Highlights: Clonal differences were found in stump sprout survival; Clonal differences occurred in sprout straightness; It is uncertain if the ability to produce a high number of stump sprouts is beneficial.
The interest in poplars (Populus spp.) has increased globally as a result of the current incentive to expand the use of biomass for energy. So far, knowledge about poplar stump sprouting is generally poor. The objective of this study was to investigate poplar stump sprouting as regeneration method in harvested plantations. A 19-year-old poplar clonal test, including 23 different clones, on former arable land was harvested in the winter. After one year, stumps were assessed for sprout survival, sprout straightness, number of sprouts, sprout height and basal diameter. Differences between clones were found for survival and sprout straightness. Clonal differences were also found in mean size of sprouts (basal diameter and height). However, no differences were found between clones when comparing size of the tallest sprout or number of sprouts produced on stumps. This study indicates that stump sprouts from various poplar clones differ in survival, sprout straightness and mean growth, which should be taken into account when planning for the next tree generation. The study needs to be complemented with other studies to better assess sprouting characteristics for different clones.