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Poplar and willow statistics

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The following statistical information has been extracted from the Canadian report to the 24th Session of the International Poplar Commission, held in Dehradun, India in 2012, with some more recent updates.  That report covers the period 2008 to 2011.  For more information and background material on the challenges associated with obtaining specific information on poplars and willows in Canada, readers are directed to the full report, which is available on this site: Poplar and Willow Cultivation and Utilization in Canada. 2008-2011 Canadian Country Progress Report.

Canada is a forest country.

Canada has 10 percent of the world’s forests that cover 397.3 million hectares (ha) of forest, other wooded land and other land with tree cover, which represents 53.8 percent of its total surface area. Canada’s forest, other wooded land and other land with tree cover are made up of 347.7 million ha (87.5 percent) of forest, 41.8 million ha (10.5 percent) of other wooded land and 7.8 million ha (2 percent) of other land with tree cover. The predominant tree species on forest land are spruce (53.2 percent), poplar (11.6 percent) and pine (9.3 percent). The vast majority of the Populus inventory in Canada consists of natural stands.

Areas of natural poplar and willow

Areas (in hectares) of natural poplars and willows by species and ecozone based on the 2006 National Forest Inventory.  Inventory area estimates are derived from forest stands with dominant species either poplars or willows.  P = Populus (poplar); S = Salix (willow). (Source: Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service.)

Ecozone P. tremuloides P. grandidentata P. deltoides P. balsamifera P. trichocarpa P. species S. species Total
Atlantic Maritime 1,119,999 8,570 14,393 73,402 1,216,364
Boreal Cordillera 1,576,646 135,772 1,712,418
Boreal Plains 15,331,674 745,052 32,097 756 16,109,580
Boreal Shield 3,916,926 96,836 67,411 12,160,840 8,912 16,250,926
Hudson Plains 7,629 95,145 102,774
Mixedwood Plains 61,412 8,378 291 11,109 61,412 9,966 367,903
Montane Cordillera 1,228,438 128,719 7,298 1,499 1,365,954
Pacific Maritime 85,424 57.670 15,004 158.098
Prairies 1,774,591 699,638 2,474,229
Taiga Cordillera 10,292 10,292
Taiga Plains 4,031,030 102,511 4,133,540
Taiga Shield 1,152,018 28,118 1.180,136
TOTAL 30,296,079 113,784 291 1,990,392 22,302 12,639,730 19,634 45,082,213


Reported areas of hybrid poplar in short rotation intensive culture

Area of hybrid poplar short-rotation-intensive-culture (SRIC) crops in Canada that are reported to PWCC by Operator.

Operator Planted 2004-7 Total crops to 2007 Planted 2008-11 Reported total for 2011
hectares hectares hectares hectares
Kruger Products Ltd., BC 70 1,070 123 3,411
Catalyst Paper Corp., BC 0 200 0 Unknown
Alberta-Pacific Forest Ind., AB 4,940 5,640 4,000 9,000
Ainsworth Engineered, AB 215 215 390 605
Agriculture & AgriFood Canada, SK Unknown 9,030* 1,470* 10,500*
Domtar Inc., QC 0 2,500 suspended 4,000
Agro Energie Inc., QC 43
MRNF, QC 200 350 0 Unknown
TOTAL 5,425 19,005 5,983 27,559

 *Areas reported by Agriculture & AgriFood Canada are for all hybrid poplar plantations, not just SRIC.

Hybrid poplar in Quebec

In the province of Québec, approximately 12,000 ha of fast-growing poplar plantations are industrially managed, while small private landowners have planted only 1000 ha. Most of these poplar plantations are established on clearcut forest sites (approx. 11,000 ha). […] Yields as high as 39.6 m3 ha-1 year-1 were observed after 6 years in a riparian agroforestry system (2222 stems ha-1) along a stream alongside a fertilised pasture in southern Québec. Very high yields were also observed in the St. Lawrence Valley, on abandoned farmlands (22.4 m3 ha-1 year-1 after 8 years, Montérégie region; 16.6 m3 ha-1 year-1 after 6 years, Lanaudière region) at intermediate stem density (833 stems ha-1). Available data from four clearcut site hybrid poplar plantations show yields varying from 0.5 to 1.4 m3 ha-1 year-1. These yields are lower than the mean yield of natural trembling aspen regeneration (3.4 m3 ha-1 year-1).  See also Fortier, J. et al. 2012. Hybrid poplar yields in Quebec: Implications for a sustainable forest zoning management system. The Forestry Chronicle 88(4):391-407.