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Yield of poplar strongly affected by soil type and selected clone

A three-year study with various poplar clones indicates significantly lower yields on sandy soils than on more fertile soil. The results will be presented at the upcoming Crop Congress.

[Translate to English:] Forskere fra Aarhus Universitet samt en konsulent fra AgroTech holder i forbindelse med den kommende plantekongres et oplæg om poppelkloner og dyrkning af poppel. Foto: AU

A Danish field experiment with a number of poplar clones suggests that the biomass yield is substantially higher when cultivated on fertile soil rather than on sandy soils. Significantly slower growth of poplar was recorded on the sandy soil in Jyndevad in Southern Jutland rather than on the more fertile soil types at Research Centre Foulum in Central Jutland and at Skejby, near Aarhus in Eastern Jutland. Furthermore, the measurements of trunk diameter and height indicated large yield differences between the clones.


- After the first growing season the height of the poplars was an average of 125-150 cm at both Skejby and Foulum, while all poplar clones, except clone Max 3, were still below 100 cm in Jyndevad, explains Poul Erik Lærke, senior scientist at Aarhus University, on the results of the poplar cultivation trials.


In connection with the upcoming Crop Congress, he and Uffe Jørgensen from Aarhus University and senior consultant Søren Larsen Ugilt from AgroTech will be presenting the first yield results from the three trials all harvested by the end of 2013 after three years of growth. In all trials the poplar clones were compared with a willow clone and alder.


Growing popularity of poplar

Today there are 2800 hectares of poplar on agricultural land in Denmark. The number of new plantings has exploded in the past three years with 2600 hectares being added.


The substantial increase in the planting of poplar on farmland has been on the background of results from studies abroad under different climatic conditions. There is, however, a lack of similar evidence for the cultivation of poplar under Danish conditions to enable farmers to form an opinion of its viability. This is why the experiment with poplar was initiated.



Further information: Senior scientist Poul Erik Lærke, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, telephone: +45 8715 7692, email: poule.laerke@agrsci.dk



The project is funded via grants from the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, The Danish Council for Strategic Research and the Knowledge Centre for Agriculture.