Aspen, Trembling (Populus tremuloides) Alberta Native

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Description

Aspen is another good pioneer species, establishing areas to allow other vegetation to gain a foot hold and become a thriving ecosystem. The bark is covered in a whitish powder that can be used as a mild sunscreen if you happen to get caught without, and after its leaves drop in the fall, the bark is capable of continuing to photosynthesize. It is dieocious meaning there are separate male and female plants. Male catkins are slim greyish purple and fuzzy while female catkins start out like velvety red crescents and quickly mature to the dangling fluffy ones containing thousands of seeds that everyone is familiar with once they are pollinated. Although the female fluff gets blamed, the pollen from the males is the cause of more allergies.  Its primary method of propagation is root clones so make sure you have a large area to allow for this. The individual trees are not overly long lived (40-150 years) but the colony can survive for thousands of years. The oldest known colony has been nicknamed “Pando” in Utah and has been estimated to be around 80,000 years old! Wildlife such as beaver, hares and ungulates browse both leaves and bark, while many others will use it for nesting sites. The Mourning Cloak Butterfly use it as a host species. This tree’s root cloning method as well as its rapid growth habits allow it to recover quickly after fire.

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size

Oversize Plug, 1 gal, 2 gal, 6-8" pot

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