A look at Hybrid Poplars in Alberta - on Innovation Alberta!
Allan Robertson, Farm Poplar Coordinator, Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries
Tim Gylander, Tree Improvement Forester, Aspen Improvement Program Weyerhauser
Dan MacPherson, Forest Management Consultant, Alberta Treasury Branch and President, Woodlot Association of Alberta
AUDIO: Download Audio (mp3 format)
ITEM:1TITLE: Allan Robertson, Farm Poplar Coordinator, Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries
SUBJECT: #18 AlPac's Hybrid Poplar Program
SYNOPSIS: Alberta-Pacific sees the potential for farmers in northern Alberta to grow hybrid poplars to supply fibre to the pulp mill. This program would provide diversified income for farmers, reduce the pressure on natural forest, and extend greenspace. With overallocation and landbase deletions to other industrial users, poplar farms could become an important alternate source of fibre in the future. In 1993, Alberta-Pacific began its hybrid poplar trials by collecting poplar stock from around the world and planting these in a test plot adjacent to the mill. As Allan Robertson explains, the researchers are looking for survivability, density and quick growth in the trees. A successful hybrid would be ready for harvest in 20 or 25 years.
ITEM:2TITLE: Tim Gylander, Tree Improvement Forester, Aspen Improvement Program Weyerhauser
SUBJECT: #18 Weyerhauser's Aspen Program
SYNOPSIS: Weyerhauser along with a coalition of other Alberta aspen users is also interested in hybridizing aspen for quick growth that could be grown on farms as a crop. Tim Gylander offers a tour through Weyerhauser's facility near Drayton Valley. Aspens have been collected from around Alberta. In the greenhouse, the male trees are isolated in covered cages where pollen is collected and stored for cross-breeding
ITEM:3TITLE: Dan MacPherson, Forest Management Consultant, Alberta Treasury Branch and President, Woodlot Association of Alberta
SUBJECT: #18 Woodlot Association of Alberta
SYNOPSIS: The Woodlot Association of Alberta promotes management of natural woodlots as well as the farming of hybrid poplar plantations. WWA President Dan MacPherson see both economic and environmental benefits coming from cropping hybrid poplars. It diversifies farm income. By planting 20 hectare plots over a 15 to 20 year period, the plantation will produce retirement income for the farmer as the trees mature. And the hybrid poplar will rejuvenate tired farm soil. The first issue of the WWA's new magazine, WESTERN WOODLOT CONSERVATIONIST has a series of feature articles on hybrid poplar research (see website www.woodlot.org).