Native Plant of the Month: Quaking Aspen

Photo of Quaking Aspen.

Common Name: Quaking Aspen or Trembling Aspen 

Binomial Name: Populus tremuloides 

Soil Type: Moist 

Sunlight: Full sun tolerates some shade 

Form/Growth: Medium sized tree up to 60 feet tall 

Foliage: Deciduous 

Flowering/ Fruiting: Yes – Catkins 

The Quaking Aspen gets its name from the movement of the leaves in the slightest winds causing all the leaves to move in unison. A very attractive native landscape tree that can tolerate many types of soils but prefers moist areas with lots of sun, but prefer a cooler climate. The leaves on a Quaking Aspen are darker green on the top and a whitish green on bottom growing to around 3 inches wide and 3 and a half inches long giving it a round- ovate form with a pointed tip. The leaves turn a yellow to gold color in fall before dropping. The bark on the Quaking Aspen when younger is smooth green to whitish in color, then develops into a darker grey color that is furrowed. In the wild these trees usually grow in large groves in meadows and often found in the Rocky Mountains.