Sunday, April 18, 2010

Quaking Aspens

I don't remember if I talked about these trees last year, but they are one of the things that really endeared the house to me. We have this stand of 5 Quaking Aspen trees. They look a little like Birch, with the white bark and black "scars." What distinguishes this tree is the flattened petioles (I'm thinking that's a fancy term for stems). Somehow with the stems flattened the leaves will tremble or quake in the slightest of breezes. And it makes a wonderful sound. These trees don't usually flower but propagate themselves through their root systems.

Here's a video of one of the trees in the wind. Somehow it reminds me of confetti.

We had to top this one because some disease had caused the top of the tree to die. But it seems to have come back just fine.

Just today I was exploring in the yard and discovered this:

A baby Aspen tree! It's 6 1/2 inches tall. I'll have to keep an eye on it and see how fast it grows. It's coming up in the middle of my flower/herb patch, but I don't think it will ever get that big and the phlox and other whatnots will make room. I'm rather pleased that the trees are cloning themselves (since that's what they're doing!) because we have three Siberian Ash trees just a few yards over that are all going to have to go.

The Midwest is dealing with a serious Emerald Ash Borer epidemic and the solution is to just get rid of every last Ash tree. It's okay in this case because this particular kind of ash is one of the junkiest trees around. It drops loads of sticks and other little junk all the time and makes a mess of the yard. I'd rather get rid of them and make room for a whole stand of Aspens!

Oh, and ironically (for us anyway) these guys are sometimes called Quakies or Quakers!


Jessica (your sister) said...

Cute little tree. We have a new tree life beginning too. Sunday we were working in the garden and mom was taking things out of the pots that used to be on the porch and putting them in permanent places in the yard. When she was getting ready to move the apple tree she found that one of the nuts that the squirrels buried before we moved had sprouted. We think it looks like an oak. It's cool but I can't help feeling bad for the little squirrel who carefully buried a nut for winter and then probably came back after we moved and was greatly disappointed.

Adrian said...

I love Quakies. I didn't know they could survive up here. They live all over the place in Wyoming and Colorado--something I really miss about living there.

Aimee said...

Oh yeah, apparently they do quite well in northern climates. If you do a search on them you can see some maps of where they show up. I think some are as far south as Mexico and some are as far north as Alaska! But I guess it's not common to have them in stands here in the Cities.

Karin McAdams said...

That's the best movie in town!