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The area of poplar and willows planted between 1992-1997 was 19 930 ha, of which:

Poplars: 13 791 ha

Willows: 6 139 ha

No inventory data of either poplar and willow stands has been published yet; the first national forest inventory has been made recently and the results will probably be available in September 2000.

Economic data

National forestry activity had a positive trend between 1992 and 1998. However, poplar and willow plantations were significantly lower than the most planted genera in the country (pines and eucalypts).

Poplar total production (roundwood): 1.89 million tonnes (1995-1998)

Willow total production (roundwood): 1.13 million tonnes (1995-1998)

Poplar roundwood consumption (1997): 426 280 tonnes (39% for sawtimber, 32% pulp/paper, 20% particle board).

Willow roundwood consumption (1997): 306 000 ton (57% for pulp/ paper, 34% fibreboard, 9% sawtimber).

Policies and legislation

In 1996 a project was begun to improve forest development, with financial support from the national government and international funds. In 1999 the new national law on forest investments and cultivated forests was adopted. It gives a legal basis, juridicial security and fiscal stability to promote new forest investment and to expand existing plantations, granting financial support for plantations and their management over the next 10 years. Recently, a new regulation on certification, production, comercialization and importation of forest seeds was promulgated.

Technical data

Poplar and willow research is carried out by government organizations, universities and private centres. Studies on protection, agroforestry and wood characteristics of new willow and poplar clones were made. Work on poplar and willow selection was reported. Recently, a willow breeding programme, which operated under private support and had obtained valuable results, was interrupted.

General information

The two most relevant activities of the National Poplar Commission in the report period were the management of technological studies of the wood of new poplar and willow clones, and the organization of the first technical meeting (1997) with the National Poplar Commission of Chile, which included a study tour. A large number of publications were prepared.

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