Farmer Guides

Why Plant Poplars and Willows

Hill Country Heroes

  • The Poplar and Willow Trust seeks to develop the most effective poplar and willow varieties to hold hill country soils in place and improve water quality
  • Details benefits
  • Quotes farmers who extol their use

NZ Poplar & Willow Research Trust:

Trees for the Farm – A Decision Support Tool for Farmers

  • Provides a guide to choice of variety, where to plant, how far apart to plant and how best to manage
  • Sets out economic and environmental reasons why trees on farms add value

NZ Poplar & Willow Research Trust:

Why Plant Poplars and Willows on Farms

  • The protection of water quality is a major environmental problem and non-point source agricultural pollution is an important contributor to decline in water quality in New Zealand rivers and streams. 
  • Soil erosion and farm runoff results in damage to farm infrastructure loss of productive soils, nutrient loss into waterways 
  • Planting of poplars and willows plays an important role in rectifying these issues

NZ Poplar & Willow Research Trust:

Benefits from using Poplars and Willows on NZ Dairy Farms

In the context of dairy farming poplar and willow plantings provide:

  •  stream stabilization
  •  riparian protection
  •  effluent management
  •  shelter, shade 
  •  fodder during droughts.

NZ Poplar & Willow Research Trust:

​ Poles – Why Plant Them

  • A pole is a young tree stem between one and three metres long, which roots and sprouts when planted in the ground; this gives it a ‘head start’, so it is less likely to be damaged by browsing animals. 
  • Afforestation with pines, or reversion to indigenous scrub, are not the only options for dealing with erosion prone land.  
  • Much erodible hill country can be stabilised and sustained as farmland by planting poles into pastoral areas. 

Taranaki Regional Council:

​Slips and Effects on Pasture Productivity

  • To get the best long term production from hill country, management systems are needed to reduce the risk of slips
  • Best achieve this by space planting poplars, willows or other deciduous hardwood trees on slopes steeper than 15 to 20 degrees, at a planting rate of 100 trees a hectare.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council: