- Centro di Ricerca Foreste e Legno   
Strada per Frassineto 35 Casale Monferrato (AL)  
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The Unità di Ricerca per le Produzioni Legnose fuori Foresta (research unit for intensive wood production) originated from the Istituto di Sperimentazione per la Pioppicoltura (poplar research institute) built in Casale Monferrato on land owned by the Società Cartiere Burgo and officially inaugurated on October 1st 1939. In 1952, the Società Cartiere Burgo passed control of it over to the Ente Nazionale per la Cellulosa e per la Carta (ENCC), which, in 1979, entrusted its management to the Società Agricola e Forestale per le Piante da Cellulosa e da Carta (SAF), one of its affiliates. When ENCC and SAF were wound up, the ISP came under the Ministero per le Politiche Agricole e Forestali (ministry of agriculture and forestry) in 2001, under the reorganisation scheme for research institutes. Since 1st October 2004 it has formed part of the CRA - Consiglio per la Ricerca e la Sperimentazione in Agricoltura (council for agricultural research).

 At Casale Monferrato the PLF carries out research work on poplars and willows. Its experimental activity is chiefly aimed at developing new clones with particular qualities such as quick growth, disease resistance and production of high-quality wood, adaptable to varying soil environments.
Techniques of intensive cultivation are investigated, in traditional plantations for biomass, as well as extensive or semi-extensive forestry models which respond better to the requirements of ecologically sustainable arboriculture. Likewise, types of cultivation are studied which are best-suited to projects for the regeneration of waste land and restoration of natural river-bank environments.

Research work is carried out through projects which may involve collaboration with other Italian or international institutes. The PLF also undertakes experimentation, publication, consultancy and technical assistance for poplar growers, and training for both Italian and foreign technicians. 

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