Populus tremuloides
Common name: 
Quaking Aspen
pop-U-lus trem-u-LOY-dez
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf deciduous tree, 40-50 ft (12-15 m), pyramidal and narrow when young, long trunk and narrow, rounded crown when mature.  Bark is thin, smooth greenish white to cream colored, furrowed dark brown or gray in old age.  Leaves alternate, simple, thin, ovate to orbicular, 4-7.5 cm long, finely glandular serrate, lustrous dark green above, glabrous below.  Fine yellow color in fall.   Laterally flattened petioles allow leaves to flutter in the slightest breeze (to " quake").  Typically dieocious, male and female flowers on separte plants and in long sleder catkins that appear before the leaves.  Male catkins are at first about 3 cm long and lengthening to 8 cm before falling off, the small flowers are tiers of red stamens mixed with long, silky hairs.  The female flowers are in slender, pendulous catkins that lengthen to 10 cm and develop into a string of green fruit capsules, each about 6 mm, containing 10 minute seeds embedded in cottony fluff which aids in wind dispersal of the seeds. 
  • Sun or part shade.  Grows in many types of soil, from loamy sand to clay.  Fast growing and relatively short lived.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 1         The most widely distributed tree in North America.
  • In their habitat, quaking aspen forms clones connected by a common parent root system.  Since trees are typically dieocious (i.e., male and female flowers on separate plants), a given clone may be either male or female.  However, some clones produce both male and female flowers.  In the West, quaking aspen stands are often even-aged, originating after a single top-killing event.
  • tremuloides: resembling Populus tremula, European Quaking Aspin, tremula, quaking, trembling, -oides, like
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: south of Peavy Hall; also in front of the International Living and Learning Center on Western Ave.
Click image to enlarge
  • in habitat, winter

    in habitat, winter

  • trunks


  • emerging male catkins, spring

    emerging male catkins, spring

  • male catkins

    male catkins

  • female catkins, spring

    female catkins, spring

  • female catkins

    female catkins

  • female catkins, seed release

    female catkins, seed release

  • female catkin, seed release

    female catkin, seed release

  • plant habit, summer

    plant habit, summer

  • leaves


  • leafy shoot

    leafy shoot

  • leaf


  • leaf, petiole

    leaf, petiole

  • in habitat, fall

    in habitat, fall

  • plant habit, fall

    plant habit, fall

  • foliage, fall

    foliage, fall

  • leaves, fall

    leaves, fall

  • in habitat

    in habitat

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark

  • winter twigs

    winter twigs

  • winter twigs and buds

    winter twigs and buds