Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
WILLOW FAMILY (Salicaceae)
IND. STATUS: FAC
FIELD CHARACTERISTICS: A deciduous tree growing to a height of nearly 20 m. The ovate to nearly cordate leaves are alternate, simple, darker green above and paler below with small regular teeth. Leaves are attached by a long (2.5-6.0 cm) flattened petiole. The smooth bark is whitish-gray to greenish-white becoming darker and furrowed with age. Sexes are separate; the pistillate catkins are up to 10 cm. long.
ECOLOGICAL NOTES: Quaking aspen, also known as popple, has the widest distribution of any tree in North America. It prefers wet to moist, limy soils where it can form large colonies from an extensive root (rhizome) system. Quaking aspen also prefers sites disturbed by logging, fire or drainage and often invades abandoned agricultural land and vacant urban lands.
SOURCE: Gleason and Cronquist (1991); Fassett (1976); and Elias (1980).