Summer, heat, poplars. Or rather, poplar fluff is a grief for motorists and a bad sleep for all allergy sufferers. It will be difficult to find a city on the territory of the former USSR, in which slender rows of poplars would not stand along the street. They began to purposefully plant trees during the Soviet era. However, given how much inconvenience this plant can bring, I would like to ask a logical question: why were they needed in such quantities at all?
And here it is worth making two important remarks at once. Firstly, the fact that allergy sufferers in the summer period, without exception, suffer from poplars - a fact that is difficult to prove. This is because the flowering of this wonderful tree coincides with the flowering of many other "allergic" plants. Of course, poplar fluff causes allergies. However, many other trees and shrubs do the same. Secondly, in most cases (especially in the post-war USSR) the so-called “pyramidal poplar” began to be planted, which does not give any fluff at all and is not terrible for allergy sufferers and motorists.
So why were poplars massively planted in the USSR? Today, every urbanist will agree, without any scruffing, that urban greening should be done. Town planners in Soviet times also understood this very well. Green plants improve the aesthetic appearance of the settlement, air purity, and reduce windiness. In addition, poplar specifically has a number of important advantages that qualitatively distinguish it next to other trees and shrubs.
The usefulness of poplar as a plant has been proven by scientists since the days of the Soviet Union. Subsequently, the positive aspects of growing these trees have been repeatedly confirmed by scientists. So, At first, poplar is much better than other trees at collecting and absorbing heavy elements from the air that get into it from the smoke of cars, factories and plants. Secondly, poplar has a specific shape: it does not take up much space, which allows planting a huge number of trees in a row, and in the event of a fall, the damage from the poplar will be much less than from other green congeners.
Thirdly, poplars are very unpretentious trees. They hardly suffer from dirty air, and in addition, in harsh urban conditions, they do not need any additional care, be it feeding or watering. Finally, thanks to the shape of the crown, the tree is easy to fell or prune as needed. Fourth, poplars live a very long time. Trees can easily live up to 100 years even in difficult conditions, which means they will need to be changed less often.
Poplars were planted in cities and along highways in the USSR as early as the 1930s. Poplar became a real find for Soviet botanists in the conditions of rapidly growing cities, growing industry, and an increase in the degree of motorization of the economy. Poplars were planted at an especially rapid pace in the first years after the war. The seedlings of these trees were grown on special farms, after which they were distributed throughout the settlements. Landing was carried out on the ground by utilities. By the standards of the 20th century, a high level of urban air purity in the Soviet Union was achieved precisely thanks to this plant. The practice turned out to be so successful that it has not been abandoned even today.
If you want to know even more interesting things, then you should read about for what purpose did Japan buy broken bottles from the USSR?, and then dumped them into the sea.