Quaking Aspen

Genus Populus
Willow Family (Salicaceae)

Quaking Aspen trees (June 2003)

Quaking Aspen
(Populus tremuloides)

This is one of the most widely distributed trees in North America. In our area they grow in high mountain valleys and on hillsides where sufficient moisture is available.

Aspens are slender white-barked trees which tend to grow in thick stands. They reproduce most commonly by sprouting from the roots of an established tree, rather than from seeds. All of the trees in a grove have probably sprouted from the roots of a single parent tree, and are therefore clones of the original tree.

Aspen leaves (June 2003)
    -- bright green leaves, about 2 inches in diameter

The leaves are nearly round in shape, and are about 2 inches in diameter. They are attached to the twigs by long slender leaf stalks, which are slightly flattened in cross section. This causes the leaves to flutter and tremble in the slightest breeze.

Aspen leaves (September 2004)

In the fall they turn a bright golden yellow. (In some groves, because of a genetic factor, the leaves on all of the trees turn orange.)