NRRI’s popular Poplar InnovaTree is helping the environment
After 30 years, the NRRI unveiled the Innovatree in late July, and it’s become quite the popular Poplar tree. The Hauser’s Superior View Farm in Ashland said they were sold out of the NRRI’s popular Poplar InnovaTrees in just a few weeks.
Dane Hauser, the owner, said the NRRI’s popular Poplar InnovaTree helps businesses with soaking up groundwater contamination. “It’s a cross between a eastern cottonwood and a black poplar. This thing grows very fast and they’re saying 7 to 9 feet a year,” Hauser said.
Hauser also said that carpenters could also appreciate using the Innovatree, compared to how expensive pine trees can be. “In the past I’ve seen a lot of guys use poplar as trim because it’s actually pretty hard once it’s dry and there’s usually no knots in it. So you don’t have to treat anything,” Hauser said. “It’s relatively cheap compared to pine. So if these things grow that fast, I really can’t see why we can use them as a conventional lumber in the future.”
Jeff Jackson, an Extension Educator at the University of Minnesota Duluth, said that there have been over 1,600 different poplar trees created in the past 30 years. However, the InnovaTree is the shinning example. “These trees could be planted in large swaths of area we call those plantations of poplar variety,” Jackson said. “These large swath of plantings of poplar varieties then can be used for wood products, carbon sequestration. And we’ll take the pressure off of the natural forests.”
Jackson also said that the InnovaTree can capture CO2 four times as quickly as Red Pines, with only a quarter of the land use. “These types of poplar trees have been planted in the United States for over 75 years with no evidence of invasiveness. So if viewers are considering wondering is this become another buckthorn, the answer is no.”