The Quaking Aspen grows in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well drained, clay soils.
The Quaking Aspen enjoys many claims to tree fame. Thanks to its tiny, fluffy seeds that are carried far and wide by the wind, and to its tolerance to many soil conditions, it is one of the first trees to spring up after forest fires. In Autumn, the stunning yellow foliage brightens the landscape and finds its way onto calendar pages and magazine covers.
This fast-growing tree is the most widely distributed tree of North America, ranging in its natural habitat from the northeast coastal states to Alaska and down the Rocky Mountains into central Mexico. Stunning fall leaf colors accent the smooth greenish white to cream-colored bark on a long and narrow trunk. Tolerant of many soils. Plant in full sun. Grows 40'-50' with 25' spread. (Zones 1 to 7)
The leaves of the Aspen are eaten by snowshoe hare, deer, and elk. Fallen leaves are avidly taken by deer in fall and early winter. It is an important food supply and building material for beaver. Grouse depend on the buds for winter food. Also a host to myriad birds and butterflies.
The slightest breeze will cause the leaves of this tree to tremble or "quake", thus the name. The Onondagas are said to have called quaking aspen "nut-kie-e," meaning "nosiy leaf." Unaided, this humble but sturdy little tree has restored many of the forests that man has destroyed, and when cultivated, has replenished many harvested forests within 50 years.
Aspen holds the title to the strange claim of being the largest living organism. The reason is that aspens grow in stands (called clones) and reproduce primarily by sending up sprouts from their roots. This means that virtually all the trees in a clone are connected. One clone in Utah was observed to have 47,000 stems. It's estimated that this interlinked organism weighs 6,000 tons. And how about age records? While individual aspen trees live a vigorous 100-150 years, a clone in Minnesota has been estimated to be 8,000 years old, making it one of the oldest living things on earth.
Grows best where moisture is abundant.
This tree's leaves are round and triangular, with small teeth on the margins and arranged alternately on the branches.
Silvery in color.