Poplar presents.



At least something is lapping up this wet weather! In perfect timing with the aftermath of the flood, the poplar trees been flinging out millions of seeds (already gift-wrapped in tufts of cotton) like furry parachutes stuffed full of candy and toys. I don’t know if I simply have never noticed before, but the seed clusters seem larger and more profuse than in previous years. I believe the ones my hubby photographed are from balsam poplars, found growing along the riverbanks near the now inaccessible Edworthy Park. We took a trip over there yesterday to survey how much the river levels have dropped since Friday.


Are you a fan of poplar trees? I suspect many people have rather strong feelings about them…. 🙂

And…just a wee garden update…

My community garden plot isn’t underwater – we are not located in any of the floodzones.  I did expect some bedraggled, sodden plants (you should see my flowerbeds – eesh!), and that’s what I found this morning when I finally got a chance to head over there.  I walked around and grey-white mould is speckling the surface of the soil in every plot owner’s bed, but hopefully a little bit of sunshine will help dispel it.  I removed the floating row covers from mine to allow for more air circulation, and now I’m just crossing my fingers for the best.  But there’s just no point worrying about the garden when you think about what everyone around us has lost.


  1. Glad that you are OK. We have a wet summer here in Minnesota and it seems the poplars have a lot of seed. Annie

    • They can be a huge problem with their aggressive roots and the way they colonize. They cause all sorts of damage when the roots grow into underground water and sewage pipes…I think most people would rather they weren’t planted. Years ago, the property management company that owns the building we live in had to remove all of the poplar trees that had been planted around the complex because the trees were just getting too big and causing problems. Of course, then they had to deal with hundreds of suckers that popped up all over the lawns – that took about a year and some herbicides to clean up. The poplars were replaced with some beautiful chokecherries, a much better choice – except now they have black knot and so they will have to be removed in a few years. Sigh….

  2. I hope things dry out soon. Your poplar seeds reminds me of our cottonwood ‘snow’, which I consider to be a major pain in the butt – it messes up delicate flowers like the columbine. Poplars are not common in this area.

    • We have cottonwoods, too, gigantic ones further south. They’re beautiful…I had never seen them before I moved here. They’re very rare in the north. I believe they are a type of poplar as well, so that would explain the snow you see. I agree, they are extremely messy!

  3. After all the heavy rain we had here I noticed the aphids moving in…We had some hot weather immediately after the rain – perfect conditions for the mosquitoes too! Hope you don’t have that problem. Like you say, it seems wrong to worry about things like that when so many people are still trying to salvage homes and businesses. Hope it dries up nicely for you soon!

    • Ugh…aphids…I expect that will be next if it ever heats up. The mosquitoes are out in full force here, too, and way worse this year than usual. My hubby told me he read the other day that we have 82 species of mosquitoes in Canada, and 43 in Alberta alone. I had to laugh because it hadn’t occurred to me that there would be different species – they all look alike to me when they’re driving me crazy! 🙂

  4. If that photo of the river is how it is now ,ie flowing at a lower level, then it must have been terrifying in full flood. I am not sure if we have the same poplar tree here but we certainly have something that spreads fluff like that. I don’t like it at all because it triggers my asthma.

    • Last Friday, the water was just a few feet under the deck of that bridge, that’s how high it was. It’s incredible that the river receded so much by Sunday. We’re still getting pockets of rain…last night we had a wicked thunderstorm and plenty of hail. Up in the northern part of the province, they are now getting hammered with moisture. It’s crazy!

      I actually think you may have poplars there, they are quite widely distributed throughout the world. I know they are absolutely fiendish for anyone with allergies and asthma – I hope you don’t have too much exposure to them in your neighbourhood.

      • Hail now! Incredible what nature throws at us. Yes, you may be right about the poplars here. They are not too close to me. The trees that cause the most suffering in our area, health wise, are silver birch trees. The city council no longer plants them, thank goodness, and not many homeowners seem to do so anymore either.

  5. Sorry, not a fan AT ALL. My husbands allergies are dreadful when the fluff flies. Out at the lake you’d swear it was a December snow storm. The sticky buds b4 the fluff also do a number on your car paint if you’re foolish enough to leave a vehicle anywhere near by. Our dog used to bring them in on his paws. I’d spend so much time cleaning him and our floors……have I said toooooo much, LOL

    • You’re definitely not the only one who feels this way about them! I’d say poplars are pretty much universally hated. You can now get several sterile cultivars, which is great news on the allergy front…but I expect people still won’t plant them because of that aggressive root system. And there will still be all those older trees to contend with….

  6. This post reminds me that I need to clean my windows. The “cotton” from our poplars always blows into our windows, and gets trapped between the screen and the pane–so each year I wait until the trees are done dispersing their seeds before dissembling the windows to clean them.

  7. Perhaps that is what all the white stuff is that is floating around as the cottonwoods already bloomed…flooded around here too and back in the garden has standing water…hoping for some drying out.

    • Oh, I do hope it gets better for you weather-wise, you’ve had it so wet there as well. If I could, I would send a little sunshine your way…it has warmed up considerably here the past few days.

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