Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Anatomy of an Aspen Tree


Here in Colorado, the Aspen trees are showing off their Autumn colors.


Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) is this wonderful tree's actual name. The Aspen is one of the few trees that can photosynthesize through its bark. It has diamond shaped marks that contain tiny breathing holes.


Aspen are tough and resilient trees. They are the first trees to come back in areas which have seen forest fires or other types of disturbances. Their fallen leaves provide nutrients and mulch for the soil. Forest fires actually aid in Aspen growth. While the actual tree may be burned in the fire, the roots will survive. And from these roots, new sprouts form and grow. These sprouts will be clones of the original Tree. There may be as many as 70,000 sprouts in a 2  1/2 acre area.


In Utah's Fish Lake National Forest, one male Tree covers 107 acres, has 47,000 trunks, weighs over 13 million pounds and is believed to be more than 80,000 years old. This tree even has a name - it is known as Pando and is believed to be the world's most massive organism. 


5 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Aspens kick ass!!!

Robin Larkspur said...

80,000 years old. I can't even imagine that number.
I love the way Aspen leaves shiver and, well, quake.

Pumpkin Cottage said...

Beautiful tree!

Wendy S. said...

I love Aspen trees. My parents live in Aspen Colorado which I find pretty snobby and not at all my cup of tea but I love seeing the Apens throughout the seasons, gorgeous!

mrsduncanmahogany said...

We love aspens in our house! One of my husband's favorite trees....