Potential Role of Exotic Poplar in Increasing Tree Cover as an Alternative for Forest Restoration in India
Potential Role of Exotic Poplar in Increasing Tree Cover as an Alternative for Forest Restoration in Indiawca2014-1582 Kulvir S. Bangarwa 1,* 1Forestry, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, India
Forest-based industries in India show significant deficits between wood requirements and supply. Therefore, plantation forestry and imported wood would be the means to fill the gap. Poplar (Populus deltoides), a native tree of USA introduced in India around 1950, is widely grown on a rotation of 6-8 years in all over northern India as an agroforestry tree because of its desirable characters and multiple uses. Commercial scale plantations of poplar have been expanding since the introduction of buy back guarantee scheme since 1984. Maximum production potential of poplar plantation is upto 65 m3/ha/year and average potential is 35-40 m3/ha/year. Deciduous nature of poplar allows agricultural crops to grow under poplar without much adversely affecting crop production. Poplar-based agroforestry has been very profitable since beginning. Poplar wood prices were reduced drastically during 2000-2004. Farmers were compelled to cut their young poplar trees because of market insecurity. The poplar plantations are again rising with the increase in price of poplar wood from 2005. Poplar based agroforestry plantations are increasing at a very fast rate with an average density of 400-500 trees per ha. Presently, six to eight years old poplar trees, with girth measuring 1 m at breast height (1.37 m), fetches about Rs 4000 per tree and net income from poplar plantations can be expected to be Rs 200000 per hectare. In this way poplar plantation is the economically excellent alternative in increasing tree cover. Production potential, market trend and economic return of exotic poplar in India have been reviewed.