The Quaking Aspen tree gets its name from its leaves which have flat stems that cause them to quiver or shake when touched by the slightest breeze. Native Americans called this tree “noisy leaf,” and it is one of the most popular choices as a landscaping tree.
This North American tree is broadly distributed, reaching as far north as the Arctic and as far south as Mexico. It grows to a height of 40-50 feet with a spreading canopy of 20-30 feet. It’s a fast growing tree that adds approximately two feet or more per year.
Its heart-shaped leaves are alternately positioned and four to eight inches long. They have a glossy green top surface and a dull green underside. These leaves will turn an exceptional yellow, gold and occasionally red in the fall.
Quaking Aspen trees are also noted for “root sprouting.” This results in the production of many genetically identical trees called “clones.”
The tree seldom flowers, but when it does it produces long, silvery catkins in the spring. These produce a small hard fruit that later splits, releasing its seeds.
Quaking Aspen trees should be planted in full sunlight to partial shade locations. Soil should be moist and well-drained with acidic loamy, sandy or clay soils. Hardiness Zone: 1-7.