Salinity represents an increasing environmental problem in managed ecosystems. Populus spp. is widely used for wood production by short-rotation forestry in fertilized plantations and can be grown on saline soil. Because N fertilization plays an important role in salt tolerance, we analysed Grey poplar (Populus tremula × alba, syn. Populus canescens) grown with either 1 mM nitrate or ammonium subjected to moderate 75 mM NaCl. The impact of N nutrition on amelioration of salt tolerance was analysed on different levels of N metabolism such as N uptake, assimilation and N (total N, proteins and amino compounds) accumulation. Na concentration increased in all tissues over time of salt exposure. The N nutrition-dependent effects of salt exposure were more intensive in roots than in leaves. Application of salt reduced root increment as well as stem height increase and, at the same time, increased the concentration of total amino compounds more intensively in roots of ammonium-fed plants. In leaves, salt treatment increased concentrations of total N more intensively in nitrate-fed plants and concentrations of amino compounds independently of N nutrition. The major changes in N metabolism of Grey poplar exposed to moderate salt concentrations were detected in the significant increase of amino acid concentrations. The present results indicate that N metabolism of Grey poplar exposed to salt performed better when the plants were fed with nitrate instead of ammonium as sole N source. Therefore, nitrate fertilization of poplar plantations grown on saline soil should be preferred.