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Research article2017Peer reviewedOpen access

Influence of Cutting Type and Fertilization in Production of Containerized Poplar Plants

Bohlenius, Henrik; Fransson, Thomas; Holmstrom, Emma; Salk, Carl


Most poplar plantations are planted on marginal agricultural land, but poplar plantations also hold the potential for increased profits compared to plantations of other species on non-agricultural, previously forested land. To date, the establishment of poplar plantations on previously forested land is limited by the production of suitable containerized poplar stock for planting. The objective of this study is to investigate how different cutting quality and fertilizer treatments influence height, diameter, and root biomass growth and root-to-shoot ratio, all important variables for plant establishment. Our results show that fertilization increases plant growth and that single-bud and two-bud cuttings with cutting diameters of 5 to 10 mm can be used in the production of containerized plants. Root biomass was similar between these plant types but the number of roots per plant was higher if two-bud cuttings were used. In contrast to fertilized plants, only one cutting type (two-bud 10 mm) grew to a sufficient height and diameter for use in poplar plantation establishment. Interestingly, the root-to-shoot ratio for this cutting type was 0.16 while the ratio for the same cutting type is 0.11 if fertilized. Together, these results suggest that most types of poplar cuttings can be used to establish poplar plantations if fertilizer is used and that the largest cutting type (two-bud 10 mm) might be more suitable to establish poplar plantations at harsh sites, thus reducing the cost of poplar plant production.


Populus trichocarpa; cutting type; production of containerized plants; plant development; fertilization

Published in

2017, Volume: 8, number: 5, article number: 164
Publisher: MDPI AG