Quaking Aspen – Populus tremuloides

The trees have started to pop here and have taken it upon myself to harvest this 5 year old Quaking Aspen growing along the riverside of the North Saskatchewan. Tree permits are dirt cheap here in Alberta and I am probably going to get one for May as well. My plan for this tree is a windswept styling but that won’t happen for a while. I will wire and bend the trunk a bit more later in the season but not right now. You can tell why this tree would be a particularly good candidate as it is already naturally windswept. Growing on the banks of the river at the top of a cliff leaves for optimal conditions.

I’m not too fond of using Aspen since they grow fast and tend to be difficult to style but I’m determined to make this tree one of my favourites. Their colours are so beautiful in the fall and I’m hoping it will prove worthwhile. The native people(s) of Alberta call these trees “the noisy tree”, because of the sound the fluttering of their leaves make. The active ingredient in Aspirin is found in the inner bark of the aspen. If you are ever out in the forest and encounter insect bites, the leaves of these trees make for good itch relief. A grow pot is necessary for this tree since it’s roots will go deep and can cause pipe and foundation damage.

This tree is female I think since most of the male trees in that area have already yielded the fuzzy willow-like flowers. Shown here:

aspen poplar catkins

The female flowers look like this:

images

This is during the transplant, large tap root on the right and feeder roots including another larger root on the left which is not exposed.

windswept2

 

The trunk has some good characteristics. At some point in it’s life I believe that it endured an intense wind storm which actually fractured the trunk but the tree continued to grow.

windswept4Overall I think it will look quite nice in 4 or 5 years. I’d like to reduce one of the top branches but I’m not sure which.

windswept

 

I’m always looking for suggestions and what all of you think. Please chime in and tell me what you think I should do with this grower. Thanks for reading!

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