Module 1: Introduction to Silviculture

Silvics of Trembling Aspen

(Populus tremuloides Michx.)

Common names:
- aspen, poplar, popple, quaking aspen

Field identification aids:
- finely serrated leaf margin
- leaves turn yellow in fall
- leaf stem is often longer than the leaf itself
- bark on younger trees is smooth, pale green, but becomes grey and furrowed with age

Average mature tree:
- 40 to 60 years old
- 12 m to 18 m (40' to 60') tall
- 25 cm to 40 cm (10" to 16") in diameter at breast height

Maximum life span:
- 80-90 years

Shade tolerance:
- very intolerant

- shallow, lateral roots

- commonly uprooted

- reproduces by seed, sprouting, and suckering of roots
- tree may begin to produce seed when 20 years old, with full crop production after 30 years
- full seed crop production every 4 to 5 years
- best seed germination occurs on a moist mineral soil

Growing sites:
- range from dry rock outcrops to bogs
- best growth on well drained moist loam soil
- usually found on cutover and burned sites

Associated species:
- largetooth aspen, white spruce, balsam fir, white birch, and red spruce on well-drained sites
- often found in pure stands

Principal damaging agents:
- hypoxylon canker, forest tent caterpillar, satin moth

- trembling aspen comprise 2.1% of the merchantable volume in Nova Scotia
- beaver often use aspen for food and shelter
- trembling aspen is the fastest growing hardwood in Nova Scotia
- has limited use for pulpwood and fuelwood

Quick ID:
Trembling aspen leaves tremble in slight wind



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