what to do with an acre of poplar

jimi jimi_hendrix at NOTanEMAILaddress.com
Fri Feb 13 15:45:42 EST 1998

alan haley wrote:
> I have just bought  a woodlot and on  it is 10 acre piece of land that
> was cut over hard and has grown back to poplar.  There is some birch
> and  a few spruce/fir in the understory. The Poplar is 6 to 12 feet
> high, located on a north facing slope.  I would like to get a different
> type of tree to grow here and will put in a lot of work to accomplish
> this. I dont think the tree has much market value. I dont know what to
> do though.  The poplar grows so well.  Any ideas?

What do you want to accomplish with your property?  Esthetics? 
Wildlife?  Timber? Feulwood?  It really depends.

Poplar resprouts rapidly when cut and sunlight is available.  If cut too
heavilly, you'll end up with the same problem.  Many trees are shade
tolerant and will develop nicely in the understory.  In about 30-40
years or so, the poplar (quaking aspen?) will most likely die of old age
and rot in the soil.  Very good nutrients for the understory trees.

Realistically, allow your desired trees to establish to satisfactory
height before thinning out the poplars.  This height will depend on what
you are trying to grow.

I used to abhor poplars and quaking aspen until I found out what a
valuable food source it was for Ruffed Grouse and Whitetail Deer.  Now I
manage my properties with small "crops" of popples in different age
classes for the benefit of wildlife and edge.  They do grow fast.


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