Poplar wood - the wood to the aspen foliage

The aspen, also known as the Aspen tree, also belongs to the poplar species. The wood, which is also used among other things for the production of prostheses, has some interesting applications and also consistently interesting properties. Find out more in this post.

Technical values

Reading Descriptionvalue
density0.41-0.56 g / cc
Medium volume density347 kg / m³
Compressive strength30 - 35 N / mm²
flexural strength55 - 65 N / mm²
condensing4.1 kWh per kg, 1,200 kWh per room meter

Poplar wood species and DIN names

The poplar is common in Europe and Asia as well as in North America, and forms accordingly many varieties. In addition to the classic varieties, the most important role in wood production today is given by the special breeds for wood production - they grow faster and generally yield more than the classic varieties, such as:

  • Silver poplar (often as ornamental tree with us)
  • Aspenwood (the aspen)
  • Balsam poplar, of which especially the resin is known for its pleasant fragrance
  • Schwarzpappel
  • Rosary poplar

There are also numerous hybrid forms and crosses between the individual varieties, but these have naturally developed without human intervention (so-called bastardization).

National designation according to DINPoplar and aspen
Abbreviation according to DINPA and AS
International designations according to DIN EN 13 556 and abbreviationsBalsam poplar (POBL, AM), Black poplar (PONG, EU), White poplar / Silver poplar (POAL, EU) Aspen tree (POTL, EU) Gray poplar (POCN, EU) and the European-American hybrid Euramerican poplar (POER, EU), as well as one Special form (Bastard) the Western Balsampappel (POTR, AM)



Very wide annual rings are typical for the poplar, usually they are clearly bounded by a darker band. A distinction can be made between aspen poplar and black poplar / silver poplar, mainly due to the structure: While the aspen tree is almost completely structureless, but has marrow spots, the opposite is true for black poplar / silver poplar. In all poplar wood species, the drawing is basically very fine, similar to willow wood


The color of all poplar species usually ranges from whitish-gray to brownish. On the basis of the nuclear coloration, the only species can then be distinguished well: The aspen poplar has no nuclear color, the silver poplar tends in the core to reddish to yellowish brown and the black poplar has a greenish outward glow.


Poplar wood is very coarse-grained, but also very wear-resistant. The wood is still very soft and only moderately fades. Polishing is usually problematic in poplar wood - however, pickling works very well.

Shrinkage and drying

When drying it comes with poplar wood hardly tearing, but it can often come to throwing. Drying is usually faster than with many harder woods, such as beech wood.


Poplar wood is neither weather-resistant nor particularly durable. It is also not resistant to fungal and insect infestation and must therefore be protected accordingly.


Poplar wood is sometimes used as a construction wood, but only for structures that are exposed to correspondingly low loads and do not require high load capacity. Poplar wood is problematic outdoors, so it is mainly used indoors. Poplar wood is also used comparatively frequently in the packaging sector. It is classic for clogmaking (besides some other woods). Also in the technical field (production of prostheses and aircraft) poplar wood is used.


For sawnwood of sawn poplar, one usually has to expect around 900 - 1,100 EUR per m³. Beech wood, the most commonly used wood in Germany, is nearly one third cheaper. Wood from black and white poplar, however, is less common in the trade. Thermal treatment then increases the price even more.

Here you will find all types of wood at a glance

Tips & Tricks

The wood of the Zellerpappel was once also of great importance for the match industry, and was used there to a very large extent.

Video Board: Birch and Aspen - Some Differences in the Bark