Populus tremuloides – Quaking Aspen

Botanical Name: Populus tremuloides

Alternate Name: Quaking Aspen Clump

The Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) is extremely hardy and fast growing. It is a beautiful and graceful deciduous tree, prized for its rustling foliage, attractive smooth, silver bark, and bright golden fall foliage.

In the wild, the Quaking Aspen is found growing in clumps, where each trunk is a clone growing from the same network of roots. It grows to a height of 20-50 feet with a spread of 10-30 feet.

This tree is found growing in the mountains at high elevations in rocky soil, as well as at lower elevations thriving in clay or sandy conditions. It has a large geographical distribution in North America. It is found growing in Alaska, Canada, New England, the Great Lakes area, south of the Rockies, the Pacific Northwest, Arizona, and New Mexico.

The flowers of the Quaking Aspen are catkins. The male and female flowers are produced on separate clone trees in spring. The flowers are inconspicuous and droop down from the branches. Small fruit follow the flowers, hanging in clusters.

The leaves are a glossy dark green and a rounded, triangular-shape, growing up to 3 inches in length. The margins are finely serrated. The characteristic Quaking Aspen sound comes from the flutter of flattened leaf petioles. The bright fall color is a reliable golden yellow.

The Quaking Aspen tree can be susceptible to leaf spots, particularly at lower elevations. Tree rusts, canker disease, and dieback can also affect the foliage and twigs. This tree prefers to grow in full sun and dislikes humidity and extreme heat. It is intolerant of urban pollution.

Description

Height: 20-50 ft.
Width: 10-30 ft.
Shape: Columnar, Oval
Flower Color: Green
Flowering Time: April-May
Fall Color: Golden Yellow
Features: Silver bark, quaking foliage, bright fall color
Exposure: Full Sun to Part Shade
Watering: Moderate & Regular
Soil: Prefers rich and consistently moist, well-drained soil.
Growth Rate: Fast
USDA Zones: 1-6
Uses: Specimen tree, edge of rain gardens, screening
Similar Trees: Swedish Columnar Aspen (Populus tremuloides ‘Erecta’), Summer Shimmer™ Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides ‘Summer Shimmer’), Heritage® River Birch (Betula nigra ‘Cully’), Himalayan Birch (Betula utilis ‘Jacquemontii’)

Additional information

Shape

Columnar, Oval

Flower Color

Green

Flowering Time

April, May

Fall Color

Gold, Yellow

Growth Rate

Fast

Uses

Screening, Specimen Tree

USDA Zones

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Mature Height

20'-30', 30'-40', 40'-50'

Mature Width

10'-15', 15'-20', 20'-30'

Exposure

Full Sun, Partial Shade

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