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A tree up to 60 or 70 ft high in the wild; young shoots at first downy, becoming glabrous and glossy later; winter-buds coated with fine down. Leaves roundish ovate, the smallest sometimes oval, 11⁄2 to 5 in. long, mostly short-pointed, and with a broadly tapered or rounded base, the margin set with large broad teeth; at first they are covered with a loose grey wool which soon falls away, leaving them dark green above; stalk 1 to 21⁄2 in. long, slender, compressed towards the top. Catkins 11⁄2 to 21⁄2 in. long, the female ones becoming twice the length at maturity.
Native of eastern N. America; introduced in 1772, according to Loudon. The tree is exceedingly rare in Britain at the present time, and does not appear to thrive well. It appears to be most closely related to P. tremula, from which it differs in the downy young shoots and more downy winter-buds. Its deep toothing distinguishes it from P. tremuloides. It appears to be difficult to increase by cuttings, and was usually grafted on P. canescens, but softwood cuttings can be rooted by the mist technique.
There is a specimen at Birr Castle, Co. Offaly, Eire, measuring 42 × 13⁄4 ft (1966). It was planted in 1958.
specimens: Talbot Manor, Norfolk, grafted on P. tremula, pl. 1953, 30 × 23⁄4 ft (1978); Birr Castle, Co. Offaly, Eire, pl. 1958, 44 × 4 ft (1985).