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Populus tremula

aspen

P. tremula is a large deciduous tree with a broad crown, sometimes suckering freely. Rounded leaves, bronze when young, tremble in a light breeze and turn yellow in autumn. Male trees have woolly grey catkins

Other common names
aps
asp
see morehaps tree
quaking aspen
trembling tree

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Size
Ultimate height
Higher than 12 metres
Time to ultimate height
20–50 years
Ultimate spread
Wider than 8 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Poorly–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Grey Silver Bronze
Summer Green
Autumn Yellow
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or North–facing or East–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Salicaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Spreading branched
Genus

Populus are deciduous trees, mostly very fast-growing and large, with male and female catkins on separate trees, opening before the leaves. Male catkins are the more ornamental, female ones can be a nuisance from the cottony, wind-blown seeds

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Europe, N Africa, SW Asia

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moist but well-drained, humus-rich, fertile soils but avoid planting in vicinity of buildings due to vigorous root system; it has the potential to become a nuisance. Very useful as a screen or as part of a shelter belt and grows very rapidly

Propagation

Propagate from hardwood cuttings in winter or suckers in autumn or late winter

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Low Maintenance
  • Hedging and screens
Pruning

Pruning group 1; sucker removal in autumn or winter if necessary

Pests

Leaves may be eaten by leaf beetles, sawflies and caterpillars

Diseases

Susceptible to bacterial canker, a rust, honey fungus and silver leaf disease

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