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Proceedings of Past Forest Nursery Association Meetings:

Breeding and Nursery Propagation of Cottonwood and Hybrid Poplars for
Don E. Riemenschneider
1997: Bemidji, MN
Intensively cultured poplar plantations are well known in the Southern and Northwestern United States where they have made significant contributions to industrial fiber supplies. Intensively cultured plantations are less well known in the Northeastern United States, where research and pilot-scale
studies have focused on the production of alternative fuels. But, several factors have recently combined to increase interest in intensively cultured plantations in the North Central region, especially in Minnesota. In response, about 10,000 acres of hybrid poplar plantings have been established as of 1997. A few operational scale plantings are as old as age seven years, but most are
three to four-years-old or younger. In addition, interest is increasing in using hybrid poplars to aid in the restoration of stream and river-side vegetation. In response to the forementioned needs, much work has been done in breeding and selecting new fast growing, disease resistant poplars. In the following sections I present a brief description of the genus Populus, the kinds of inter and intra-specific breeding that is being done, and how hybrid poplars are propagated in nursery operations.

For additional information the reader is referred to a recently published, extensive review of the biology of Populus (Stettler et a]. 1996).
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