Hybrid Poplar Plantations: Resources

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 Growing Hybrid Poplar as Crop
Agri-Environment Services Branch (AESB) in Indian Head, SK Shelterbelt Center have done studies on hybrid poplar plantation for Prairie Provinces. Growing poplars as a short rotation woody crop involves intensive management more similar to agriculture than forestry. Growing hybrid poplars is a long term commitment with significant investment and limited economic return for a number of years. However, hybrid poplars can be an attractive crop for landowners, especially in the northern agricultural zone where there is growing demand for poplar wood. Poplars also have important environmental benefits, specifically greenhouse gas mitigation (carbon storage), riparian zone protection and wastewater management.

Consideration for Hybrid Poplar Production
Hybrid poplars have been planted in prairie shelterbelts for many years. They have primarily been planted into farmstead shelterbelts but have been used in wildlife and field shelterbelts as well. Their popularity has traditionally been the result of fast growth and easy care, but the future for poplar may be even brighter.

Hybrid Poplar Research Program - Washington State University
Compelling reasons for planting hybrid poplars include rapid growth and ease of vegetative propagation from stem cuttings. On good sites, hybrid poplars grow faster than any other northern temperate region tree. For some products, harvests can be made yearly. Because of quick resprouting, replanting after harvesting may be unnecessary, especially for short harvest cycles.

Program for Fibre Crop Development and Utilization - University of Wisconsin, Madison
Planting and maintaining short rotation intensive culture (SRIC) poplar plantations is very similar to practices of many agricultural crops. As with more traditional crops, SRIC poplar yields are a function of soil quality, tree spacing, variety (planting stock) selection, and management inputs, such as site preparation, fertilization, cultivation and pesticide application.

Popular Poplars - Bioenergy Information Network
Hybrid poplars (Populus spp.) are among the fastest-growing trees in North America and are well suited for the production of bioenergy (e.g., heat, power, transportation fuels), fiber (e.g., paper, pulp, particle board, etc.) and other biobased products (e.g., organic chemicals, adhesives).

Poplar Council of Canada
The Poplar Council of Canada (PCC) is a national non-profit organization committed to the wise use, conservation, and sustainable management of Canada's poplar resources. PCC, first established in 1977, has members from industry, wood lot owners, universities, research establishments, and provincial and federal governments.

Short Rotation Forestry of Hybrid poplars in Minnesota
The development of very fast growing hybrid poplar trees makes it realistic to think about producing large volumes of wood in rotation cycles more common to agriculture than to forestry. Recent research in Minnesota has shown that hybrid poplars can be an excellent planting choice for conservation purposes or in wood farms to produce materials for fuel or wood products. In comparison to traditional forestry, short rotation forestry includes thorough site preparation, fertilization, and careful attention to weed control. Compared to yields of 1 dry ton/acre/year in native forest strands, short rotation forestry (SRF) of trees can produce 3 to 6 dry tons/acre/year.

The Short Rotation Woody Crops Operations Working Group
The Short Rotation Woody Crops Operations Working Group is a private and public partnership between wood products companies, equipment manufacturers, utility companies, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the National Council of the Paper Industry for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI) and university researchers. Our mission is to promote collaborative efforts in developing needed operations for plantings that comply with the principles of economic viability, ecological soundness, and social acceptance. A major activity is information sharing about the efficient development of practices and equipment to culture, harvest and handle large-scale woody biomass plantings.
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This document is maintained by Brenda McLellan.
This information published to the web on May 14, 2003.
Last Reviewed/Revised on October 11, 2013.