The Common European Aspen is usually called Quaking or Trembling Aspen. It has long, thin leaf stems that end in broad leaves that wobble when there is no wind and begin to flutter in the smallest breeze. Populus tremula is a native, deciduous tree that has a slender trunk with pale, slightly creamy bark and a lollipop shaped canopy. Before the leaves come out in early spring, male trees produce lovely red and grey catkins that look uncannily like big fuzzy caterpillars; Aspen is also noted for supporting a wide range of different butterfly and moth larvae. Female trees have plain green catkins that erupt in tiny, white haired seeds that are carried in the wind. The leaves are oval shaped, with a wavy outline, and turn a bright, clean yellow in autumn.
Aspen can have an extraordinary suckering habit and there is a famous tree in Wales that has at least a thousand suckering trunks and covers an hectare of land. It won't be taking over your garden though - the Welsh tree is several centuries old and the original trunk of the tree is long gone. In any case, a thicket of suckers creates a valuable habitat for a large number of insects.
Aspen trees can reach a height of about 25 metres. Standard trees are the largest size that we deliver; you can also buy younger Populus tremula plants here. Browse our variety of large garden trees or view our full range of trees for sale.
How Standard Trees are Measured:
All the plants in the ornamental trees section are graded as standards, which means that they are measured by their girth in centimetres 1 metre above ground level (basically, their trunk's waist measurement). They aren't measured by their height, which will vary. So, a 6/8 standard has a trunk with a circumference of 6-8 centimetres and an 8/10 standard has a trunk 8-10 centimetres around. This measurement makes no difference to the tree's final height.
Standard trees are 2 - 3.5 metres tall (on average) when they arrive; they are the most mature trees that you can buy from us. We cannot tell you precisely how tall your trees will be before we deliver them.
General description of Quaking Aspen trees:
Please note that we do not sell female trees because they produce vast numbers of invasive seeds that can cause a real nuisance to you and your neighbours.
History & uses of Populus tremula:
Being so light and easy to work, Quaking Aspen wood is one of the most commonly used timbers for making matches. This vigorous and tidy tree is great for a medium to large sized garden. It was awarded the RHS's Award of Garden Merit in 2002.