Northern Esteem™ Black Poplar - Populus nigra 'Schreiner' (RFM-69)


Northern EsteemNorthern EsteemIn 1978, NDSU obtained five hybrid poplar cultivars from a Pennsylvania nursery. One of these poplars has out-performed a large percentage of Populus accessions under evaluation for over 30 years in the NDSU arboretum. It was purchased under the “cumbersome” name Populus charkowiensis x P. cv. incrassata. In 2011, contacts were made with three U.S. Forest Service professionals, including Dr. K. T. Smith, Durham, NH; Dr. K. W. Gottschalk, Morgantown, W.V.; and Dr. R. S. Zalesny, Jr., Rhinelander, WI concerning the breeding and origin of this poplar. Based particularly on information provided by Dr. Smith, the hybrid parentage was designated as P. nigra var. charkowiensis x P. nigra var. incrassata and originally developed by the late E. J. Schreiner at the former Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, Radnor, PA under the code NE308. Some authorities no longer recognize the two botanical varieties listed above as being authentic varieties. With careful review of this information and the above researchers and nursery offering general support, NDSU decided to rename this apparent intraspecific hybrid poplar with a more “consumer friendly” name. The cultivar name ‘Schreiner’ was chosen to honor the original breeder and the trademark name Northern Esteem™ to further pay tribute to the original developer. Most poplars propagated and planted in conservation and wildlife plantings in the Northern Plains have one or more major problems, including deficient winter hardiness, disease and/or insect susceptibility. Northern Esteem™ is a rapid growing, large tree. It has glossy, emerald green deltoid-shaped leaves and has exhibited high disease and insect resistance. The intent of this rename is solely to promote future planting of this superior, hardy poplar. Nurseries are encouraged to propagate and market this cultivar. USDA hardiness zone 3.

Potential Uses or Applications

Nursery stock, shelterbelt, farmstead windbreak, wildlife and other shelter/conservation plantings

Development Stage

Plant propagation material can be obtained from NDSU Plant Sciences Department or trees from licensed nursery subject to availability.

Patent Status

U.S. Trademark - Northern Esteem™


This cultivar is available for non-exclusive licensing.

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