Poplars are fast-growing trees. The tall, columnar form of many poplars make them good hedge and screen trees. However, while they do grow quickly, Poplar trees do not have as long a lifespan as some other trees.
The Hybrid Poplar tree or Populus x canadensis Robusta, can grow 6 feet in one year, ultimately reaching heights of over 70 feet. The lifespan of this tree is 30 to 50 years.
The Lombardy Poplar, Populus nigra, a columnar tree, has a very short lifespan, rarely extending beyond 20 years. Stem canker disease often infects it at between 10 and 15 years.
The Theves Poplar tree, Populus nigra Afghanica, grows 40 to 50 feet tall and lives a little longer than the Lombardy Poplar. This tree works especially well for screens.
The Balsam Poplar, or Populus balsamifera, has a life expectancy of 80 to 150 years. It reaches about 24 feet at its tallest.
Also called Yellow Poplar, Liriodendron tulipifera or Tulip Poplar, can live over 100 years. Although it is called a poplar tree, it is not actually part of the poplar family.