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Raw Material Quality of Short-Rotation, Intensively Cultured Populus Clones. II. Wood and Bark from First-Rotation Stems and Stems Grown from Coppice

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The coppicing ability of Populus hybrid clones after dormant season harvesting is weil suited to a short-rotation, intensively cultured (SRIC) growth system. stems formed from coppice exhibit a greater amount of growth than first-rotation trees during the juvenile stage. This research examines and compares properties, including specific gravity and fibre length of the wood and bark, of 3-year-old firstrotation stems (from cuttings) and 3-year-old coppiced stems of three hybrid Populus clones grown und er SRIC. Trees produced from coppiced stumps were 1.5 to 2.5 times larger (in height and diameter at the base) than first-rotation trees after 3 years of growth. Some of the wood properties of the first-rotation trees differed from those of the coppiced trees. For example, wood specific gravity was higher and wood fibres were longer in the sampies removed from the basal portion of the first-rotation trees. Although significant, these differences were small and not important from an industrial standpoint. The increase in woody biom ass after coppicing is likely to be more important to industry than any decreases in wood properties expected during short-rotation, intensive culture of Populus trees.


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