Commercial names:

Poplar, canary timber, yellow poplar, hickory poplar, tulip poplar, tulipwood (USA); tulip tree (Canada, UK and USA); canary whitewood (UK).


Eastern USA, Canada and introduced into Europe.

General description:

In second growth trees the sapwood is very wide, whitish in colour and streaked. It is sharply defined from the heartwood which varies from pale yellowish brown to pale olive-brown streaked with olive green, dark grey or pinkish-brown. When it is mineral stained, there are streaks of steel blue. Weight is 510 kg/m3 (31  1b/ft3) and the specific gravity is .51. The texture is fine and regular with straight grain.

Mechanical properties:

This medium density timber has a low bending and resistance to shock loads, low stiffness and medium crushing strengths. It also has a medium steam bending classification.


The material kiln dries easily and well, without risk of checking and warping, it also air dries with little degrade. There is small movement in service.

Working properties:

It is easy to work with hand and machine tools; it can be planed to a very smooth finish. Nailed, screwed and glued joints hold perfectly and it can be stained, polished or painted whilst holding hard enamels.


This timber is non-durable; the sapwood is prone to attacks by the common furniture beetle. It is moderately resistant t preservation treatment and the sapwood is permeable.


Pattern making, carving, cabinetmaking, interior fittings, interior joinery, and light construction work, interior trim for boats, toys and doors. This timber is also used for plywood and core stock. When treated with preservatives, it is used for external joinery and work not in contact with the ground. Selected logs are sliced for very decorative veneers suitable for panelling, cabinets and marquetry.


Not to be confused with the softwood known as ‘Whitewood’.