Pulp and Papermaking Properties of A Hybrid Poplar Clone Grown Under Four Management Strategies and Two Soil Sites


  • Steven K. Snook
  • Peter Labosky, Jr
  • Todd W. Bowersox
  • Paul R. Blankenhorn


Hybrid poplar, management strategies, pulp, papermaking, soil sites


A study was undertaken to evaluate the pulp and papermaking properties of short rotation intensive culture (SRIC), three-year-old, Populus hybrid grown under four management strategies (control, irrigation, fertilization, and fertilization/irrigation) on two sites with either favorable or unfavorable inherent conditions for high biomass yields. No large differences in total pulp yields were observed with management strategy, although the fertilization/irrigation growth strategy produced debarked chips that gave slightly higher total pulp yields with lower permanganate numbers than did debarked chips obtained from the other three growth strategies. In addition, no significant differences (P ≤ 0.05) in total kraft pulp yields were observed between sites. As expected, the wood/bark chip mixture for each management strategy and site produced significantly lower pulp yields with higher permanganate numbers compared to the debarked chips.

Handsheet strength evaluation studies were conducted using these pulps, and no statistical differences in handsheet breaking length, tear, burst, and M.I.T. fold were measured among management strategies or sites. However, longer fibers were measured from wood obtained from trees grown on the Basher (favorable) site. No statistical differences in handsheet properties were measured between debarked and total tree pulps. Results of this study indicated that neither the growth management strategy nor the soil site influenced handsheet strength properties for three-year-old Populus hybrid. These observations imply that the silviculturalist should grow SRIC Populus trees that produce the highest biomass yield at lowest possible cost.


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