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U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA Forest Service Southern Regional Extension Forestry Southern Regional Extension Forestry

Leaf Chemical Composition of Twenty-one Populus Hybrid Clones Grown Under Intensive Culture

Leaf material from 21 nursery-grown Populus hybrid clones was analyzed for three nitrogen fractions (total N, soluble protein, and soluble amino acids) and three carbohydrate fractions (reducing sugars, total soluble sugars, and total nonstructural carbohydrates-TNC). In addition, nursery-grown green ash and silver maple, field-grown bigtooth and trembling aspen, and growth-room-reared eastern cottonwood were analyzed for comparison. The amounts of the various chemical fractions ranged widely among the Populus clones: total N from 2.14 to 3.86% dry weight, soluble protein 0.98to 5.89%, soluble AA .09 to .24%, reducing sugar 3.57 to 12.42%, total soluble sugar 9.61 to 21.43%, and TNC 16.02 to 26.49%. Percentage recoveries for the chemical fractions of comparison species fell within these ranges; the cottonwood leaf material, however, contained higher levels of total N and soluble AA than the other plant material. The high levels of N and carbohydrates in the leaf material indicate a potential for utilization as a high quality livestock feed supplement. Certain clones combined rapid growth rates with high N and carbohydrate levels in the leaves. If leaf utilization should become part of the total harvesting plan, these clones would make desirable selections for intensive culture plantations. Additional keywords : Leaf nitrogen, protein, soluble carbohydrates, total nonstructural carbohydrates, muka production

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Author(s): Richard E. Dickson, P. R. Larson

Publication: Tree Improvement and Genetics - Central States Forest Tree Improvement Conference - 1976