Don’s Expert Answers: Planted evergreen poplar – but have discovered they aren’t actually evergreen

Question From:
Tracy in Mosman Park, Perth Western Australia

Nature of problem:
Planted evergreen poplar – but have discovered they aren’t actually evergreen

Type of Plant (if known):

Symptoms of Plant Illness (please try NOT to diagnose your problems yourself):
no illness

Soil Type (e.g. sandy, clay or loam) OR Potting Mix Type:

How often do you water the plant:
daily whilst establishing then 2x weekly once established

How many hours of sunlight does the plant get each day:
approx 4-6

How long since you planted it:
one month

Have you fertilised? If so, with what and when:
soil was prepped with soil improver prior to planting

Is the plant indoors or outdoors:

Is the plant in a pot or in the ground:

What other treatments have you given the plant:

Upload photo if available:

Other Comments:
My landscaper planted ‘evergreen poplars’ along the back fence by the pool. I had said I wanted a tree to screen out the large fence that would not lose its leaves. Turns out Poplars are deciduous, though the nursery insists they won’t lose their leaves “much”. Should I keep the poplar or switch them out?
Any suggested alternatives would be appreciated. I have considered Lilly Pilly, Tuckeroo, Magnolia, Bay tree. The poplars were not on my list, however the landscaper was unable to find good specimens of the other options on the day we went looking and suggested the poplar since they looked like healthy trees and the nursery told us they would not drop their leaves, but when I got home I did some research on the variety because my neighbour mentioned that they are in fact deciduous. The nursery is refusing to take them back and I’m left wondering how bad they will be in winter? I don’t want bare branches and a pool full of leaves to clean up. Should I bite the bullet and just pay to switch them out for a proper evergreen alternative? How bad will the leaf loss be in winter?

Hi Tracy, In my opinion, that garden area is way too narrow for planting any trees in. Their roots would cause awful trouble. If you want to green it up a bit, I strongly suggest that you attach some lattice to the wall and grow a climber on it. Maybe a bower vine (Pandorea jasminoides) would look nice. Don