Hybrid Poplar CST
Description: As one of the fastest growing tree species in North America, Hybrid Poplar is increasingly used in intensively managed fast-growing plantations. The rotation age of these fast growing trees is estimated at 15 to 20 years, provided that the plantation receives a great deal of care and maintenance. The agricultural depression of the 1980’s left many hectares of abandoned farmland in North-Eastern Ontario and North Western Quebec. These fallow lands are the first targeted sites for establishing fast-growing plantations, because they are potentially productive (rich soils) and are located near inhabited areas and industrial plants. These areas also offer opportunities for carbon sequestration. However, little information is available about which clones are suitable for plantations located in Northern Ontario. Also, having historically used native tree species, silvicultural expertise with fast growing plantations has yet to be developed.
The main objective of the study is to establish a clone-site trial in order to identify suitable clones for the region. Secondary objectives are to develop expertise in growing hybrid poplar, to compare growth and productivity of the different clones, and to increase interest of local communities in growing hybrid poplar as a crop.
As this project is still in the very early stages it is difficult to speculate on the anticipated results. However, it is thus far growing well, and based on the results of other hybrid poplar studies it is believed that the clones will continue to grow well, and that the study will prove to be very useful in determining which particular clones are best suited for planting in North-eastern Ontario and North-western Quebec.
The Project Team: Annie DesRochers, UQAT, John Rowsell, University of Guelph, New Liskeard Agricultural Research Station, Warren Shaffer, Northern College
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