Family: Salicaceae

Scientific Name: Populus tremuloides

Common Name: Quaking Aspen


quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) a fast growing short lived native tree. Important as a source of lumber and food for wild life. Not a lot of ornamental value.

Plant TypeTrees Deciduous, Site author's observations
Hardiness Zone3-8
Soil & SiteVery adaptable. One of the first trees in the northlands to colonize and stabilize a burned area
Flowersdioecious (male and female trees), form catkins
Leavesalternate, green, nearly circular, finely toothed leaves with a long flattened petiole and blazing yellow fall foliage
StemsBark smooth and gray green when young older trunks are gray and furrowed. A white powder rubs off of younger bark
Dimensions30-40' high
PropagationQuickly spreads by seeds and resprouts after being cut. I have walked through areas that have been logged a year or two earlier and the resprouting is so thick it is almost impassable.
Misc FactsThe lumber is used for carving and other wood crafts. The tree is very important source of paper pulp. Many animals eat the bark and buds of this tree. Not a good landscape plant for the urban yard, unless you have room and want the plants to spread. AKA: trembling aspen, American aspen, Quakies, mountain or golden aspen, trembling poplar, white poplar, popple
Author's NotesI grew up listening to the rustling sound created by the leaves of this tree. The petiole is longer than the blade and flattened, so any light breeze will cause the leaves to create a trembling, rustling sound. You could hear the winds coming through the forest as the rustling became louder. Young Popple trees are very pliable. We would climb up the trees, swaying them back and forth, moving from tree to tree like Tarzan. This was called "tree-to-tree combat". Occasionally one would break sending the occupant crashing to the ground, to the laughter of the other players. Luckily no bones were ever broken. We chased many rabbist out of logger’s piles of Popple branches
Notes & Reference#01-Manual of Woody Landscape Plants (Michael Dirr) , #39-The Natural History of Trees (Donald Cultrose Pattie) , #66-Trees of Eastern and North central USA and Canada (Harlow)
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