Yellow-poplar occurs over most of the eastern U.S. The most extensive stands grow on the mountain slopes and plateaus of West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia, and in the lower Ohio River basin.
Lumber is by far the largest use of yellow-poplar. In
secondary manufacturing, lumber is cut mostly for furniture, frame parts, dimension stock, cabinet parts, and millwork. Yellow- poplar is well suited to manufacturing veneer. Yellow- poplar plywood is used for furniture and shipping containers.
Among the commercially important U.S. hardwoods, yellow-poplar wood ranks in the lower one-third of bending strength, toughness, and impact resistance. But it also has the reputation of being one of the easiest of all hardwoods to work with hand and machine tools. It planes well and has good turning and boring qualities. The wood is about average in mortising and in accepting nails and screws without splitting. It rates poor in shaping and sanding characteristics, however.Yellow-poplar is one of the
easiest woods to bond with many types of adhesives over a wide range of bonding conditions. It accepts and holds paint well and is easily stained. The initial shrinkage during seasoning is relatively large, but the wood stays in place well after drying. The lumber dries quickly and with only minimal loss of quality in air seasoning yards, forced-air dryers, and dry kilns. One-inch lumber can be dried from green to 6 percent moisture content in 6-10 days.
(RS Boone, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry)
Below are examples of different finishes