Energy poplar cultivation

Ground and soil preparation

       For hybrid poplars to be able to showcase their productive capacity, should be given particular attention to land and soil preparation and also to planting and plantation maintenance works till maturity. Growth and condition of vegetation are influenced by the way of preparing the ground and soil, and after planting,  by maintenance works, of which those executed in the first 2-3 years are decisive.

     In dry years, the beneficial influence of good preparation of ground and soil as well as performing maintenance works are undeniable (soil water reserve, in the first 50 cm depth, is 2 – 2,5 times higher in land cultivated on whole surface, comparing to surfaces covered with partial works).

   The works of preparing the ground and soil differ depending on the coverage level of land with shrubs or herbaceous vegetation, the degree of soil water supply, the degree of compaction.

1. Preparation for planting of previously uncultivated fallow land is only done with scarification works, plowing and disking.

The land must be prepared to have a fine structure so is indicated to be done a 40 cm deep plowing. It is recommended to make the plowing  during fall (Sempember-October). If planting is made in spring (March-April) will be a spring plowing of 40 cm, can perform a total herbicide.

    Discing the plowing on perpendicular directions, immediately after plowing (shredding the organic matter).

2. Preparation of land covered with woody shrub vegetation involves works that consist of:

   Grinding woody shrub vegetation executed with shredders mounted on tractors of 100 HP, with which is cut from the soil surface, the woody shrub vegetation, with strain not exceeding 4 cm, and non-wood vegetation with high strain.

The mince is spread uniformly all over the surface of the land.

     Land scarification, up to 50-60 cm deep, is executed with rippers mounted on tractors. When the distance between ripper teeth is less than 50 cm is sufficient a single pass, and when this distance is greater, then it is mandatory  to perform two passes in the same direction or perpendicular directions.

   Deep plowing of 35-40 cm is executed with reversible plow, principally aiming to destroy the wood system of woody species.

     Discing plowing, twice, typically in perpendicular directions, is carried out in autumn or spring, before planting.

3. Preparation of wetlands, swampy:

    Cutting the vegetation with disk harrow, adjusted for depth, if the land allows the entry of machinery. If the machinery can not enter the field, cutting the vegetation is done manually, with scythe.

4. Preparing land depression with temporary excess water involves drainage works with varying depths, spaced at planting scheme.

       Deep plowing of 35-40 cm

      Discing plowing, twice, typically in perpendicular directions, is carried out in autumn or spring, before planting.

These works are performed during dry periods of the year, when the ground is dry.


Poplar can be planted in autumn after leaf fall and until frost (October-November) and during spring after frost period (March-April).


        Hybrid poplars are usually planted only on all over prepared ground, with the full range of works, depending on the nature of the field, as shown above.

         Planting is done in the all over prepared ground, in pits made by hand or mechanically (drill with a diameter of 30 cmto a depth of 60-70 cm).

Cuttings are planted at a distance of:

On less humid lands, plantations for forest curtain or wood are made with cuttings of 1 m. It is made a hole with the drill (see Figure 1), at 1 m depth, insert the cuttings leaving out only 5 cm, administer 50-100 g of complex, well water the hole, then cover with land and tamp it down around the cuttings.

On wetlands are planted  cuttings of 33 cm for both types of plantation (biomass or wood). It is made a hole with the size of cuttings, insert the cuttings and press the soil around them.

Attention!!!  Cuttings are planted with buds up.

Biomass plantations are made with cuttings of 33 cm (basically you cut the seedling of 1 m in 3 pieces). The hole is made with the drill at 34 cm and repeat the procedures that are done when planting forest curtains.  After placing the cuttings, leave out only 3 cm.

Figura 1.  Drill for performing pits.