Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Poplar Plantations in the Touraine Loire Valley

As you travel around the Loire Valley you will most probably notice a lot of poplar plantations -- regimented lines of trees on the low lying ground near the many rivers in the area. I've frequently been asked what these trees are used for. People often know that poplars were used for making matches, but who uses matches these days! The answer is much more interesting and unique to France.
 
Poplar plantation. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

The wood is used to make crates for taking fruit to market, and especially for making the little round boxes that cheese like camembert comes in. France is proud of its long tradition of making high quality artists paper, so a lot of poplar goes to that. The main part of the trunk might be used as lumber (my back door lintel is poplar) and the brash from the top of the trees munched up and turned into pellets for modern heating systems. Makers of high end furniture use it as a superior alternative to pine for the insides of drawers. 
 
Camembert box, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

Well managed plantations are a good way for landowners to make use of otherwise uncommercial land. In the old days the tradition was to plant poplars when your daughter was born and to harvest it when she got married. 
 
Vintage fruit boxes, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Vintage fruit boxes, lovingly preserved by our local organic orchard.



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For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.

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5 comments:

chm said...

I read somewhere that in the old days when a girl was born in a family, the father planted a number of peupliers that would be her dowry when she's ready to marry. That might have changed.

chm said...

Peuplier, also known as bois blanc, serves to build cheap pieces of furniture.

potty said...

I'd love to make a tour with you!

Colin and Elizabeth said...

CHM yes I have heard of that somewhere whilst in France.

Susan said...

Sorry everyone. I published the wrong version of the blog this morning. The Days on the Claise version is now up there.

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