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Montana Field Guides

Black Cottonwood - Populus balsamifera
Other Names:  Balsam Poplar, Populus trichocarpa

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5
C-value: 5


Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:


 

External Links






 
General Description
Tree to 40 m with ascending branches. Bark smooth, white at first, becoming gray and furrowed. Leaf blades broadly lance-shaped with truncate bases, 5–15 cm long, pale below. Female catkins 8–15 cm long; stigmas 3. Capsules 5–8 mm long. (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions

Native
 


Range Comments
AK to NL south to CA, WY and WI (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 1088

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density

Recency

 

(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)



Habitat
Forest and gravel bars along rivers, streams, aspen groves, avalanche slopes, roadsides; valleys to lower subalpine zone (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

References
  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Baril, L.M. 2009. Change in deciduous woody vegetation, implications of increased willow (Salix spp.) growth for bird species diversity, and willow species composition in and around Yellowstone National Park's northern range. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 124 p.
    • Barnes, B. V. 1966. The clonal growth of American aspens. Ecology 47(3):439-447.
    • Barnes, B. V. 1969. Natural variation and delineation of clones of Populus tremuloides and P. grandidentata in northern lower Michigan. Silvae Genetica 18:130-142.
    • Barnes, B. V. and W. H. Wagner, Jr. 1981. Michigan trees: a guide to the trees of Michigan and the Great Lakes region. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 384 p.
    • Cripps, C.L., K. Liimatainen, T. Niskanen, B. Dima, R.F. Bishop, J.F. Ammarati. 2015. Intercontinental distributions of species of Cortinarius, subgenus Phlegmacium, associated with Populus in Western North America. Botany (October 2015). https://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjb-2015-0089.
    • Culver, D.R. 1994. Floristic analysis of the Centennial Region, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 199 pp.
    • DeByle, N. V. 1964. Detection of functional intraclonal aspen root connections by tracers and excavation. Forest Sci. 10(4):386-396.
    • Eggers, M.J.S. 2005. Riparian vegetation of the Montana Yellowstone and cattle grazing impacts thereon. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman, MT. 125 p.
    • Eliasson, L. 1971. Growth regulators in Populus tremula IV Apical dominance and suckering in young plants. Physiol. Plant. 25:263-267.
    • Endicott, C.L. 1996. Responses of riparian and stream ecosystems to varying timing and intensity of livestock grazing in central Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 115 p.
    • Farmer, R. E. Jr. 1962. Aspen root sucker formation and apical dominanace. Forest Sci. 8(4):403-410.
    • Fowells, H. A, compiler. 1965. Silvics of the forest trees of the United States. Agriculture Handbook No. 271. USDA Forest Service, Washington, DC. 762 pp.
    • Gaffney, W.S. 1941. The effects of winter elk browsing, South Fork of the Flathead River, Montana. Journal of Wildlife Management 5(4):427-453.
    • Glazier, R.J. 1971. Ecological and morphological relationships of subspecies of Peromyscus maniculatus near St. Mary, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 41 p.
    • Graham, S. A., R. P. Harrison Jr., and C.E. Westell Jr. 1963. Aspens: phoenix trees of the Great Lakes region. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. 272 pp.
    • Jobidon, R., and J.R. Thiboult. 1981. Allelopathic effects o balsam poplar on green alder germination. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 108(4):413.
    • Johnson, T. W. 1982. An analysis of pack and saddle stock grazing areas in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. M.Sc.Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 105 p.
    • Jones, W. W. 1901. Preliminary flora of Gallatin County. M.S. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State College. 78 pp.
    • Kelly, M.F. 1941. The effect of Fomes igniarius on Populus tremuloides in the Gallatin National Forest of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 33 p.
    • Law, D.J. 1999. A comparison of water table dynamics and soil texture under black cottonwood recent alluvial bar, beaked sedge, and Geyer's/Drummond's willow communities. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 68 p.
    • Little, E.L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agriculture Handbook No. 541. U.S. Forest Service, Washington, D.C. 375 pp.
    • Maini, J. S. 1972. Silvics and ecology in Canada. Aspen: Symposium Proceedings. U. S. Dept. Agric. Forest Service General Technical Report, North Central For. Exp. Stat. NC-1:67-73.
    • Maini, J.S. 1960. Invasion of grassland by Populus tremuloides in the northern great plains. (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan): University of Saskatchewan. 231 pp. Dissertation.
    • McClure, W.V. 1991. Initial effects of streambank stabilization on a small trout stream. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 93 p.
    • Morgan, J.T. 1993. Summer habitat use of white-tailed deer on the Tally Lake ranger district, Flathead National Forest. Ph.D. Dissertation. Montana State University, Bozeman. pp. 103.
    • Newlon, K.R. 2005. Demography of Lewis's Woodpecker, breeding bird densities, and riparian Aspen integrity in a grazed landscape. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 101 p.
    • O'Connor, K.S. 1987. Ecology of white-tailed deer and mule deer in agricultural lands in the Gallatin Valley, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 67 p.
    • Perala, D. A. 1972. Regeneration: biotic and silvicultural factors. Aspen: Symposium proceedings. U. S. Dept. Agric. Forest Service General Technical Report, North Central For. Exp. Stat. NC-1:67-73.
    • Reichel, J.D., D.L. Genter and E. Atkinson. 1992. Sensitive animal species in the Elkhorn and Big Belt Mountains of the Helena National Forest. Unpublished report to the Helena National Forest. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena. 158 p.
    • Rosendahl, C.O. 1970. Trees and shrubs of the upper midwest. Minneapois, Minnesota, Univ. of Minnesota Press. 411 p.
    • Salix, J.L. 2004. Lichens and their distribution in Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 74 p.
    • Sandberg, D. 1951. The regeneration of quaking aspen by root suckering. St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota. 172 p. Thesis.
    • Sater, S. 2022. The insects of Sevenmile Creek, a pictorial guide to their diversity and ecology. Undergraduate Thesis. Helena, MT: Carroll College. 242 p.
    • Schier, G. A. 1972. Apical dominance in multi-shoot cultures from aspen roots. Forest Sci. 18(20): 147-149.
    • Schier, G. A. 1981. Aspen regeneration. DeByle, N. V., ed. Symposium proceedings situation management of two intermountain species: aspen and coyotes. Vol. I:Aspen. Utah State Univ. p. 15-21.
    • Schier, G. A. and J. C. Zasada. 1973. Role of carbohydrate reserves in the development of root suckers in Populus tremuloides. Can. J. Forest Research 3:243-250.
    • Schier, G. A. and R. S. Johnston. 1971. Clonal variation in total nonstructural carbohydrates of trembling aspen roots in three Utah areas. Can. J. Forest Research 1:252-255.
    • Schomburg, J.W. 2003. Development and evaluation of predictive models for managing Golden Eagle electrocutions. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State Universtiy. 98 p.
    • Singer, F. J. 1979. Habitat partitioning and wildfire relationships of cervids in Glacier National Park, Montana. Journal of Wildlife Management 43(2):437-444.
    • Stewart, L.S. 1980. Descriptions of the life cycle, external embryogenesis and thoracic gland development of the cottonwood beetle, Chrysomela semota Brown (Coleoptera-Chyrsomelidae). M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 39 p.
    • Stivers, T.S. 1988. Effects of livestock grazing on grizzly bear habitat along the east front of the Rocky Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 80 p.
    • Tew, R. K. 1970. Root carbohydrate reserves in vegetative reproduction of aspen. Forest Sci. 16(3):318-320.
    • Tuinstra, K. E. 1967. Vegetation of the floodplains and first terraces of Rock Creek near Red Lodge, Montana. Ph.D dissertation. Montana State University, Bozeman 110 pp.
    • Weigle, W. G. and E. H. Frothingham. 1911. The aspens: their growth and management. U. S. Dept. Agric. Forest Service Bull. 93.
    • Zehngraff, P. J. 1949. Aspen as a forest crop in the lake states. J. Forestry 47:555-565.
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Citation for data on this website:
Black Cottonwood — Populus balsamifera.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from