Native to China, Populus simonii is a quick growing deciduous tree resembling the Lombardy Poplar in growth habit. The tree is often used for informal hedging or screening. It changes its appearance as each new season approaches, showcasing its beautiful colours throughout the year.
The dark-green, simple leaves are alternate. They turn bright yellow in autumn before shedding off in winter. On younger trees, the bark is smooth, white greenish to grey, becoming rough and fissured as the tree matures. Flowers are borne in long, drooping catkins that appear in early spring. The fruit appears in the form of a reddish brown, valved capsule that matures in summer.
When planted in clusters, the Chinese poplar can create a wind break for farm boundaries. The tree prefers a sunny situation on fresh to wet soil. The soil should be loamy soil, sandy loam, gritty loam, clay, sandy clay or loamy clay with a pH between 6,5 and 7,5. It is very frost hardy tolerating temperatures down to -35°C. P. simonii can also tolerate hot dry summers and constant wind, making it a good choice for coastal areas.