Populus alba is a tree to 30 m tall, usually colonial from root sprouts bark whitish, smooth, often dark at base, twigs white-wooly; growth pattern indeterminate (Gargiullo personal observation).
Leaves alternate, palmately lobed, lobes blunt, dark green above, white-wooly below.
Flowers in catkins.
Fruit dry, plumed, wind-dispersed.
Wetland status: NL.
Frequency in New York City: Occasional.
Habitat: Upland, open areas, soil pH 4.9-7 (USDA, NRCS 2010), intolerant of shade.
Notes: Escaped from cultivation. Fast growing pest, displacing native species. A host tree of the Asian longhorn beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis (see Norway maple). Listed as federal and state noxious weed (USDA, NRCS 2010).