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Ž. Mayer, Ž. Hećimović: OBNOVA RITSKIH ŠUMA HRVATSKOG PODUNAVLJA ... Šumarski list br. 1–2, CXXXII (2008), 43-52
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SUMMARY: The paper explores the possibility of generative and vegetative natural
regeneration of Euro-American poplar cultures (Populus × canadensis Moench and P.
deltoides W. Bartram ex Marshall), either with seeds or from sprouts and stumps of
autochthonous black and white poplars (Populus nigra L. and P. alba L.) and white willow
(Salix alba L.), combined with planting narrow-leaved ash (Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl).
After the seventh year of plantation age and the applied tending and cleaning treatments
in the stand, the dominant layer features narrow-leaved ash (7.86 m), white poplar (8.66
m) and white willow (8.64 m), while the subordinate layer contains “American” ash
(Fraxinus americana L. and F. pennsylvanica Marshall), boxelder (Acer negundo L.),
spreading elm (Ulmus laevis Pall.), black and white mulberry (Morus nigra L. and M.
alba L.) and other species.
Following the final cut of “Euro-American” poplars (Populus × canadensis Moench.
and P. deltoides W. Bartram ex Marshall), it is possible to raise a natural stand of black
poplar (Populus nigra L.), white poplar (Populus alba L.) and white willow (Salix alba L.)
combined with narrow-leaved ash (Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl). The regeneration period
lasts somewhat longer, but the rotation will also be longer, because narrow-leaved ash
and autochthonous poplars and willow are longer-lived than the clones of Euro-
American poplars. This will make it possible to achieve natural succession of floodplain
forests, thus obtaining the paraclimatic community Fraxino-ulmetum laevis Slav. 52
Salicion (Soo) Oberd 53.
By complementing a natural forest with narrow-leaved ash (Fraxinus angustifolia
Vahl.) we have enriched the vegetation of floodplain forests and accelerated the process
which would occur anyway. It is also possible to plant pedunculate oak (Quercus robur
L.), but this requires more care and time, but also better and drier sites. Black poplar is
hard to raise naturally since this species is more demanding. It requires much more care
and well prepared soil for the seeds. This, however, should not cause concern as a black
poplar selection programme is currently under way (Osijek Forest Administration in
cooperation with the Faculty of Forestry in Zagreb, Department of Forest Genetics,
Dendrology and Botany), so that it will be possible to introduce it via planting material,
similar to narrow-leaved ash. We recommend that, after the final cut of the Euro-
American poplar, the site be prepared for natural regeneraton with autochthonous black
and white poplar and white willow. The introduction of good-quality two-year-old
seedlings of narrow-leaved ash (1,111 pcs/ha – planting distance 3 x 3 m), pedunculate
oak and black poplar (up to 100 pcs/ha – planting distance 10 x 10 m) will improve the
In the first, or possibly second year of plantation age, the young growth should be
tended by freeing the young trees from luscious vegetation and from dewberry (Rubus
caesius L.) in particular. In the fourth of the fifth year the saplings should be cleaned. In
the meantime climbers should be removed; common grape vine (Vitis vinifera L.) ss.
sylvestris /C.C. Gmel./ Berger), common hop (Humulus lupulus L.), clematis (Clematis
L.) and others. Tending with thinning follows depending on the developmental stage of
the stand until the final cut and resumed natural regeneration. Apart from the above mentioned
species in the dominant layer, “American” ash (Fraxinus americana L., F.
Pennsylvanica Marshall), boxelder (Acer negundo L.), spreading elm (Ulmus laevis
Pall.), white and black mulberry (Morus alba L. and M. nigra L.) should be left in the subordinate
layer, as well as other species that sporadically occur on river islands and in
Key words: Croatian Podunavlje region, floodplain forests, narrow-leaved ash