Hybrid Balsam-poplar - Populus trichocarpa x balsamifera = P. 'Balsam Spire'


    A tall tree (to 20 metres or more) with very upright branches held more or less parallel to the main trunk. Leaves very similar to some other Poplar species. This species is balsam scented, especially the buds which, when pressed tightly, exude a brownish tacky ‘sap’. This species does not sucker. 

    Identification difficulty
    Recording advice

    Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required. If the photo doesn't show the key ID features then in the comments box describe the size and identifying characters you have observed. Photographs should include one showing the full tree.


    It is planted in landscaped parks and amenity areas, as a screen or windbreak, and also in plantations and does particularly well in damper sites.

    When to see it

    Flowers around April. 

    Life History

    Deciduous perennial.

    UK Status

    Widespread in Britain as a planted tree.

    VC55 Status

    Only recorded for the first time in Leicestershire and Rutland in 2009, this species is likely to become more widespread in our area.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map