Aspen Tree Names, Pictures and Types of Aspen Species

Pictures of a Aspen Trees
Quaking Aspen trunk and leaves (Populus tremuloides)
Picture of a Quaking Aspen tree trunk and leaves (foliage).
Species(Populus tremuloides)

Aspen trees are all native to the Northern Hemisphere, especially cold regions with cool summers, they can also be found further south at high altitudes in the mountains. They are all medium sized deciduous trees reaching 15 ↔ 30m (49 ↔ 98ft ) in height.

Aspen is a common name for certain species of Populus that are classified by botanists in the section "Populus", of the Populus genus. Most species in the section "Populus" group are called Aspens, but not all of them. This page focuses specifically on species that are commonly known as Aspen in English.

Uses for Aspen Trees;

Two species of Aspen trees are commonly used across North America for ornamental and landscaping purposes, and are widely available through many Greenhouses and Garden Centers for retail and wholesale purchase. The Quaking Aspen or Trembling Aspen (Populus tremuloides) is the most popular, followed by the European Aspen, or otherwise known as Common Aspen, or just Aspen (Populus tremula). Aspen trees are also used in Forestry, See Aspen Colony.

Facts about Aspen Trees of the Populus Genus
  • Genus Latin Scientific Name = Populus
  • Genus Latin Name Pronunciation: POP-yoo-lus
  • Genus Latin Name Meaning: Latin for a group of people, nation, civilians, region, multitude of.
  • Species Common Names = Aspen. List of other Aspen Vernacular Names.
List of Populus species known as Aspen Trees, organized by Latin botanical name first and common names second
List of Aspen Tree Names
Botanical Tree NameCommon Tree Name
Populus adenopoda Chinese Aspen, 响叶杨 , 绵杨
Populus davidiana Korean Aspen
Populus grandidentata Bigtooth Aspen
Populus sieboldii Japanese Aspen
Populus tremula European Aspen, Aspen, Common Aspen, Eurasian Aspen, Quaking Aspen
Populus tremuloides Quaking Aspen, Trembling Aspen, American Aspen, Mountain or Golden Aspen (Common American name; "Quakies")

List of Tree Names last up-dated on

Aspen Tree Colony; (Aspen Grove, Aspen Stand, Aspen Group)

Quaking Aspen Colony trees in the Autumn (Populus tremuloides)
Picture of a Quaking Aspen Colony in the Autumn. (Populus tremuloides)

All species known as Aspen, typically grow in colonies (a group of similar trees) . These colonies are made up of (of what appear to be individual) stems trunks or trees (see Aspen picture on right), however they are all clones of the original seedling connected together by one root system. An Aspen clone colony may appear to be made up of many individual trees, however these are developed suckers that have sprouted from the root system of the original tree. Aspens do spread by means of root sprouts known as "Suckers", new stems in the colony may appear at up to 30 ↔ 40m (98 ↔ 130ft) from the closest tree trunk. Due to the Aspens ability to spread using root systems and Suckers, (commonly known as "Suckering"), the Aspen colonies can become very large over the years, spreading about 1m (3ft) per year, eventually covering many acres.

Aspen Colony Longevity, Age;

Each tree trunk may live for 40 ↔ 150 years above ground, but the root system of the colony is even older. In some cases, thousands of years old, sending up new trunks as the older trunks die off above ground. One such colony in Utah, given the nickname of "Pando", is estimated to be 80,000 years old, making it possibly the oldest living colony of trees in the world. One of the many reasons why Aspen colony trees can live for so long is because they are able to survive forest fires.

Aspen Regeneration and Growth;
European Aspen Leaves (Populus tremula)
Picture showing the leaves on the left are from a branch on a mature tree, the leaf on the right is from a root sprout or "Sucker" from the same tree.
European Aspen (Populus tremula)

The Aspen colony can survive forest fires because the colony roots are in the soil, below the heat of the fire. After the fire is burnt out, the Aspen colony root system is free to start growing new sprouts (known as "Suckers"), which eventually form the tree trunks.

Aspen sprouts or Suckers grow differently from that of a seedling, specifically the growth rate is increased exponentially as the small sucker has a enormous root system to feed it. Suckers have been documented to grow very fast, over 1m (4ft) in height from the ground up in one season. Another Sucker phenomenon is that the leaves are much larger than those on a mature branch, even the shape and colour is different (see Aspen leaves picture on right). All these differences occur to aid the large root system below which needs energy from photosynthesis quickly. These growth habits can be observed if you cut off an established Aspen tree near the base of the trunk, and watch the Suckers grow from the stump over the next few months.

Aspens like more direct sunlight than shade, and it is difficult for seedlings to grow in an already mature Aspen colony, subsequently most seedlings succeed away from the colony, hopefully in a open area where conditions are right for another colony to develop. Forest fires can indirectly benefit Aspen trees, as the fire can open up an area allowing the seedlings and or suckers to grow in open sunlight.

Aspen use in Forestry;

Aspen species have increased in popularity in the forestry industry, mostly because of their fast growth rate and ability to regenerate from their roots, and using sprouts, making reforestation after clear cutting (harvesting) much quicker and cheaper, since no planting or seeding is needed. Additionally there is in some Forests an added benefit that there is less ground erosion after clear cutting because of the Aspens large connected and interwoven root system.

Aspen Vernacular Names

English: Aspen
Dansk: Bævre-Asp
Deutsch: Espe, Aspe, Zitterpappel
Eesti: Harilik haab
Français: Tremble, Peuplier tremble
Italiano: pioppo tremulo
日本語: ヤマナラシ
Nederlands: ratelpopulier, esp
Norsk bokmål: Osp, asp
Polski: Topola osika, osika
Svenska: Asp (träd)