Screening the Best Hybrid Poplar Varieties for Bioenergy
To improve commercial bioenergy farm performance, we are evaluating 75 clonally replicated hybrid poplar varieties for energy feedstock production traits.
Selections of elite hybrid poplar clonal varieties will ensure plantation stock is better adapted to bioenergy farm silviculture. Next-generation selections should exhibit improvements in coppicing ability, biomass density, and site adaptability leading to improvements in yield productivity and sustainability.
Locally adapted sets of 75 experimental varieties were established at the Jefferson and Hayden sites in 2012, and in 2013 at Clarksburg and Pilchuck. The trials will be evaluated for their growth during a two-year establishment period, strength of coppice regeneration in the ensuing three-year period, biomass composition, and how the structure of the coppice will affect harvesting efficiency.