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Where Can We Grow Hybrid Poplars in the Pacific Northwest?

Posted by Stephen Locker | September 17, 2014

February 5, 2014

View the recording at

To develop a sustainable hybrid poplar biofuels industry in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), hundreds of thousands of acres of land will be needed to grow poplar as a short-rotation woody crop. Identifying areas where hybrid poplar will grow best in Washington, Oregon, N. California, N. Idaho, and W. Montana is the goal of our research as these locations will influence the placement of future biorefineries.

In this webinar, researchers from the University of Washington present the methodology and results of a poplar growing suitability study conducted using the GIS-based analytic hierarchy process. Nine factors were analyzed to determine suitability: growing season precipitation, temperature, and season length; soil texture and drainage, pH, salinity, and depth; water table depth; and slope. The results from the suitability analysis for growing poplar in the five state region summarize the number of acres in four suitability classes under management scenarios with and without irrigation from highly suitable to not suitable.

What’s covered?

  • Environmental conditions hybrid poplar needs to grow.
  • Methodology and results of a suitability analysis for growing hybrid poplar.
  • How to access and use an online map service highlighting areas of the PNW where hybrid poplar grows best under different management scenarios.

Presenters: Luke Rogers and Andrew Cooke from the University of Washington

Sponsored by:  Washington State University with funding from Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Competitive Grant no. 2011-68005-30407 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).