To reduce the amount of water Missoula’s Wastewater Treatment Plant discharges into the Clark Fork River, the City of Missoula selected Hybrid Energy Group and Watershed Consulting to design, plant and maintain a hybrid poplar plantation. 

  • The 140-acre plantation was established in the spring of 2014 and is now growing with great vigor, adding about 8 feet in height per tree per year. 

  • The 85,000 trees take up water with slightly elevated nutrients through 100 miles of drip irrigation line. We use nearly one million gallons of water per day during the growing season. 

  • At age twelve, the trees should be large enough to harvest for saw logs. Our first crop of native willows should be available for harvest in the fall of 2017.

  • Watershed's role is to monitor & maintain the plantation to ensure the health and proper form of the trees. This includes yearly pruning, maintanence of the irrigation system, replanting damaged trees, weed control, fence maintanence, and any other miscalleneous upkeep. An important part of our work is developing a line of value-added wood products and propagation stock for other plantations and willows for riparian bank stabilization. 

  • Missoula's hybrid poplar plantation stands as a fine example for other municipalities interested in mitigating the influence of elevated nutrients in our rivers and streams.

Wastewater Treatment Hybrid Poplar Plantation