Plantae > Tracheophyta > Magnoliopsida > Malpighiales > Salicaceae > Populus > Populus balsamifera

Populus balsamifera (balsam poplar)


Wikipedia Abstract

Populus balsamifera, commonly called balsam poplar, bam, bamtree, eastern balsam-poplar, hackmatack, tacamahac poplar, tacamahaca, is a tree species in the balsam poplar species group in the poplar genus, Populus. The genus name Populus is from the Latin for poplar, and the specific epithet balsamifera from Latin for "balsam-bearing". Other common names for the species include heartleaf balsam poplar, and Ontario balsam poplar. The black cottonwood, Populus trichocarpa, is sometimes considered a subspecies of P. balsamifera and may lend its common name to this species, although the black poplars and cottonwoods of Populus sect. Aigeiros are not closely related.
View Wikipedia Record: Populus balsamifera



Air Quality Improvement [1]  None
Allergen Potential [1]  High
Carbon Capture [1]  Medium
Shade Percentage [1]  80 %
Temperature Reduction [1]  Medium-High
Wind Reduction [1]  Medium
Edible [2]  May be edible. See the Plants For A Future link below for details.
Flower Type [2]  Dioecious
Janka Hardness [3]  300 lbf (136 kgf) Very Soft
Leaf Type [2]  Deciduous
Pollinators [2]  Wind
Scent [2]  The leaf buds, as they swell in the spring, and the young leaves have a pleasing fragrance of balsam;
Specific Gravity [4]  0.34
Structure [2]  Tree
Usage [2]  An extract of the shoots can be used as a rooting hormone for all types of cuttings. It is extracted by soaking the chopped up shoots in cold water for a day; The resin obtained from the buds was used by various native North American Indian tribes to waterproof the seams on their canoes; The resin on the buds has been used as an insect repellent; The bark has been burnt to repel mosquitoes; A pioneer species, capable of invading cleared land and paving the way for other woodland trees; It is not very shade tolerant and so it is eventually out-competed by the woodland trees. Wood - soft, light, rather woolly in texture, without smell or taste, of low flammability, not durable, very resistant to abrasion; It weighs 23lb per cubic foot; The wood is also used as a fuel, it gives off a pleasant odour when burning;
Height [2]  98 feet (30 m)
Width [2]  26 feet (8 m)
Hardiness Zone Minimum [1]  USDA Zone: 3 Low Temperature: -40 F° (-40 C°) → -30 F° (-34.4 C°)
Hardiness Zone Maximum [1]  USDA Zone: 9 Low Temperature: 20 F° (-6.7 C°) → 30 F° (-1.1 C°)
Water Use [1]  High to Moderate
View Plants For A Future Record : Populus balsamifera

Protected Areas




Parasitized by 
Agrilus anxius (Bronze birch borer)[8]

Range Map


Attributes / relations provided by
1i-Tree Species v. 4.0, developed by the USDA Forest Service's Northern Research Station and SUNY-ESF using the Horticopia, Inc. plant database.
2Plants For A Future licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
3Wood Janka Hardness Scale/Chart J W Morlan's Unique Wood Gifts
4Forest Inventory and Analysis DB version 5.1, May 4, 2013, U.S. Forest Service
5HOSTS - a Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants Gaden S. Robinson, Phillip R. Ackery, Ian J. Kitching, George W. Beccaloni AND Luis M. Hernández
6Making The Forest And Tundra Wildlife Connection
7Biological Records Centre Database of Insects and their Food Plants
8Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
9Ben-Dov, Y., Miller, D.R. & Gibson, G.A.P. ScaleNet 4 November 2009
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Species taxanomy provided by GBIF Secretariat (2022). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset accessed via on 2023-06-13; License: CC BY 4.0