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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The Remarkable Aspen Tree

We have several aspen trees on our property and these trees are very remarkable. After the wildfire they have sprung up in large numbers everywhere. There is no single aspen but they are all connected by their extensive root system. The root system can survive underground for thousands of years while the tree may only live to 150 years.
After a wildfire the roots that have been dormant and waiting for a disaster like a wildfire come to life when they can get sunlight. Last summer we had small aspen trees spring up quickly. We had some that grew as high as 4-5' in a single summer. The conifers tend to block out the light and as soon as a wildfire has occurred and sunlight can get to the ground the aspen spring forth. These are remarkable trees that show patience definitely is a virtue when it comes to aspen trees. When they do spring up after a disaster they are all connected to a common root system and has laid dormant just waiting for a wildfire. Last summer they came up everywhere - in the ditches - the roads - area's of our property that have not previously shown signs of aspen.

While the tree may only live 50-150 years the root system which connects all the aspen trees can live thousands of years. I wondered about the hundreds of aspen shooting up last summer and now I know they were waiting for just the right conditions to shoot up. They grew so fast in one summer it was simply amazing.

2 comments:

Linda said...

Populus tremuloides is a relatively short-lived tree: 50-60 years.
I'm assuming that "150 years" is a typo.

Bruce said...

That is true but the article's I read said some can live up to 150 years. We had a micro blast on our property and several large aspen trees blew over and I counted the rings and a couple were 75+ years old.