Poplar Tree Farming Guide:
Introduction to Poplar Tree Farming:- Poplar tree is one of the popular wood producing trees and this tree is being grown commercially in India since last decade. Poplar trees are grown throughout Asia, North America, Europe and Africa. Poplar tree is deciduous (develop individual male & female flowers) and belongs to the family of Salicaceae. Poplar plants grow at very fast rate and used mainly in wood and paper industry. It is gaining commercial popularity due to its quick growth and use in plywood, sports goods, match-splints, pencils & paper industries. Farmers can expect decent profits under good farming management practices in short time. In India, a poplar tree can grow above 85 feet in height and 36 inches diameter in 5 to 7 years.
Local names of Poplar Tree in India:- Paras-pipal, Parsipu, Porush (Hindi), Gajashundi, Palaspipal, Poresh (Bengali ), Paras piplo (Gujarati ), Arasi (Kannada), Cilaanthi, Prapparuththi, Pravaras (Malayalam) , Aashta, Paras-bhendi, Parosa pimpal (Marathi), Poovarasam, Portung (Tamil), Ganga Ravi (Telugu).
Major Poplar Production States in India:- Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Western Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh and West Bengal.
Commercially Viable Varieties of Poplar Trees In India:- Suitable clones for agro forestry are Udai, W-22,G-48, A-26, S-7,W-39,W-32,W-101,W-109,W-81 and S-7 C-15 is best suited for clay loamy soils.
Climate Required for Poplar Tree Farming:- These trees grow mostly in temperate climatic conditions. In India, poplar trees thrive best in areas with temperature between 5°C to 45°C. Frost conditions may not favor the growth of poplar trees. These trees require direct sunlight and enough moisture content in the soil.
Soil Requirement for Poplar Tree Farming:- Generally, poplar trees grow best on rich loamy soils. However, clay loam, sandy loam soils with well drainage are best suitable for poplar tree farming. The soil pH of 6 to 8.5 is best for its optimum growth and quality. As heavy alkaline and saline soils are not suitable for poplar growth, hence these kinds of soils should be avoided.
Propagation in Poplar Tree Farming:- Poplars tress are propagated through both softwood & hardwood cuttings
Land Preparation in Poplar Tree Farming:- Land should be ploughed couple of times to make weed free and fine tilth soil. If you are planning for intercropping as well, then field should be incorporated with well rotten farm yard manure at the time of land preparation.
Seedling Treatment in Poplar Farming:- Young plants should be treated with chemicals and fungicides soon after moving from nursery to main field to prevent any pests and diseases. Damaged roots should be pruned up to 7 cm of main stem before pre treatment and planting.
Seedlings up to 1 meter from roots can be soaked in chloropyriphos (250ml in 100 liters of water) for 10 to 12 minutes to avoid any pest attack. The young plants should be placed in Emisan -6 (200 grams in 100 liters of water) for 20 to 22 minutes to avoid any fungal disease. Once plants are pre-treated, no pruning should be carried out.
Planting and Spacing in Poplar Tree Farming:- Seedlings transplanted from nursery to main filed should immediately be placed in the storage pits filled with fresh water (2 to 3 days). Prevention of dehydration or moisture loss is up most importance for successful poplar farming.
Planting time is very important in poplar tree cultivation as there may be more than 10% mortality if they are not planted in right time.
Time of Plantation Height of Plants
25th Dec to 15th Jan Above 5 meters.
15th Jan to 15th Feb 4 meters to 5 meters.
15th Feb to 10th Mar 3 meters to 4 meters.
One meter pits should be dug and made with augers having 15 cm diameter. Poplar seedlings are planted straight in the pit & top soil should be filled with the mixture of 2 kg farm yard manure (F.M.Y), 25 grams of MOP and 50 grams of SSP. Don’t fill the upper 10 cm of soil for better watering for their survival.
Spacing Planting Type No.of.Plants/ha
5 m X 5 m With Inter Cropping 455.
5 m X 4 m ” 560.
6 m X 2 m ” 990.
7 m X 2 m ” 907.
8 m X 2 m ” 825.
5 m X 2 m only plantation 1190.
Intercropping in Poplar Tree Farming:- By utilizing the inter space, farmers can make extra income by cultivating intercrops like sugar cane during the first two years of planting. Thereafter, shade loving crops like turmeric and ginger can be cultivated. Avoid intercrops like paddy and bajra.
Manures and Fertilizers in Poplar Tree Farming:- The following chart shows the manures and fertilizers schedule in poplar plantation.
Years Month FYM/Plant Urea + SSP/Plant
1st June, July, Aug 8 Kg 50 grams.
2nd June, July, Aug 10 Kg 80 grams.
3rd June, July, Aug 15 Kg 150 grams.
4th Onwards June, July, Aug 15 Kg 200 grams.
Growth Rate in Poplar Tree Farming:- Usually, the girth of poplar trees should be measured at 1.35 meter above the ground level. The growth monitor for poplar tree as follows.
Age (Years) Target (In Inches)
Ist Year 8 – 12.
2nd Year 12 – 16.
3rd Year 16 – 22.
4th Year 22 – 28.
5th Year 28 – 32.
6th Year 32 – 36.
7th Year 36 – 42.
8th Year 42 – 48.
Irrigation in Poplar Tree Farming:- Irrigate the young plants as soon as they are transplanted in the main field. and follow the below irrigation schedule in poplar farming.
Year summer season winter season
1st Weekly. 15 days.
2nd Weekly. 15 days.
3rd 15 days. Monthly.
4th 15 days. Monthly.
5th 15 days. Monthly.
6th 15 days. Monthly.
Weed Control in Poplar Tree Farming:- If the weeds are not controlled, they impacts the growth of seedlings of poplar. Especially these weeds should be controlled during first 1 to 2 years. Herbicides can be applied to control the weeds. once trees are grown, under shade of the trees, weed growth would be less or minimal.
Pruning in Poplar Tree Farming:- In poplar trees, if there is no sign of bud opening, those tress should be cut back in early May at the ground level. De- budding task (lower 1/3 part of stem) should be carried out during the first year of growth. Co-leader also should be removed along with de-budding operation. Repeat the same after 2 years of plantation. Pruning should be carried @ 2 to 3 years age in lower 1/3 portion of the tree where as in 4 to 5 years age trees, the lower 1/2 portion of the tree. Too much of pruning is not good as it encourages vigorous branches and will effect the diameter growth. After 1st year, pruning and training operations should be carried out only in winter season. Don’t forget to apply bordeaux paste immediately after pruning and training operations.
Insects and Diseases in Poplar Tree Farming:- Leaf-feeding Caterpillarsal, Leaf Beetles, Cottony Cushion Scales and Mealybugs, Scales, Poplar Petiolegall Aphid and Poplar-and-Willow Borer are the common insects found in poplar tree farming.
Canker and Dieback and Wetwood, or Slime Flux are the common diseases found in poplar tree farming.
For control measures of these insects and diseases, contact your local forest or agriculture department.
Profits and Market value in Poplar Tree Farming:- In poplar tree farming, harvesting expenses drastically effects the profits. This assumption is made from on the basis of analysis of poplar tree growth and market value.
Poplar trees having 34 to 36 inches in girth at the height of 5 feet or 1.6 meter from ground level and 80 feet in height fetches between 3600 to 4000 rupees per tree. If the plantation is done in one acre at the density of 225 plants, this will fetch about 1000 to 1250 quintals which gives approximately about 5.25 to 6 lacs. In high density plantations, returns will be high.
As market value is concerned, it’s highly depends on the girth (diameter) of the tree.
Market valuation of single poplar tree:
Girth (inches) Weight ( Qtl ) Rate / Qtl Value(Rs)
> 24 1.0 900 900.
18 – 24 1.5 750 925.
10 – 18 1.5 550 725.
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