16 Quaking Aspen
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Basic Information about this tree
  • Scientific Name: Populus Tremuloides

  • Common Names:Quaking Aspen, American Aspen, Trembling Aspen

  • Native

  •  Deciduous

  •  GPS coordinates: N 45.0030  W 92.90341

  • Condition and age guess of the tree you are viewing2-3 years old, in good condition.

  • Branch Structure: small to medium-sized tree with an open and rounded crown. Twigs are reddish-brown and shiny. The terminal bud is slender, round, and sharply pointed with lateral buds that often have a tip that is curled into the branch.

  • Typical height and width at maturity: 40-80 ft tall by 10-30 ft wide

  • Typical longevity: 50-60 years

  • Soil, water, sunlight preferences:  prefers rich moist, well-drained soil or wet soil, it can tolerate wet sites. It can also tolerate some dry sites as well as clay and alkaline soils. Grows best in full sun but can tolerate some shading

  • Flowering Type: Aspens are dioecious, with separate male and female clones.
  • Growth habit of roots: It can spread aggressively via root suckers, eventually producing hundreds if not thousands of trees, covering acres of land, all stemming from a single tree.

Mature Tree in Winter/ Summer

16 Quaking Aspen mature summer

Leaves in Summer / Fall

16 Quaking Aspen leaves summer
16 Quaking Aspen leaves fall

Flowers - Female & Male -separate Trees

16 Quaking Aspen female catkin
16 Quaking Aspen male catkin

Seeds / Ripe

16 Quaking Aspen mature fruit

Bark of Mature Tree

16 Quaking Aspen mature bark

Uses in Traditional and Modern Eras

Value for wildlife: This tree will be used by songbirds, small mammals and for browse by game mammals. 

Utility for Humans: This tree can be used as a shade tree but is most often used as a screen or wind block. Aspens make poor fuel wood, as they dry slowly, rot quickly, and do not give off much heat. Aspen wood is used for pulp products such as books, newsprint, and fine printing paper. It is especially good for panel products such as oriented strand board and waferboard. It is light in weight and is used for furniture, boxes and crates, core stock in plywood, and wall panels

Traditional uses in Native American Tree Medicine (historical): Aspen bark contains a substance that was extracted by indigenous North Americans of the western U.S. as a quinine substitute

Links to related interesting information:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Populus_tremuloides

Homeowner’s Corner:

Numerous disease and pest problems if not sited correctly, Tree prefers cool summer climates. In the urban setting, these trees have proved to have many disease and insect problems. With hypoxylon canker being a major contributor to mortality rates in the Twin Cities. 

The huge stands across northern Minnesota are the result of clear-cutting our expansive pine forests a century ago. Quaking aspen is a pioneer species, that establish on a site once the old-growth forest species are removed or die.

Links & References

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