Swedish Columnar Aspen

Botanical Name: Populus tremuloides ‘Erecta’

Alternate Name: Swedish Quaking Aspen

The Swedish Columnar Aspen (Populus tremuloides ‘Erecta’) is a medium sized, hardy deciduous tree grown for its narrow columnar form with upright branching. It is a cultivar of Populus tremuloides (Quaking Aspen) that was discovered in the nineteenth century growing in Sweden. It is a useful selection due to its slim growth habit, and it is grown as a standard with a single trunk. 

The Swedish Columnar Aspen still retains all the other charming qualities of the Quaking Aspen, such as the rustling foliage, beautiful light gray, smooth bark, and bright fall foliage. This tree grows to a height of 40 feet with a spread of only 10 feet. 

In the wild, the Quaking Aspen is found growing in clumps, where each trunk is a clone and grows from the same network of roots. The Swedish Columnar Aspen or Swedish Quaking Aspen is a male cultivar, therefore only produces small drooping, male catkins that are inconspicuous and no fruit.

The leaves are similar to the species – a glossy medium to dark green with an ovoid shape, growing up to 3 inches long. The margins are coarsely dentated. The Quaking Aspen sound is made with very little breeze through the long, flattened leaf petioles. The fall color is an attractive rusty orange.

This tree prefers to grow in full sun and is tolerant of a range of soils from dry to flooded. It is not affected by salt spray and wind, therefore it is suited to growing in coastal areas.

Category:

Height: 40 ft.

Width: 10 ft.

Shape: Columnar

Flower Color: Green

Flowering Time: April-May

Fall Color: Golden Yellow-Orange

Features: Light gray bark, quaking foliage, bright fall color

Exposure: Full Sun to Part Shade

Watering: Moderate & Regular

Soil: Prefers rich and consistently moist, well-drained soil. Tolerates dry and flooded soil.

Growth Rate: Moderate

USDA Zones: 2-6

Uses: Specimen tree, lining a driveway, narrow screen, mass planting, windbreak, coastal areas, street tree

Similar trees: Populus tremuloides (Quaking Aspen), Populus tremuloides 'Summer Shimmer' (Summer Shimmer Quaking Aspen), Betula nigra 'Cully' (River Heritage Birch), Betula utilis 'Jacquemontii' (Himalayan Birch)