More on Lombardy poplar: How to Manage and ID Lombardy poplar
This poplar actually does more than just explode like a firework only to die in 25 years. As it grows, the poplar can damage building foundations, grow rapidly into powerlines and usurps valuable water from the landscape. The "deltoid" leaves have glands that sometimes exude water and can be seen "crying" or "weeping". The tree dies from the top down, leaving a withered and bare top but pushing new sprouts out the base. Not a pretty sight.
Art Plotnik writes in The Urban Tree Book that a group of foresters in Oregon named the tree one they would like to see less of. Even with all this bad press the Lombardy poplar was planted along Pennsylvania Avenue by Thomas Jefferson during his presidency and the Mormons transplanted the tree in Utah with great success.
Lombardy Poplar Nursery - Getty Image/Vincenzo Lombardo