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April : Alternatives to Eucalyptus for Pole Production

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30 April, 2012

Alternatives to Eucalyptus for Pole Production

A typical stand of GxU

There has been much speculation about Eucalyptus grandis being the best specie for pole production.  In recent years there have been Eucalyptus crosses made that would appear to be better for poles than the straight E. grandis, but pole treatment plants have been reluctant to take them.

There is now conclusive proof that the E. grandis x E. urophylla (GXU) and E. grandis x E. nitens (GXN) are suitable for pole production and in some cases even better.

Tests done by SAUPA have indicated that the CSIR (NCT) clones GxU 111 and GxU 082 have a better retention than E. grandis.  The GXU clones can be planted on any E. grandis site and have the added advantages in that they are tolerant to the Gall Wasp, disease, canopy quickly, coppice very well and will give you up to 30% better volume. 

For the colder areas there is the option of GxN clones, in particular GxN 018b, AND GxN010.  These clones have acceptable retention levels but are denser than E.grandis.  The GxN 010 and GXN 018b both have moderate snow tolerance.  GxN 010 has tolerant to the Gall Wasp.

We would recommend that all farmers begin planting alternatives to E. grandis. The GXU and GXN clones are available in commercial quantities from various nurseries.  Sunshine Seedlings has recently completed a rooting tunnel increasing its capacity to 1.2 million placed cuttings per month. We are confident that any clonal orders can be met by the commercial nurseries provided that orders are placed 4 months in advance.

Results of the retention test carried out by the SABS for pole production 

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