There are many beliefs about poplar and plantations that are simply not true, while many truths remain unknown. You will find some interesting and clarifying facts below, and if you want to know more, don’t hesitate to contact us! 


Poplar belongs to the willow family

True. Poplar indeed belongs to the willow family and shares a series of characteristics with them: both species prefer well-watered soils, they have a rapid growth cycle, they are ideal for harvesting and they both provide a white, light wood.

Poplar grows at the water's side

True. Poplars prefer well-watered soils and wild poplar, also known as black poplar, grows naturally along the riverbanks and streams. Growers, however, tend to plant poplars in plantations beyond the riverbanks in adjacent flatlands.

Poplar prefers swampy soils

False. Although poplars need water, they also require oxygen and stability. Only a few varieties tolerate very wet or marshy soils.

Poplar is agriculture

Both true and false. This statement is ambivalent since although Populiculture is a tree crop that requires careful monitoring, within the European Union there are different criteria regarding Populiculture: in some countries, such as Italy, it is considered as agriculture, and in others, like France, it is considered as forestry.

Poplar wood is used to make matches

True (but not only). There are many uses for poplar wood besides matches. Poplar based products are in market shelves in the form of light packaging like crates or cheese boxes and in our homes and daily lives, as plywood panels for construction, caravans or boats, as well as furniture, transport pallets, panelling, cladding, skimo sticks or paper.

The oldest living being is a poplar colony

True. Located in Utah (USA), it is a colony of 40,000 aspen (from the poplar family) made of suckers that stem from a single root system making it a single and unique organism that has been expanding and renewing itself for over 80,000 years. Its name is Pando and it weights around 6,000 tonnes!


A poplar plantation consumes a lot of water

False. A poplar plantation requires the same amount of water as a cornfield, a meadow or an oak forest of the same dimension.

Poplar cultivation requires little or no chemical treatment:

True. Most poplar plantations do not receive fertilizer or chemical weed killers; however, when a case arises small doses of the required chemicals are supplied once or twice in the life cycle of the tree.

Poplar pollen causes allergies

False. Poplar pollen allergenic power is classified as low to medium, less than that of birch, oak or grass. The cotton that some varieties of poplar produce during the spring are thought to be allergenic, but actually they are not. They are just showy.

Poplar purifies soils and groundwater

True. It can absorb significant percentages of the nitrates and phosphates that are present in the soil.

Poplar plantations are managed sustainably

True. Poplar plantations in Europe are sustainably managed. Many of them have the PEFC or FSC certification attesting the respect of good forestall practices, but not having the certificate does not imply unsustainable practices

GMO Populations (Genetically Modified Organisms) are grown in poplar plantations

False. There are no GMO poplar varieties planted in the European Union.

Poplar stores carbon

True. One cubic meter (m3) of wood corresponds approximately to the capture of one ton of CO2 (and to about 0.7 tons of oxygen returned). On average, in Europe, a poplar plantation annually captures 11 tonnes of CO2 per hectare.


Poplar grows fast

True. It is one of the fastest growing trees in the world. In Europe, one cubic meter of lumber can be produced, on average, in 15 years, whereas it takes more than 100 years for oak.

Poplar is a low value wood

False. Although poplar wood is increasingly valued in the market, only first choice poplar, (pruned and harvested correctly and at the right times and age), reaches top prices.

Poplar creates jobs

True. Poplar plantations guarantee the supply of locally produced wood, keeping resources in our rural areas, creating locally non-relocatable jobs and improving local economies.

Is one hectare equivalent to a football field?

True. One hectare corresponds to a square of 100m by 100m, that is to say 10,000 m2 (approximately 1.2 football fields).

Are 200 poplars the maximum you can plant in one hectare?

True. In one hectare you can fit a maximum of between 150 and 200 poplars, as they are planted every seven or eight meters


Poplar comes from an old word that means "a little folded"

False. Poplar comes from the Latin "Populus", that means people. Poplars were planted around the places where the Romans gathered. Populiculture is poplar cultivation.

Was Leonardo da Vinci related to poplar?

True. Like many other works by Italian painters of that period, "La Gioconda" was painted around 1505 on a panel of poplar wood.

Poplar inspires artists

True. Many great painters represented poplars like Claude Monet in his series of 23 paintings entitled Poplars. Also, Cézanne, Gauguin, Klimt, Pissarro or Van Gogh were inspired by poplars.