Information on poplars and willows


Poplar plantations create jobs for women in
rural areas in Northern India.
Photo W. Kollert


A roadside market in Chile displaying household
items from basket willow.
Photo J. Svensson.

Poplars and willows account for more than 95 million ha of natural (82 million ha) and planted forests and agroforestry production systems (13 million ha) globally. They are among the fastest-growing trees on the planet in temperate regions and have become significant resources in agriculture and forestry, which are ideally suited for supporting rural livelihoods, enhancing food security, alleviating poverty and contributing to sustainable development. They provide raw material supplies for industrial processing (pulp, paper, engineered wood products, plywood, veneer and other boards, sawn timber, packing crates, pallets, furniture and increasingly bioenergy) and valuable non-wood products (e.g. livestock fodder, medicinal extracts, food products). Poplars and willows are highly valued for the provision of social and environmental services including shelter, shade and protection of soil, water, crops, livestock and dwellings. They are more and more used in phytoremediation of severely degraded sites, rehabilitation of fragile ecosystems, combating desertification and in forest landscape restoration. As fast growing species, they are effective at sequestering carbon and as carbon sinks, thus contributing to the adaptation to and mitigation of the effects of climate change.

For more information on poplars and willows please refer to the comprehensive IPC-report on the activities of the IPC member countries: ‘Synthesis of Country Progress Reports’ from October 2012  (

Native areas of Salicaceae in the world (Image: FAO)


last updated:  Monday, August 5, 2013