Balsam Poplar is a slender tree with a straight trunk and a narrow crown (65-100 ft tall). Small catkins (3 in) on the male trees are the first to appear in the spring, followed by large, sticky, fragrant leaf buds that smell of balsam. The leaves are shiny and dark green with a pointed tip.
Balsam Poplar is a hardy tree growing in all parts of Canada, Alaska, and the central and northern United States. It's often found in floodplains as it grows best in moist, rich soil with plenty of sunlight.
Could it be? Cottonwood and Aspen resemble Balsam Poplar as they are members of the same family. All of them release loose cottony seeds in late spring. Cottonwood and Trembling Aspen have triangular or heart-shaped leaves, while Balsam Poplar's leaves are oval or spear-shaped.
Did you know? Bees sometimes use Balsam Poplar's resin to disinfect their hives.