mikenew16
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Cottonwood Poplar Roots ....

Anyone know anything about Cottonwood Poplars (Populus deltoides var. monilifera )? How far their root system spreads? What effect it will have on that area? how significant is the competition for nutrients and water will they have? Is suckering a problem?

I'm asking as I am looking to buy a 7.5 acre property .. along a 1000 foot border the neighbour has planted 70 cottonwood poplars. The property is on average 240 feet wide. so if their roots travel 100 feet then that's 45% of the property. If it is a problem then I won't buy it.

I intend to use the land to cultivate a 4 acre perennial food forest and a couple of acres of hemp crop.

Thanks

Mike

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applestar
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Re: Cottonwood Poplar Roots ....

I don't know anything about their root influences, but they can be a weedy nuisance.

There's a tree somewhere in my neighborhood, though not within visible distance AFAIK, but I have about a dozen or more volunteer seedlings and saplings spring up in my garden every year, thanks to the far traveling fluffy seeds.

...I can only imagine what a 1000 feet of cottonwood trees releasing their seeds all at once would look like -- maybe a blizzard?
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Taiji
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Re: Cottonwood Poplar Roots ....

I assume that cottonwood poplars are the same as what we around here call just cottonwood. Here in AZ they are definitely a riparian tree. They need lots of water, and are found growing wild along streams, washes, in low areas and lakeshores. They are extremely easy to propagate, just take some branch cuttings just when the buds start to swell, stick them in the ground and keep them wet. I once planted about 20 for a row along the road just from those cuttings. They did great for a few years, then died cause I just couldn't give them enough water.
I don't know how far the roots go to find water. If you keep your crops say, 50 feet from the edge, would they be safe? Don't know. Maybe best to ask your local county ag center or extension service?
The ones I planted were cottonless. In spring around here, cotton is flying everywhere though, a lot of people have an allergy to it.
You don't say where you are located. Are you in an arid environment or wet? That might make a difference. Mine easily grew 8, 10, or even 15 feet a year.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Cottonwood Poplar Roots ....

I'm sure Taiji's questions about your environment make a difference, but I did find this:

"Poplar trees grow 80 to 150 feet high, and according to Blue Sky Plumbing, they can send out roots two to three times their height, meaning a root system stretching as far as 160 to 450 feet from the base of the tree. The roots of older poplars can surface after about 16 years, according to HybridPoplars.com, which states that poplar roots have been seen surfacing 50 to 80 feet from the tree. Poplar roots "follow the path of least resistance" according to North Dakota State University, and turn when they encounter obstacles such as concrete foundations, but they could pose a problem to drainage systems in urban areas if the roots find cracks in the system." https://homeguides.sfgate.com/far-poplar ... 64293.html

"Here are a few common northern trees with particularly invasive or aggressive root systems;

Poplars, Cottonwoods and Aspens (Populus spp.) - nearly all species and varieties - enormous and wide-spreading root systems that desperately seek out moisture, one of the worst to plant near homes or gardens" https://www.northscaping.com/IZArticles/IS-0129

I don't know anything about it from personal experience.
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Susan W
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Re: Cottonwood Poplar Roots ....

As mentioned above. Where are you?
You want a perennial food area. Does that mean berry bushes and fruit trees? Most veggies are annuals.
Hemp. I presume you mean fiber hemp, and that is state by state, regulated.
Have fun!
Susan

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