Also called bam, bamtree, hackmatack, tacamahac poplar and tacamahaca.

Part of aspen/​cottonwood/​poplar  genus Populus in willow  family Salicaceae.

Native to 🇨🇦 Canada, Alaska, and northern continental 🇺🇸 USA.   🗺 Map (North America, Central America),  Adobe Acrobat Reader file 🗺 today + with climate change (eastern 🇺🇸 USA).

In the West and South of this range, this tree overlaps with a very-closely related sister-species ◼︎ black cottonwood  Populus trichocarpa, which then extends South into much of the Pacific Northwest (Cascadia), 🗻︎ Rocky Mountains, and California.  So closely-related, that some sources call the sister-species Populus balsamifera subsp. trichocarpa — a subspecies (variety) of this plant.  And some 🗺 maps confuse or combine them.

Can form a hybrid with eastern cottonwood  Populus deltoides (also part of the aspen/​cottonwood/​poplar  genus Populus ), forming balm of Gilead  Populus × jackii.   The hybrid occurs occasionally in nature.

Often grows in clonal colonies [1] — look around for other stems!

Uses by native peoples
(Ethnobotany database)

Populus hosts caterpillars of 367 species
of butterflies and moths, in some areas.
  This plant is also known to be a host for (in areas where invasive) 🐝︎ spotted lanternfly (SLF)  Lycorma delicatula.

In areas where this plant is native, this plant is among the wet-loving (but terrestrial ) shrubs and trees planted to protect eroding streambanks, lakeshores, floodplains, stormwater detention ponds, road slopes and landslides, using a process called live-staking.

Propagation protocol.  Adobe Acrobat Reader file  Before you plant this species, consider that this tree grows to a height of 30 m (100 ft).

Learn more about eastern balsam poplar Populus balsamifera

🔍︎ 🔍︎ images Discover Life Encyclopedia of Life Michigan Flora (Minnesota) Wildflower Garden Minnesota Wildflowers Flora of North America USDA PLANTS db USFS USFS Silvics Wikipedia