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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

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Forest species

POPLAR (Populus nigra, Populus deltoides, P. trichocarpa et their hybrids)

Peuplier noir reduit

Poplar is a fast-growing species (maturity 15-20 years), which compensates for the small area it represents (1.2% of French forest) and allows it to occupy second place for annual hardwood lumber production, behind oaks.

Poplars are not only present in plantations since the black poplar species (Populus nigra, the only one of the three species studied by INRAE that is indigenous to Europe) also forms natural stands, particularly along the (rare) watercourses that are still relatively wild, such as the Loire. (

The poplar can be considered as the flagship species of UMR BioForA since it is the subject of genetic and physiological work and since this work has applications in terms of general understanding of how trees function in their environment, varietal selection and conservation.


SCOTS PINE (Pinus sylvestris)

Pin sylvestre

In France, Scots pine is found in its natural state in Alsace, the Vosges, the Massif Central, the Pyrenees and the Alps. Because of its hardiness and tolerance to a very wide range of climates and soil conditions, Scots pine has often been used in reforestation on plains where regeneration and growth of other forest species was very difficult. It represents about 143 million m3 of standing wood and is the main species on 914,000 hectares of forest (IGN inventory 2009-2013).


DOUGLAS (Pseudotsuga menziesii)

Douglas_fleurs males & femelles

Imported from the west of the North American continent in the middle of the 19th century, Douglas (Pseudotsuga menziesii) currently covers about 40,000 ha in France, representing a stock of standing timber of 112 million m3 which is increasing by 6 million m3 per year.  Between 7000 and 10000 ha of Douglas are planted each year in France..


LARCH (Larix decidua, L. kaempferi et their hybrids)


The European larch (Larix decidua) is native to France, but only in the Alps. Its natural area and productivity are restricted there. The numerous advantages of the species (growth, architecture, hardiness, wood) have encouraged foresters to use it outside its natural area, but with other origins, species and/or hybrids that are better adapted. Although it is the 4th largest species of softwood reforestation in France, its place is still modest. It is a species of the future.  


COMMON ASH (Fraxinus excelsior)

Frêne reduit

There are 48 species in the genus Fraxinus, 3 of which are indigenous to France: the common ash (Fraxinus excelsior), the oxyphyl ash (F. angustifolia) and the flowering ash (F. ornus). Ash in the broad sense contributes to 4% of the standing volume of wood in French forests, making it the fifth most important hardwood species for this criterion.

The common ash tree (Fraxinus excelsior) is the only one of significant silvicultural interest and the arrival of ash chalarosis in France in 2008 (a disease caused by a parasitic fungus originating from Asia) has relaunched research work on this species.


WILD CHERRY (Prunus avium)

abeille sur cerisier reduit

Cherry is a precious, fast-growing hardwood, whose wood can be sold in cabinetry quality when the silvicultural care has been correct.