Quaking Aspen Tree Facts Revealed For Plant Lovers | Kidadl

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Quaking Aspen Tree Facts Revealed For Plant Lovers

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Quaking aspens are also known as trembling aspens.

Quaking aspen trees are really beautiful to look at and can be a very pretty addition to your garden. However, before adding these aspens to your garden, you should probably learn more about the species.

The quaking aspen tree isn't just pretty. The tree also serves many other purposes. These trees can provide a canopy for other growing trees in the forest or a garden. In addition to this, the tree also acts as a food source and shelter for various animals and birds. The leaves of these trees are food for elk, deer, and snowshoe hares.

For beavers, the aspen tree is a significant food source as well as a source for building materials. Birds, like ruffed grouse, eat aspen buds for food during the winter months. While acting as a food source, the tree also houses a variety of bird and butterfly species. The quaking aspen tree is unlike other species of trees because quaking aspens can withstand a forest fire. While other tree species are destroyed during forest fires, quaking aspens are believed to thrive in these fires. Therefore, fire suppression can be disadvantageous for quaking aspens. However, the older trees are an exception as they can die from fires or any other disturbances.

While the quaking aspen tree has the largest distribution in North America, its close relative, the European aspen, grows in Europe, Asia, as well as in parts of Africa. The quaking aspen tree is the state tree of Utah. This happened when Senate bill no. 41 was signed by Governor Gary Herbert on March 14, 2014.

Quaking Aspen Tree Classification

Like all other things present on Earth, the quaking aspen tree is also defined using certain categories and scientific terminology to distinguish it from other tree or plant species.

Quaking aspen trees belong to the kingdom Plantae. These trees are part of the order Malpighiales and the family Salicaceae. The genus of a quaking aspen is Populus. The scientific name of the quaking aspen tree is Populus tremuloides.

The quaking aspen tree is a deciduous tree. The Populus genus, which quaking aspens are part of, also contains 25-30 other deciduous flowering species of plants that also belong to the same family as the quaking aspen tree.

Quaking Aspen Tree Habitat

While some plants and trees naturally grow in the wild anywhere in the world, there are some species of trees and plants that require a certain environment and climate to grow properly. The quaking aspen tree is one such species.

Quaking aspen trees require a habitat that offers them partial shade and full sun. In other words, a quaking aspen tree needs a complete four hours of unfiltered and direct sunlight every single day to grow properly. Another aspect of the quaking aspen tree habitat is that it should have well-drained soil. The soil should not only be well-drained, it should also be acidic, moist, loamy, and sandy. Quaking aspen trees require abundant moisture.

The quaking aspen tree is deciduous tree

Distribution Of Quaking Aspen Trees

Quaking aspen groves can be found in abundance in North America. Possibly with the exception of Nunavut, quaking aspen groves can be seen in all the territories and provinces of Canada.

In the United States, these trees can be found far north in Alaska's Brooke Range, while towards the south, they can be found in central Indiana and northern Nebraska. Even when found in high altitude areas in the south, such as Guanajuato in Mexico, these trees can still grow. However, the extreme summer climate of the south is not suitable for this tree species.

These regions provide the quaking aspen tree species with a perfect environment and soil conditions to grow and spread in the wild.

Characteristics Of Quaking Aspen Trees

There are certain characteristics and features of quaking aspen trees that differentiate them from other trees and plants. The quaking aspen tree is distinct because it thrives in fire.

The aspen tree species belongs to the willow family. The quaking aspen is a tall tree, although not the tallest. This tree grows in groves, and it also has a fast-growing rate. Aspen bark has a greenish-white or gray color. It is also relatively smooth in texture. The bark is marked with horizontal marks, which are black and thick, along with notable black knots. Parallel marks in the vertical direction are not natural markings but signs of an elk stripping the bark with its front teeth.

Quaking aspen leaves of mature trees have an almost round shape. They have petioles that are long and flattened. The root sprouts and young trees have almost triangular leaves, which are also larger than those of mature trees. Aspen catkins are long and are produced before the leaves in early spring.

These silvery catkins contain strings of capsules which further contain tiny seeds. Each capsule has about 10 seeds that are embedded in cotton-like fluff. Wind dispersal is helped by the cottony fluff during early summer when the seeds mature.

Kidadl Team
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Kidadl Team

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