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© Bernd Degen
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Institute of

FG Forest Genetics


Testing of clones of poplar and willow for short rotation coppice

Testing of clones of poplar and willow for production of energy wood in short rotation coppice

The Thuenen Institute of Forest Genetics owns a large collection of clones of the genus Populus and Salix. The suitability for short rotation coppice purposes of these clones will be tested at different trial sites. Besides growth resistance and ability to resprout after harvesting are important characters under investigation. Identification of the best clones will help to broader the number of clones suitable for the production of energy wood in practice.

Background and Objective

The most productive clones will be approved and recommende for planting in short rotation coppices.


After pre-testing in the nurseries the mots promising clones are propagated for establishment of stolbeds. Wooden cuttings of these clones are used for planting of up to 10 clone tests. After 3 to 5 years these trials will be harvested and the biomass will be assessed. Additionally resistance a gainst Melampsora leaf rust will be tested. Main goal is the selection of superior clones for short rotation plantations.


Clones of the genus Populus, which were selected a long time ago for forestry purposes, only clone 960 (P. deltoides x P. maximowiczii) from Italy has proven itself without restriction on all test areas (5). Depending on the respective location and the rotation, yields of 7.5 and 23.0 toven-dry / ha / a were achieved. The clones 962 and H 275 (hybrid 275) showed good growth mostly. The other clones in this group only produced average or significantly below average yields. The performance of Max 1, which was used very often for short rotation coppices, was in the range of the respective trial means. The consistently poor performance of Androscoggin was surprising. This clone has also been used widely in recent years. The relatively poor rooting behavior of clones 960 and 962 is somewhat problematic. However, the initially lower number of plants is compensated for in later rotations by a higher growth rate per stock.

Some new clones from North America have also shown good yields after the 1st rotation. These are clones of both P. × euramericana and P. deltoides × P. maximowiczii. The yields of the best clones were between 7.5 and 23.0 toven-dry / ha / a.

The very strong dependence of the growth performance of all tested clones on the quality of the location was noticeable. Even small differences in micro-site conditions had an effect, as was proven by the high standard deviation ​​in the single tests.

In the case of willows, it is difficult to make a statement about the suitability of the tested clones for cultivation in energy wood plantations, since with one exception the yield level on the test areas was very low. If the site conditions are suitable for growing willows, good yields can be achieved with the Swedish clones Tordis and Sven, which can be over 10 toven-dry / ha / a after the second and third rotation. This is true also  to the clones SCUK, Reif and SN 2, which come from different species or hybrids.
For dry conditions, clones of Salix daphnoides may be of interest. This is especially true if multiple use is the objective, as this species is rich in salicylates.

Funding Body

  • Federal Ministry of Food und Agriculture (BMEL)
    (national, öffentlich)


1.2011 - 12.2020

More Information

Funding program: FNR
Project status: finished


  1. 0

    Schneck V, Heimpold C, Liesebach M (2020) Aktuelle Ergebnisse der Züchtung von Hybridaspen (Populus x wettsteinii Hämet-Ahti). Thünen Rep 76:133-143

  2. 1

    Liesebach M (ed) (2020) Forstpflanzenzüchtung für die Praxis : 6. Tagung der Sektion Forstgenetik/Forstpflanzenzüchtung vom 16. bis 18. September 2019 in Dresden ; Tagungsband. Braunschweig: Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, 296 p, Thünen Rep 76, DOI:10.3220/REP1584625360000

  3. 2

    Liesebach M (2020) Pappeln und andere schnellwachsende Baumarten in Deutschland : Bericht der nationalen Pappelkommission ; 2016 - 2019. Braunschweig: Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, 38 p, Thünen Working Paper 141, DOI:10.3220/WP1585652175000

  4. 3

    Liesebach M (2020) Poplars and other fast growing tree species in Germany : Report of the National Poplar Commission ; 2016-2019. Braunschweig: Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, 36 p, Thünen Working Paper 141a, DOI:10.3220/WP1585727785000

  5. 4

    Schneck V (2018) Biomasseleistung neuer und alter Pappelklone nach der 1. vierjährigen Rotation. In: Ammer C, Bredemeier M, Arnim G von (eds) FowiTa : Forstwissenschaftliche Tagung 2018 Göttingen ; Programm & Abstracts ; 24. bis 26. September 2018. Göttingen: Univ Göttingen, Fakultät für Forstwissenschaften und Waldökologie, p 419

  6. 5

    Bubner B, Köhler A, Zaspel I, Zander M, Förster N, Gloger J, Ulrichs C, Schneck V (2018) Breeding of multipurpose willows on the basis of Salix daphnoides Vill., Salix purpurea L. and Salix viminalis L.. Landbauforsch Appl Agric Forestry Res 68(1-2):53-66, DOI:10.3220/LBF1538634874000

  7. 6

    Liesebach M, Schneck V (2018) Clone test with hybrid aspen (As130). Thünen Rep 62:127-130

  8. 7

    Schneck V (2012) Prüfung von Pappelklonen aus einem alten Sortiment auf Anbaueignung für Energieholzpflanzungen. Beitr Nordwestdt Forstl Versuchsanst 8:370-371

  9. 8

    Schneck V, Zaspel I (2008) Phytopathologische Probleme bei der Anzucht und Kultur von Pappeln (Populus spp.) für die Biomasseproduktion. Cottbuser Schr Ökosystemgenese Landschaftsentwickl 6:203-207

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