Quaking aspen


Photo of quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

Populus tremuloides

A broadleafed tree, part of the Salicaceae or willow family. Bark is thin and white with black furrows and lenticils. Leaves are flat, round and flowers in hanging catkins as is common in the Salicaceae family. Aspens are good fire breaks within a forest and provide more ground water recharge than conifers. Saplings and mature trees are food and habitat for many Oregon species such as black bear, deer, beaver, porcupine, elk, moose, ruffed grouse and even small animals such as mice, voles, shrews, chipmunks, and rabbits. Native Americans used aspen as a source of food and nutrition. Catkins were eaten raw, the inner bark and cambium were dried, pulverized and used as a soup or starch for breads or cereals.

Habitat Type Tolerance Invasive?
Found all over the US. In Oregon found in moist, rocky, well drained soils in forest valleys or near rivers where snowmelt or precipitation accumulate. Partial shade No