatened the above ground pool. They were perfect to block out the neighbors. I have been planting for years and years. Some things are not meant to be.
  • Poplars are notorious for shoots! Our neighbour planted Swedish Columnar Aspen (also poplars) for the same reason you planted your poplars and the roots were soon near our foundation! I was forever trying to get rid of the shoots. Like your poplars,
  • Barb Ross Apex, NC
    This will be the perfect tree to block out the highway behind my house. Luckily I have about 40 ft of pines between back yard and the road. Think I will plant them right at my property edge amongst the pines.
  • Judy Fleming Kingston, TN
    I have the same problem and have volunteer shoots 20' away under a gravel driveway. Hope to get them (original trees) cut down for firewood this summer.
  • Patricia Baker Lancaster, KY
    I have heard they grow fast but they also die fast. is this true?
  • Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL
    They rarely live longer than 20 years, Patricia. That's a very short-lived tree.
  • Yes, Douglas, that is what I was going to add...they are short-lived. Guess that's why they send up so many shoots!
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