Hybrid Poplars for firewood plantation

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by spring77, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. spring77

    spring77 Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone grown hybrid poplars? I've just been looking into them online and some of the info sounds interesting. One idea for them that really intrigued me was this concept of planting them like 600 trees to the acre as cuttings. Then after two years you harvest one fifth (120) of them on the southern side which gives light to the next batch north. Then the next year you harvest the next northerly 120 and so on and by the time you get to the end of the acre you are harvesting 6 inch diameter trees which would provide a significant amount of firewood. And then you start over at the other end of the plantation which has resprouted from the roots and has large diameter trees growing there again. Has anyone done anything like this? The guy who wrote this said that while poplar is soft and doesn't have the heating quality that ash or hickory do it is more than made up for by it's fast growth and regrowth potential. What do you think? It seems like a nice way to get reliable firewood while leaving the regular woodlot for wildlife and growing more valuable wood.
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    A knowledgeable consumer of firewood will not buy poplar as a source. If you have 6 acres of native trees you should have a sustainable woodlot for the source of heat for you home by harvesting the dead, the dying and the undesireable trees in that acreage.
     

  3. MelissaW

    MelissaW Well-Known Member

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    We've been growing hybrid poplars for a few years. They are great for really fast shade and screen. When we prune them, we stick the trimmings in wet ground, and nearly all of them take root. I'm not sure about the firewood potential. Poplar is good for starting fires, but it burns really fast. I think this months Mother Earth News had an article about the burn values of different woods. We've used some tulip poplar for furniture. It's soft, but it has a pretty, smooth grain. Hybrid poplars, however, have tons of lateral branches, so they probably wouldn't be any good for furniture either. Anyway, I'm not sure about the woodlot potential, but I can attest to the fact that they grow like wildfire!
     
  4. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Poplar burns hot and fast and doesn't build up creosote. No coals left over. I like it for a quick fire when you don't want the stove to stay hot all day, but for winter use I like cedar or pinyon because they are dense and leave coals to get going in the am.
     
  5. EricG

    EricG Well-Known Member

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    Paper companies are turning to poplar to replace spruce. Because of it's low grade as firewood it is probably worth more as paper pulp. I believe they use some intensive tree farming to grow them fast for pulp.

    Eric