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The eleven chapters comprising this Bulletin cover the botany, cultivation, performances and utilisation of poplars and poplar timber. The genus Populus comprises some 32 species classified according to their botanical characters into five sections and one sub-section. Of these, the sections Aigeiros (the black poplars) and Tacamahaca (the balsam poplars) are of commercial significance to poplar growers in Britain and Europe. The species are described in Chapter 2 together with all the hybrids and cultivars thought to have been or to be noteworthy in Britain. The species are described first within their respective sections followed by their specific cultivars and then by the hybrids within and between sections. In Chapter 3 a key attempts to assist the field recognition of most of the commercially important poplars grown in Britain based on morphological characters and crown form. In Chapter 4 the choice of sites suitable for poplar cultivation is explained, with advice on the field recognition of both suitable and unsuitable sites. Plant production is covered in Chapter 5 which describes the main methods and vegetative and seedling reproduction and nursery practice. The next two chapters cover the silviculture of poplars including establishment and tending practices in Britain and Europe and, in Chapter 7, recommendations on spacing, thinning and pruning to meet various objectives. Rates of growth of poplars under various conditions are discussed in Chapter 8 with examples of some outstanding cultivars and with summaries of research data currently available on yields for biomass and timber. In Chapter 9 the use of poplars in association with farming is described with particular reference to the development of agroforestry practice in Britain during the 1960s and 70s. The characteristics and properties of poplar timber and its uses are then described. The final chapter provides a general description of the more important insect pests, fungal and bacterial diseases of poplar. The Bulletin concludes with a short reference list, appendices and indexes.


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Forestry Commission