Hub Site Update – AFBI Hillsborough – October 2023

10 November 2023

September 2023 – Hub Site Updates

Plot Observations


  • All SRF Alder plants have begun the senescence process and are losing leaves.

Black Locust

  • The SRF Black Locust ‘Turbo’ are windswept with some stems falling over. The leaves are yellowing on some plants, some are still green and some plants are starting to lose leaves.
  • The SRF Black Locust ‘Turbo Obelisk’ plants are small in comparison to ‘Turbo’. The leaves are starting to yellow and senesce.


  • Some E. dalrympleana and E. nitens are starting to poke their shoots out above the tree guards. The tree guards on those plants have been bent over.


  • There is less senescence in the SRF Poplar plots than in SRC Poplar plots.
  • Mild bits of rust are still observed on both the SRC and SRF Poplar.
  • Most of the SRF Poplar trees are doing well but a couple appear to have lost their main stems in the storms.
  • The leaves are blackening on a lot of the SRC Poplar varieties now.
  • One of the SRC Poplar varieties appears to be branching.
  • The plots have been mown in rows.
  • There are no weeds but grass is growing.


  • Most of the 0.5 ha Miscanthus Giganteus plants are now shoulder height. There are very few gaps. Weeds  (docks, nettles and red shank) are present.
  • Some of the 0.5 ha Miscanthus Athena plants are now head height and growing in large dense stands. They are sparser than Miscanthus Giganteus with quite a few car size gaps once inside the plot. Weeds (thistles, docks and nettles) are present
  • The 2023 Miscanthus Variety Trial is looking good. An establishment assessment has been carried out. The establishment in plots with plugs and mulch is much greater. The team have mown in between the plots. Canopy closure has already occurred for some varieties. Weeds in the plots include thistles, nettles, and docks.
  • The 2024 Miscanthus Variety Trial area has been sprayed and cultivated but we are still waiting for good weather to plant the mustard cover crop. We will likely have to go out and spread with the quad and a grass seed or fertiliser spinner.


  • The majority of the SRC Willow plants are over 3m tall now, some plants are above 4m. Weeds other than grass are minimal, just a couple of docks and some nettles. Rust has been observed on quite a few of the lower leaves. The plants are starting to senesce, leaves are browning and some lower leaves are dropping.
  • The SRC Willow Variety Trial is looking good. Most of the harvested stands are doing well. It is still a bit gappy over the trial. A very few varieties haven’t taken. Inger, where used to gap up under-supplied varieties, is still very small. We have mown in between the rows. The primary weed is grass.


  • There is very minimal establishment of the Sida and weed pressure is high.

Reed Canary Grass

  • The land has been cultivated ready for the Reed Canary Grass. We are waiting for a dry period to plant.

Switch Grass

  • No Switch Grass seed has been received yet but we are aiming for a Spring 2024 sowing.


  • The Hemp harvests are in and are awaiting data input and analysis.

AFBI Hub Site October 2023 Photo Gallery

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