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Aspen Trees Facts

Aspen Trees Facts

Aspen trees are a treat for the senses. Known for their bright yellow fall colors, aspen trees are one of the most popular trees in North America.  Not only is the deciduous hardwood easy on the eyes, it is also treasured for the calming melody it emits when the wind flutters its many leaves. The visual and audio benefits of the tall tree make it a popular pick among professional landscapers and homeowners alike.

Aspen Trees Facts

Aspen is a type of deciduous tree that belongs to the willow family. Aspen grows in the sunny areas, on a moist, but well-drained soil. Aspen can be seen in the woods, mountains, valleys, parks and near the waterways.

This tree represents important source of food for the animals. Unlike many plant species, aspen can survive forest fires and easily populate destroyed areas. People cultivate aspen because of its ornamental morphology and calming effect that sound of trembling leaves produces.

Appearance of the Tree

A member of the genus Populus, the Aspen tree can grow to heights that range from 40 to 60 feet. The popular shade tree sports a rounded canopy that can spread as wide as 30 feet. In addition to their large size, Aspens are known for other distinguishing traits, such as:

  • Leaves
    • The leaves of the aspens have long stems and a rounded shape that together with their size makes them move in even a very light wind.
  • Bark
    • While the bark on the largest specimens of quaking aspen will become rough and furrowed, with a gray shade to it, most trees will develop a whitish-green bark. The bark is thin and contains multiple black bumpy patches.
  • Flowers
    • The long bloom contains hundreds of tiny seeds which feature tiny hairs. The catkins blossom in March and April prior to the leaves appearing.

Another one of the Aspen’s defining characteristics is its root system. The tree has an extensive root system that can grow up to 40 feet away from the parent tree. The Aspen’s roots seek out water sources and in the process can tear up sidewalks and infiltrate sewers and septic systems.

Aspen Tree Types

The Aspen is a wondrous specimen; however not all types of the tree are ideal for home landscaping. Among the most popular are:

  • Quaking Aspen
  • Aspen Clumps

Aspen Trees Care

The Aspen is a welcome addition to any landscape, though if you don’t know how to properly care for the tree, then it is unlikely that it will remain a decorative feature on your property for long. In order to keep your tree healthy and strong, consider the following:

  • Water the tree regularly. Aspens need a lot of water to grow and its roots will seek out water sources if it gets thirsty.
  • Fertilize young Aspens once each year in the spring.
  • Prune the tree’s branches in the winter.
  • Never remove more than one-third of the Aspen’s branches in a single year.
  • Watch for premature leaf drop as this may be a sign that your Aspen is being attacked by pests, such as tent caterpillars, or has contracted a fungal disease.

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