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«Acta Silv. Lign. Hung., Vol. 8 (2012) 165–170 Target Diameter Models for Leuce Poplar Stands Growing on Sandy Soils Károly RÉDEI∗ – Zsolt ...»

Acta Silv. Lign. Hung., Vol. 8 (2012) 165–170

Target Diameter Models for Leuce Poplar Stands

Growing on Sandy Soils

Károly RÉDEI∗ – Zsolt KESER

Hungarian Forest Research Institute, Sárvár, Hungary


– The fact that certain ecological factors fundamentally influencing tree growth have

become unfavourable in Hungary in recent years, has led to the more extensive use of white poplar

(and its hybrids) in afforestation and forest regeneration. An intensive integrated research and development work has been carried out on the growth of Leuce poplars on sandy soils, including primarily the white poplar (Populus alba) and its natural hybrid the grey poplar (Populus x canescens).

The research revealed several factors influencing stand growth. The study presents a new, simplified tending operation model for Leuce poplar stands, as well as age, growing space and target diameter models suitable for qualitaty log production and for mass assortments. The simplicity of these practice-oriented models may foster the qualitative development of Leuce poplar management in Hungary.

Leuce poplars / tending operation models / growing space regulation Kivonat – Homoki Leuce-nyár állományok célátmér modelljei. A homoki Leuce-nyárakkal, dönt en a fehér nyárral (Populus alba) és természetes hibridjével, a szürke nyárral (Populus x canescens) kapcsolatos kutatómunka intenzívebbé tételét több tényez indokolja. A fatermesztést alapvet en befolyásoló ökológiai tényez k egy részének kedvez tlenebbé válása el térbe helyezte e fafaj (és hibridjeinek) egyre kiterjedtebb alkalmazását az erd telepítések, illetve erd felújítások során. A tanulmány a nemzetközi szakirodalomban is hézagpótlónak tekinthet módon közli a fehérnyárasok új, egyszer sített erd nevelési modelljét, illetve a min ségi rönktermesztésre, valamint a tömeg-választékok el állítására alkalmas fehérnyárasok kor-növ tér-célátmér modelljeit. A közölt gyakorlatorientált modellek egyszer ségüknél fogva nagyban segíthetik a Leuce- nyár termesztés min ségi fejlesztését Magyarországon.

Leuce-nyárak / erd nevelési modellek / növ tér szabályozás 1 INTRODUCTION Leuce poplars, primarily white poplar (Populus alba) and its most important natural hybrid the grey poplar (Populus x canescens), are tree species native to Hungary (Kopecky 1962, Szodfridt − Palotás 1973, Kopecky 1978, Rédei 1991). Due to their favourable silvicultural and growth characteristics, as well as the possibilities for the utilisation of their wood, the area they occupy is increasing continuously. The most important task facing Hungarian poplar ∗ Corresponding author: redei.karoly@t-online.hu, H-9600 SÁRVÁR, Várker

–  –  –

growers is improving the quality and increasing the quantity of poplar stands for wood production (Rédei 2000).

The area occupied by the two species in 2006 was 65 000 ha (3.2% of the total forest area), with a standing volume of 9.8 million m3 (163 m3 ha-1) (Führer et al. 2009). Their importance will continue to increase across the large areas of marginal land not suitable for the cultivation of hybrid poplars but able to accommodate these native species (Rédei 1991, 1994, 2000).

Other species that may be used for plantation forestry in addition to these poplar species are black locust, red oak and black walnut. Common walnut plantations may also play a role, but the silvicultural significance of this tree species is negligible.

From among the above listed tree species, the models for tending operations and the tables for age-growth space-target diameter models are suitable for production of large, quality wood material as well as mass assortments produced in white and grey poplar stands.


The models we developed are based on a yield table for white and grey poplars. It was constructed from data gathered from 50 permanent and 40 temporary forest inventory sample plots (500–1000 m2). The stands sampled were located in the vicinity of N 46o 31’ 10” and E 19o 26’ 46”. The age of the stands varied between 5 and 45 years.

During the stand surveys, the key stand characteristics were measured. Stem volume was

estimated using the following volume function (Sopp − Kolozs 2000):

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Leuce poplars are fast-growing species. Seedlings quickly emerge from competition with weeds. In-line and inter-row weeding is required in the first years after plantation establishment by means of seeding, as is the removal of failed plants. During tending operations, it is important to take into consideration the fact that plantations consist of trees of varied genetic make-up (genotype). In terms of the demand for light, it is worth remembering that Leuce poplar reacts extremely strongly to light availability. It also tolerates shade very well (Tóth 1996, Führer et al. 2009).

Table 1 contains a simplified tending operation model for Leuce poplar (white and grey poplar) stands. The table was compiled using data obtained from 70 long-term yield and experimental tending operation plots. The choice of the most suitable spacing depends on the quality of the planting material and the particular site conditions. In this table, all of the data are presented in six yield classes. The mean tree height is the most important model factor because it determines the timing of the particular tending operation. Thinnings (to expand the available growing space) must be carried out when the stocking density approaches the stem number quoted in the table.

In plantations planted at spacings of either 3 x 3 m or 3 x 2 m, there is no need for thinning, except where the sapling growth is unstable. With initial spacings narrower than 3 x 1 m or 2.5 x 1 m, one or two thinnings are recommended for plantations established with white poplar clones.

Table 1. Simplified tending operation model for Leuce poplars (white and grey popla) stands

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In plantation forestry, the timing of the expansion of the available growing space is significant for reaching the target assortments by maintaining the near optimal stocking density per hectare (growth space). The ecological factors of the site essentially define the target assortments; for example, whether the opportunity for the production of sizeable, quality wood material (panel log, saw-log) exists or merely thinner wood assortments (cutting, pallet and box basic material), pulp, fibre, chippings and basic wooden board materials.

The data in table 2 show that an opportunity for the production of quality, sizeable logs is possible in white and grey poplar stands classified yield class I-III. For white and grey poplar stands in yield class IV – assuming an average harvesting age of 30 years – a target diameter of 18 to 20 cm can be planned with great certainty. The sustainable stocking density per hectare depending on the yield class varies from 320 to 560 stems.

Table 3 shows that stands of yield classes IV and V are suitable for the production of mass assortments, and possibly even white and grey poplar stands of yield class VI with a target diameter of 10 to 12 cm. However, the management of stands characterised by these two lowest yield classes are usually loss producing and so are unsuitable for plantation forestry.

White and grey poplar stands growing under unfavourable ecological conditions also have an earlier harvesting age (generally between 25–30 years). The sustainable stocking density varies between 620–920 stems ha-1 depending on the yield class. In these stands, the reduction in stem number (thinning) carried out at age 15–17 does not lead to a significant increase in diameter growth.

Table 2. Age-target diameter model for Leuce poplars (white and grey poplar) stands targeted for quality log production

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5 CONCLUSIONS White and grey poplar plantation management for improved growth is becoming ever more significant in lowland forestry. This fact was taken into account in the conception of this study, and fed into the novel planning tools developed to help increase the value of the material produced in Leuce poplar stands. In recent decades, growth models based on stand level data have gradually been replaced by stand growth models predicated on stem number frequencies and individual tree growth models. Nevertheless, traditional tending operation models will remain very useful tools for forest management and forest inventory. The published

models can be widely used in Leuce poplar management and forest inventory, such as:

• harvest scheduling for Leuce poplar stands,

• volume estimations,

• further development of silvicultural (tending operation) models for Leuce poplar stands,

• development of guidelines for local policies promoting native species, and

• growth analysis of Leuce poplar stands.

Acknowledgements: Research on the improvement of Leuce poplar was supported in part by the Kiskunsági Forest and Wood Processing Company (KEFAG ZRt., Kecskemét).

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REFERENCES FÜHRER, E. – RÉDEI, K. – TÓTH, B. (2009): Ültetvényszer fatermesztés 1. [Plantation Forestry 1.] Agroinform kiadó, Bp. 108–125 (in Hungarian) KOPECKY, F. (1962:). A nyárak nemesítése. [Poplar breeding] In: Keresztesi B. (ed.) A magyar nyárfatermesztés. [Poplar growing in Hungary.] Mez gazdasági Kiadó, Budapest, 83–117. (in Hungarian) KOPECKY, F. (1978): Keresztezéses nemesítés. [Cross-breeding] In: Keresztesi B. (ed.): A nyárak és a füzek termesztése. [Poplar and willow growing.] Mez gazdasági Kiadó, Budapest, 47–65.

(in Hungarian) LAAR, A. – AKCA, A. (1997): Forest mensuration. Cuvillier Verlag, Göttingen.

RÉDEI, K. (1991): Entwicklungsperspektiven des Anbauses der Leuce-Pappeln in Ungarn. Erdészeti Kutatások 82–83/I: 304-312.

RÉDEI, K. (1991): A fehér (Populus alba) és a szürke nyár (Populus canescens) termesztésének fejlesztési lehet ségei Magyarországon. Erdészeti Kutatások 82–83/II: 345-352.

RÉDEI, K. (1994): Ígéretes fehér nyár (Populus alba L.) származások fatermése a Duna-Tisza közi homokháton. [Yield of promising Populus alba provenances on the Danube-Tisza region sands] Erdészeti Kutatások 84: 81–90. (in Hungarian) RÉDEI, K. (2000): Early performance of promising white poplar (Populus alba L.) clones in sandy ridges between the rivers Danube and Tisza in Hungary. Forestry, Vol. 73, No. 4: 407–413.

SOPP, L. – KOLOZS, L. (2000): Volume tables. ÁESZ, Budapest, 58–64.

SZODFRIDT, I. – PALOTÁS, F. (1973): Hazai nyárak. [Native poplars]. In: DANSZKY, I. (ed.): Erd m velés II. [Silviculture II]. Mez gazdasági Kiadó, Budapest. (in Hungarian) TÓTH, B. (1996): Poplar and willow growing in Hungary. Forest Research Institute, Budapest.

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