High densities of endophytic bacteria were found in plant material from poplar, larch and spruce that had been micropropagated for at least 5 years. The majority of these bacteria were assigned to the genus Paenibacillus based on the sequencing of the 16S rRNA genes. Other endophytic bacteria such as Methylobacterium, Stenotrophomonas or Bacillus could also be found but only in some tissue cultures. Certain species or strains of Paenibacillus, especially those with a close relationship to P. humicus, seemed to accumulate under in vitro conditions without visible negative influences on the plant's development. Poplar microcuttings inoculated with the endophytic Paenibacillus isolate 22 showed significantly more roots per cutting and higher root length in comparison to the control plants after 3 weeks.