We are developing new Populus clones for the DOE Biofuels Program in the North Central Region of the United States. Emphasis is being placed on selection and breeding for pest resistance, dry weight yield potential, and ease of propagation. New germplasm is being developed for the region based on: 1. Evaluation of over 500 existing clones from other programs; 2. Developing a base P. deltoides breeding program using the best parents available; and 3. Assembling the most promising new material available from programs in other regions and countries. Primary emphasis is being placed on the use of new P. deltoides selections hybridized intraspecifically. Secondary emphasis is placed on hybrids within the Leuce section that may be particularly useful on dry sites. Candidate clones are screened first in nursery beds and then in short-term field tests. Clones that pass both levels of screening are increased and distributed within the region for field testing under local environmental and cultural conditions. Our goal is to put 100 new, improved clones into use in the region and provide the foundation for even more improvement in the future.