USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin


(Populus tremuloides Michx.)

Quaking aspen

WILLOW FAMILY (Salicaceae)


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).

Previous Section -- Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis Britton)
Return to Contents
Next Section -- Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris L.)

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Saturday, 02-Feb-2013 06:32:36 EST
Menlo Park, CA [caww55]