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Hybrid poplar for biomass generation.

 
jeremiah bailey
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Has anyone grown hybrid poplar for generating biomass? From what I have read it grows insanely fast, easily propagates, and is not too picky as to where it grows.

I am thinking of growing it for a source of firewood and mulch. I am just wondering if anyone here has experience with it.
 
              
Posts: 133
Location: West Iowa
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The hybrid cultivars I've tried to grow so far have succumbed to various problems, such as cankers or borers.  Couple years ago, I got a field collection of them from segal ranch, like 30 different hybrids, so then can see which one does best for my specific area.   I'm not really sure what makes them any better than our native eastern cottonwood, but its been fun.   The hybrids are generally going to need moist rich soil to do great, to keep problems to a minimum.   

I think white poplar would be really good to use for biomass because of its root sprouts and more tolerance to dry soils and competition. 


black locust could be an option for firewood because of its btu rating.    It also can be planted in alot of soils that a hybrid poplar would struggle in and don't need much care.  Its nitrogen-fixing ability seems to make them one of the fastest growing little trees that I have. 

 
jeremiah bailey
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Thanks for the idea.  I think I'll look into this one. Black locust looks much better than poplar, imo. I think I'll plant one.

I think I may try the white poplar as well. The locust seems to be abit prone to not rotting very well.
 
              
Posts: 133
Location: West Iowa
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When I was talking about firewood with someone, they mentioned poplar would be a good wood to start the fire, and once the fire got going, could throw in black locust for long-burning fire. 
Here is the example of my white poplar I was trying to show, some goober ruined the image in my previous post

Possibly hybrid willow could be a good one for its fast growth too, but obvious needs high moisture requirements.   Would work in a boggy area. 
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
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Location: Oakland, CA
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Does anyone have experience with alder? 

They sound great for bad soil, and I like them especially because there are varieties native to coastal CA, where I live.
 
              
Posts: 133
Location: West Iowa
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Alder sounds like a good option for various areas, considering all the different species there are.  Fixing nitrogen and growing rapidly would work good as a mixture.  I'd imagine it would burn fast.
 
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