Plant Data Sheet



Species (common name, Latin name)

Quaking Aspen, Populus tremuloides



Most widely distributed tree in North America, throughout most of the continent from Newfoundland to Alaska, down to the mountains of northern Mexico (Rook, 2002)


Climate, elevation

Colder inland climates over humid coastal climates; near sea level to 3050m (Rose et al., 1998)


Local occurrence (where, how common)

Widely used in landscaping for noise reduction and visual screening (Rook, 2002); along waterways, road cuts, and forest edges.


Habitat preferences

Well drained, high in calcium, loamy soils. Sites disturbed by fire and logging with exposed mineral soil. Grows along forest edges and waterways-shade intolerant (Rose et al., 1998)


Plant strategy type/successional stage (stress-tolerator, competitor, weedy/colonizer, seral, late successional)

Occurs in pure stands as a succesional species that is replaced by conifers (Rook, 2002)


Associated species

Acer rubrum, Abies balsamea, Fraxinus nigra, Populus spp., Cornus spp., Rubus spp., Aster macrophyllum, Smilacina stellata, Galium triflorum (Rook, 2002)


May be collected as: (seed, layered, divisions, etc.)

Seed and vegetative root suckers (Rose et al., 1998)


Collection restrictions or guidelines

Collect seed from May to mid-June. Collect cottony, wind-borne seeds about a week before capsule opens. Collect lateral roots when plant is dormant-ideally early spring (Rose et al., 1998)


Seed germination (needs dormancy breaking?)

Place end of branch with female catkins in water of 8-10C, high air temperature, and low relative humidity. Remove seeds from capsule once it opens. (Rose et al., 1998)


Recommended seed storage conditions

Dry seeds for three days at 24C. Viable for one year stored at 5C and 5-8% moisture content (Rose et al., 1998)


Propagation recommendations (plant seeds, vegetative parts, cuttings, etc.)

Optimal germination of seeds is at 15-25C. Surface sow in very moist seedbed; keep well watered. Collect roots for vegetative reproduction that are 1-2cm in diameter and 2.5cm in length (Rose et al., 1998)


Soil or medium requirements (inoculum necessary?)

Plant cuttings 1.3cm deep in vermiculite for six weeks. Cut suckers and place in vermiculite:perlite mixture and mist for 2-3 weeks. Transplant to peat:vermiculite mixture for growth. Temperatures between 15-25C (Rose et al., 1998)


Installation form (form, potential for successful outcomes, cost)

Container, 12-48 (Fourth, 2003); 0.5-1 gallon (Watson, 2003)


Recommended planting density

Close proximity, within 25' (Rook, 2002)


Care requirements after installed (water weekly, water once etc.)

Must be planted in soil with high moisture content or watered on a daily basis (Watson, 2003)


Normal rate of growth or spread; lifespan

Rapid growth rate, 40ft. at 20 years of age, 65ft. at maturity (VegSpec, 2003); 100+ years old for vigorous individuals (Perala, 1990)


Sources cited

1) Fourth Corner Nurseries.; April 7, 2003


2) Perala, D.A. Silvics of North America. USDA, Forest Service, Agriculture Handbook 654.December 1990.


3) Rook, Earl. Plants of the North. September 27, 2002.


4) Rose, Robin, Caryn Chachulski, and Diane Haase. Propagation of Pacific Norhtwest Native Plants. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, OR. 1998.


5) VegSpec. Phil Smith, Project Manager., USDA, Natural Resource Conservation Service. April 7, 2003.

6) Watson, Rae. Forestry Technician. USDA, J. Herbert Stone Nursery. Protocol Information.


Data compiled by (student name and date)

Scott Olmsted; 041403