Contributed by the Conseil National du Peuplier
In recent years, there has been renewed interest in France in poplar wood and, more generally, in poplar plantations. In France, poplar wood represents a local, sustainable, and renewable material resource that helps to combat climate change: qualities that are in demand when it comes to limiting the use of fossil-based materials, which have a detrimental effect on carbon neutrality targets.
To fuel this virtuous circle, we need to have enough wood, but also the wood of the best quality to optimise its use.
French poplar plantations have suffered from the changes in consumer habits brought about by the all-oil, all-plastic era. Today, the “wood” capital in French poplar groves is showing signs of weakness, particularly in terms of wood quality. The available volume of veneer-quality wood needed to produce plywood, for example, is not sufficient in the long term to keep up with the current growth in demand for wood products.
Over the past 10 years, the industry has undertaken several initiatives to relaunch and redeploy poplar cultivation in France, such as the Merci Le Peuplier charter, which has helped to plant more than 5,400 hectares of poplar groves in 10 years.
Reliable planting is key to producing quality wood
Poplar growing requires a high level of technical expertise and sustained attention, particularly in the first few years. Planting failures and difficulties in replanting are regularly observed, with a clear impact on the production of poplar wood. Faulty pruning and pruning, for example, will jeopardise the quality of the wood as well as the environmental, social, and economic balance of the plot, and by extension of this resurgent industry.
It has therefore become imperative to pass on to the community of owners and growers a review of good practice and the best techniques available, which are essential for successful planting and the production of top-quality wood.
To meet this need, the Conseil National du Peuplier has produced a series of video tutorials: for each key stage, a “tutorial” lasting just a few minutes presents the essential information you need to know.
The Peuplier tutorials: a powerful medium for quickly grasping the essentials
We chose the video format, which is undoubtedly the most dynamic medium, using images to convey messages and technical gestures in a very condensed way.
The aim is to cover the essentials of each subject in as little time as possible, drawing on the skills of owners and professionals who are experts in the field to convey the most relevant information clearly and accurately.
A variety of technical topics addressed with finesse
In France, poplar plantations are not considered as an agricultural activity but as a forestry activity. As such, poplar plantations must be managed in a way that respects the environment. Technical interventions must therefore be finely balanced to ensure good quality wood production while minimising the impact on the environment, for an improved overall economic balance.
The tutorials also cover all the technical themes (harvesting and sale of wood, planting, pruning and thinning, and management of competing vegetation), offering decision keys for optimising operations.
The 20 video tutorials explain to the various players in the poplar-growing chain the correct steps to take and the timetables to observe to optimise the quality of the wood produced. But these tutorials are also designed to raise awareness among all those involved of the environmental, social and economic impacts of sloppy production management on the entire poplar-growing sector.
They are aimed at poplar grove owners, forestry contractors and professionals who want to improve their poplar skills.
By doing the right things at the right time, you can optimise your investment and produce quality wood that can be sold under the best and safest conditions to wood-processing companies.
Intended primarily for the French public, the tutorials are currently only available in French.
Direct access to tutorials: https://www.peupliersdefrance.org/page/80-les-tutos-peuplier
For any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
The realisation of the tutorials has been made possible thanks to the financial support of CODIFAB and France Bois Forêt.