Quaking Aspen 2012

Quaking Aspen Range

Quaking Aspen Bark 2011

Quaking Aspen Frozen Leaf 2012

The Populus Tremuloides is commonly known as Aspen, Quaking Aspen, as well as Trembling Aspen

A tall, fast growing tree, usually 20–25 m (66–82 ft) at maturity, with a trunk 20–80 cm (0.66–2.62 ft) in diameter; records are 36.5 m (120 ft) in height and 1.37 m (4.5 ft) in diameter.

The bark is relatively smooth, colored greenish-white to gray, and is marked by thick black horizontal scars and prominent black knots. Parallel vertical scars are tell-tale signs of elk, which strip off aspen bark with their front teeth.

The leaves on mature trees are nearly round, 4–8 centimeters (1.6–3.1 in) in diameter with small rounded teeth, and a 3–7 centimeters (1.2–2.8 in) long, flattened petiole. Young trees (including root sprouts) have much larger—10–20 centimeters (3.9–7.9 in) long—nearly triangular leaves.

The flowers are catkins 4–6 centimeters (1.6–2.4 in) long, produced in early spring before the leaves; it is dioecious, with male and female catkins on different trees. The fruit is a 10-centimeter-long (3.9 in) pendulous string of 6-millimeter (0.24 in) capsules, each capsule containing about ten minute seeds embedded in cottony fluff, which aids wind dispersal of the seeds when they are mature in early summer.

The quaking aspen is the State Tree of Utah.

The names refer to the leaves, which in the slightest breeze tremble on their flattened leafstalks. The soft smooth bark is sometimes marked by bear claws. A pioneer tree after fires and logging and on abandoned fields, it is short-lived and replaced by conifers. Sometimes planted as an ornamental. Principal uses of the wood include pulpwood, boxes, furniture parts, matches, excelsior, and particle-board. The twigs and foliage are browsed by deer, elk, and moose, also by sheep and goats. Beavers, rabbits, and other mammals eat the bark, foliage, and buds, and grouse and quail feed on the winter buds.


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