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Willow & Poplar Poles

We aim to provide a reliable source of high quality poles for soil conservation purposes within the Hawke’s Bay Region.

2024 nursery update

Our willow and poplar nursery at Pakowhai sustained flood damage. Currently, the clean-up is underway and a stocktake will be carried out in late March.

There will be limited poles available this winter. If you have an Erosion Control Plan with council, contact your Catchment Advisor to discuss requirements. 

If you require poles and don’t have an Erosion Control Plan, please contact Paula Richardson

The Regional Council has a selection of poplar and willow poles for sale each year. These poles have been bred especially for farm planting and their uses include:

  • erosion control
  • shelter belts
  • livestock shade
  • drought fodder
  • timber (poplars).

Please contact your catchment advisor for further information about ordering your poles.

Willow and Poplar varieties

Alice Anderson, Catchment Management Lead for Central Hawke's Bay takes us through a range of poplar and willow varieties in our video.


Willows need moist soil conditions through summer to grow well. In the drier parts of Hawke’s Bay they should be planted in the dampest sites, but in wetter districts they are highly versatile.

Matsudana Salix matsuana

Tolerates drier soils than most other willows, develops early rough bark (stock and goat resistance). Limited root system and develops moderately spreading crown that can be  prone to wind damage with age. Suitable for erosion control and shelterbelts (requires side trimming). Female clone, not recommended for planting along permanent waterways.

Moutere (Salix matsudana x alba)

Fast growing, multileader but relatively narrow crown.  Requires summer moist sites and suitable for erosion control on streambanks, in gullies and on lower slopes; can also be used for shelter belts or river control works. Male clone, suitable for planting along permanent waterways.

Tangoio (Salix matsudana X alba)

More drought tolerant than Moutere and more wind resistant than Matsudana.  Suitable for erosion control planting on mid-to-upper slopes or for shelter belts; has high leaf protein and best willow for coppice stock fodder. Female clone, not recommended for planting along permanent waterways.


These have similar siting requirements to willows. Poplars normally have a single straight leader and only start to spread at maturity.

Crows Nest (Poplus x euramericana)

Moderately fast growth with light branching and narrow crown, good tolerance for drier sites and wind exposure on mid-to-upper slopes.  Suitable for erosion control and recommended variety for shelter belts

Fraser (Poplus x euramericana)

Moderate growth rate and open, narrow crown.  Similar tolerance for drier sites and wind exposure on mid-to-upper slopes as Crowsnest.  Mainly suitable for erosion control.  New variety, limited availability.


Kawa (Poplus deltoides x yunnanensis)  

Fast growth rate, semi-rough bark and moderate crown with strongly central leader.  Prefers summer moist sites with limited exposure.  Suitable for erosion control and recommended variety for poplar timber (good stem form and relatively high basic wood density). Late bud break and leaf fall compared with other poplars.

Veronese (Poplus x euramericana)  

Fast growth rate and moderately narrow crown, suitable for a range of sites and some tolerance for drier sites, mature trees can be susceptible to a degree of wind damage on exposed sites.   Suitable for erosion control, shelterbelts, agroforesty and amenity planting.

For further help with ordering, please contact your local HBRC office:

Northern Office - Wairoa
46 Freyberg Street,
Wairoa 4108
+64 6 838 8527

Central Office – Napier
159 Dalton Street
Napier 4110
+64 6 835 9200

Southern Office – Waipawa
26 Ruataniwha Street
Waipawa 4210
+64 6 857 8219


Useful Documents

Pole Protectors

For best results in cattle grazed areas, plant only 3 metre poles and remove cattle for 1-2 years. Protectors guard against browse damage only. Available from the nursery are:

• Netting Sleeves - Plastic UV resistant netting guards available in 1.1m (sheep size) and 1.7m (cattle size). Must be stapled at top and bottom ends.
• Dynex ‘Pole Protector’ - Plastic UV stabilised guard with a 3-4 year life which gives increased protection from sheep, cattle and goat browsing. A complete tube with built-in air holes and tear line. No need to staple to poles. Available in 1.7m lengths.

Quality Commitment

Nursery management take care to ensure that plant material is of the highest quality and is correctly identified. However, this is not a guarantee of the strike rate or growth rate of the material supplied.

​​​​​​Pole Storage & Planting Guide

Poles should be soaked for up to two weeks before planting. Stand 3m poles with the butt end in 20-40cm of fresh water.

We have various information sheets about siting, planting and management of poles.


​Before Planting, check regulations controlling the distance of trees from community drains (Regional Council) and power wires (Electricity Authority). District Council plans regulate how close trees may be planted to property boundaries.



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