This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Populus dilatata,of Aiton, is no longer looked upon as a species, but merely a variety or sport from the nigra. This is extensively grown as an alley tree along the highways of Southern Europe, where it is a great favorite, despite its extremely formal habit. It was early introduced and extensively planted in this country also, particularly in the streets of towns and cities. In the Eastern States, very large trees may yet be seen in good condition. In the Western States, especially in Northern Illinois and Wisconsin, it has been largely planted in fence rows as wind-breaks, and the effect in a prairie country is very pleasant; but in our Western soils the tree does not prove to be long-lived. The plants found in this country appear to be only staminate or males. How is it in Europe?*
Watson, in his"Annals of Philadelphia," says this tree was introduced into that city in 1784 by Wm. Hamilton, Esq., of"The Woodlands,"
(near the Centennial Exhibition), and all the Lombardy poplars in the United States may be sidered branches, elongations or offsets of the tree from which Mr. Hamilton obtained his specimen.†