quaking aspen
Populus tremuloides

Quaking aspen is a pioneer species with the widest distribution of any tree in North America. It can grow on a variety of sites, often rapidly, typically forming pure stands due to root suckering. Quaking aspen is used for a number of wood products, and provides habitat for a variety of wildlife species.

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Light Fall Color Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      Quaking aspen is used for pulp, flakeboard, particle board, lumber, studs, veneer, plywood, excelsior, shingles, novelties, oriented strandboard, sauna benches, and playground structures.


Wildlife Value
      The bark is eaten by meadow mice, snowshoe hares, beavers. Deer, elk, and moose browse twigs, buds, leaves. Beavers use saplings and logs for dam and lodge construction.
          Attracts: mice, beaver, hares, moose, elk, deer, red-breasted and yellow-bellied sapsuckers, woodpeckers, grouse

Regeneration methods
      Quaking aspen is shade intolerant and is regenerated by clearcutting. Root suckering and rapid growth make this method ideal.

Important Problems Early Detection tips
White rot (Phellinus tremulae) conks on trunks (angle protrusions)
sooty bark canker dark patches on trunks; sooty, crumbly bark

Fun facts
Foliage turns a beautiful yellow in the fall (the tree often appears on calendars). A quaking aspen stand or thicket is considered to be one clonal organism. The original ramet can be thousands of years old - longer lived than the oldest giant sequoia. Quaking aspen bark is a favored food for beavers.
Populus: Latin name / tremuloides: trembling
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2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.

questions, comments, and criticisms: email John.Peterson@vt.edu