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Hybrid aspen

Hybrid aspen is a cross between the European (Populus tremula) and American aspen (Populus tremuloides). The first crossbreeding in Sweden was done in 1939, and it soon became clear that the hybrid often had a superior growth rate compared to the common aspen. Thus, a breeding and selection programme began on the hybrid, which has continued until today. Initially, the interest in the hybrid was focused on raw material for the match industry. Later the interest was directed to afforestation of agricultural land. Nowadays hybrid aspen is grown for a combined production of sawn timber (match wood), pulpwood and raw material for energy purposes. The latter has become an important assortment.

Currently there is a tested and recommended hybrid aspen material for commercial cultivation which consists of a clone mixture of 15 different clones. There are also plant materials from Finland and the Baltic States which could probably be used, but these materials have not been tested to the same extent as the Swedish clone mixture and should therefore be a second choice in the current situation.

hybrid aspen

A 24-year-old planted stand of hybrid aspen. Photo: F. Nilsson