Poplar Perennial Crops

Knowing which is the right SRC perennial crop for your requirement is essential.  We’re here to help you make the right decision.

Poplar is a practical substitute for Willow, offering comparable traits along with additional benefits. Its large leaves provide significant shade, making it a potent weed inhibitor. Additionally, some consider Poplar to be a superior option to Willow due to its more pleasing appearance and improved visibility.

Research has demonstrated that poplar is capable of producing up to 12 tonnes per hectare. It can serve as a Short Rotation Coppice tree or a Short Rotation Forestry tree. The planting, establishment, and harvesting processes are essentially similar to those of SRC Willow, requiring various inputs prior to harvest.

Poplar plantations can be established at high speed and excellent quality using the same machinery as for Willow. The Step Planter utilises whole rods, which are approximately 1.50 to 2.30 m long, as opposed to cutting planting machines that use pre-made 20 cm cuttings as planting material. The rods are automatically cut into 20 cm cuttings within the machine, which are then firmly pushed into the soil by a fast-moving pestle.

Harvesting Poplar is comparable to harvesting Willow and can be accomplished using identical equipment. However, Poplar harvesting may be slower since Poplar stems are likely to be thicker than those of Willow. Poplar can either be cut by a forage harvester and immediately chipped, or cut into poles, baled, and transported to a different location for chipping at a later date.

The fast-maturing Populus is widely used as a windbreak species, though it also performs well in a coppice system.  It will initially grow a single thicker stem than the willow, meaning that the first cut will produce larger logs.  Overall, poplar is slightly less productive than willow, but planted in combination would improve biodiversity since a different range of moths and other insects make use of willow and poplar.  Like willow, poplar has high levels of salicylic acid.

Harvested every 2-4 years -

Poplar grows at a very fast rate, making it highly suitable as a perennial energy crop

Poplar crop planting -

Planting perennial Poplar crops can require specialist equipment and expert knowledge to guarantee the best yield  – that’s where we come in!

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Poplar is the obvious choice for agroforestry use alongside livestock to generate an income, energy & biodiversity net gain.

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