Paulownia in China --- Cultivation and Utilization
This book describes the successful Chinese experience in the use of one tree, Paulownia , in social forestry programs. Already Paulownia has been planted and incorporated into the system on over one million hectares of farmland in China. This planting has helped alleviate the chromic shortage of timber, fuelwood, and animal fodder, and at the same time served to increase agricultural production, and improve soil conservation.

Paulownia has been known to the Chinese people for several centuries but identification and selection of particular species and varieties to grow on different soils, terrains and micro-climates have only recently been studied. Dedicated research by scientists, and efficient application of the results by administrators has brought many benefits to the rural masses of China. Since 1983, the International Development Research Centre of Canada has supported a programme of research by the Chinese Academy of. Forestry. This has resulted in many new developments in the breeding, propagation, cultivation and management of small plantations of the tree. Botanically, the genus offers a number of species, varieties and strains which are suited for cultivation under different soil, climatic, and cultural conditions. Researchers of the Chinese Academy of Forestry have taken advantage of the versatility of the genus to cultivate it extensively in a number of systems as an agricultural intercrop, in the rehabilitation of minedover areas, in village wood lots, in urban forestry, and for "four-sided" planting.

The successful development and use of Paulownia in China can be used to benefit many other countries which face similar problems of competing priorities between agricultural and wood production. This book documents the findings and experiences of the Chinese Academy of Forestry, and in doing so hopes to encourage the development of similar programmes in the other parts of the world. We believe that it will not only provide a guideline, but also the necessary impetus to those given the responsibility of implementing the forestry programmes of their respective countries. We also hope the dissemination of the knowledge will ultimately benefit the countless millions of rural people all over the developing world.

In editing the book those concerned have made a conscientious effort to retain the Chinese character of the text as much as possible. The subject matter is presented in a logical order to include both the scientific detail of the Paulownia species as well as their relative merits and uses.