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!