Planting Aspen Trees | Everything About Growing Aspen Trees

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Aspen trees can be a striking addition to your backyard with their beautiful bark and quaking leaves. Read this article to learn more about Planting Aspen Trees.

Planting Aspen Trees: Aspens are beautiful, medium-sized ornamental trees with smooth bark and slender leaves. Also known as quaking aspen, they prominently occur in highly elevated prairies and upland grasslands. Most commonly found in the USA and Canada, aspen trees fall in the likes of every gardener.

USDA Zones: 1 to 6

Propagation Method: Root Cutting Method

Soil pH: Slightly acidic

Height: 20-80 feet

Botanical Name: Populus tremuloides

Other Names: Quaking Aspen, American Aspen, Mountain Aspen, Golden Aspen, Trembling Aspen, Chinese Aspen, Korean Aspen, Bigtooth Aspen, Japanese Aspen, Common Aspen, Quaking Aspen, and Eurasian Aspen

Where Do Aspen Trees Grow?

Aspens are popular in different parts of the world especially in the regions with cold climate and hilly landscape. The species of these quacky trees are also in several regions of North America, Africa, Asia, and Europe with major cultivation in the USA and Canada.

What Does an Aspen Tree Look like?

Generally grown in colonies, Aspen trees feature thin white-colored bark with tiny, tender, and round leaves.

The quaking Aspen trees are generally medium in size with an average height of 30 feet (9 meters). Under favorable climatic and environmental conditions, the deciduous trees can even grow up to a fascinating height of 80 feet (24 meters).

The true beauty of the aspen tree unfolds in the autumn season where the leaves turn from light green to bright yellow, making the surroundings charming and delightful.

Kinds of Aspen Trees

There are six different species of Aspen Trees, depending upon the region they’re planted and grown:

  • Chinese Aspen: Native to China, Chinese Aspen Tree boasts a height of 30 meters. Its wood is used for construction and furniture making.
  • Korean Aspen: Korean Aspen Tree reaches a height of 25 meters and has triangular-shaped leaves. It is famous for its smooth red or brown bark.
  • Bigtooth Aspen: Found in central and eastern regions of North America, Bigtooth Aspen features leaves with larger teeth. Its thin and olive-green colored bark differentiates them from the other aspen trees.
  • Japanese Aspen: Tall deciduous trees commonly occurring in the hilly mountainous landscapes of Japan. Its woolly textured wood is abrasion-resistant.
  • Eurasian Aspen: Known as trembling aspen, the characteristics of the European Aspen is similar to that of common aspens. It is also a home for the woodpecker.
  • Quaking Aspen: The most common aspen can be found in major regions of North America. Its leaves turn into a stunning shade of yellow in fall.

Planting Aspen Trees

Growing and planting aspen trees is a low-cost and easy procedure. There are two ways by which you can grow aspen trees-Seed germination and using the roots of a mature aspen plant, and growing it with the help of vegetative propagation. The following steps will help you in growing aspen trees at home:

  1. Prepare a sapling from the root cutting of a mature aspen tree and plant it in a moist soil-compost mixture. If you’re not able to find an aspen tree near you, you can buy it from a nearby nursery.
  2. Store the cuttings in bags, wrapping them in a moist paper or compost, ensuring the roots don’t dry out.
  3. Choose a spot that gets plenty of sunlight. Prepare a 3-foot area by removing the weeds and grasses.
  4. Work the soil 15 inches (38 cm) deep in the entire cleaned site and add organic compost.
  5. Now your planting site is ready. Dig a hole and plant the root ball of the sapling, firming the soil mixed with compost around it. Water it well for the entire growing season.

How Fast Do Aspen Trees Grow?

Aspen trees are one of the fastest-growing trees in the world and record a stunning growth every year. Under favorable weather and external factors, Aspen trees can add 5 feet (60 inches) every year to its height.

Aspen Tree Identification

You can identify Aspen trees easily by their white-colored beautiful bark and tender leaves, rounded in the middle with pointed apex.

Also Read: Everything About Chinar Trees

Best Fertilizers for Aspen Tree

Fertilization is an important process when it comes to the maintenance of aspen trees. Fertilize your aspen tree once a year using 16-4-8, granular fertilizer. Use organic mulch like straw or shredded bark to keep the roots cool.

How Long Do Aspen Trees Live?

The lifespan of Aspen trees is generally between 50-100 years, depending upon certain environmental and external factors like weather, diseases, natural calamity, and environmental factors.

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  1. Last summer I installed weed mat and 2-3″ of dark mulch around base of three aspens in central Illinois. About six weeks later, the leaves started to drop before fall arrived. Do I need to remove the weed mat, lessen the mulch? Should I pull back the weed mat a certain distance from the base of the aspens? Thanks

  2. Mark Dixon, What I have to offer comes from my background as a Lavender farmer, personal overall gardening experience and completion of beginning Master Gardener education. That said I consider myself still a beginner in gardening overall. Weed fabrics come in many levels of quality. I needed professional high quality weed mat for my Lavender garden to protect my young plants from weeds especially. That said, for personal house gardening and landscaping as convenient and common as weed fabric has become I would not and do not use it for my personal house needs. The reason is that it works against soil health and either prevents or retards absorption of water to the plants and trees. I have come across ailing plantings with singular, as well as multiple layers of weed fabric. Removing the weed fabric has made THE difference in favor of the plant. Rocks in place of mulch are another option that has come into vogue. Rocks hold heat and will make your water needs greater as well as stress the plant. The healthiest combo I observe is basic mulch, preferably 3″ deep if not a bit deeper. Away from the crown of the plant or tree so that rot or molds aren’t encouraged. It’s a repetitive exercise each year but it will promote better soil and better outcomes for the investment in time, money as well as increased enjoyment of a thriving personal landscape. I hope that helps.


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