How the white poplar is grown

How the white poplar is grown

The white poplar (Populus alba L., 1753) is a deciduous tree of the Salicaceae family, native to Europe, North Africa and western Asia. This tree, in Italy, is easily encountered along the banks of waterways and lakes.
It is a dioecious plant with male flowers in cylindrical catkins, female flowers in catkins; the fruits are hairless capsules in catkins hanging from the branches which in spring release feathery seeds carried by the wind.

Cultivation –
The white poplar is a plant that prefers alluvial soils with a propagation occurs mostly by vegetative way, through cuttings taken from the 1-2 years little branched suckers. Propagation by seed is not practiced since as in the case of willows, the seeds of the white poplar also have a rather short life.
The plant can be planted with 1-2 year old specimens, in winter, but away from frost. The plants must be kept in water for 4-5 days before planting them and the soil must be worked in depth for at least 80 cm, preferably 100 if possible.
Populus alba can be cultivated for different purposes, from the intensive one, as a fast-growing plant for industrial production, as an ornamental plant or for road trees.

For intensive, fast-growing crops, fertilization, irrigation, pesticide treatments must be provided. This type of cultivation takes 15-25 year shifts. A marketable plant will then have reached 25-35 cm in diameter of the stem which will be free from defects for at least 5 m in height. Furthermore, to obtain plants with columnar stems, it is necessary to proceed with cutting the branches and high scaffolding of the plant.
It should also be remembered that poplars are essential in the consolidation action of river banks, also in relation to the wide extension of the root system that branches off from the mother plant for over twenty meters. It is often artificially planted in rows for the use of timber, drastically changing the landscape.

Uses –
The white poplar has a whitish colored wood and a soft consistency; it has mediocre quality and is used to make packing boxes and especially in the paper industry.
However, it is widely used as an ornamental plant and in road trees due to its beautiful silver-white crown.

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