Caring for the Quaking Aspen Tree

Quaking Aspen Tree Care

Your quaking aspen needs unique tree services, and not just because it’s the official tree of Utah! These trees can grow to massive heights, and in central Utah you’ll find one that’s estimated to be 80,000 years old, so you know it’s a hardy tree that can seemingly live forever with the right care. Durability and magnificence are part of what made Utah change our official tree from the Colorado blue spruce to the quaking aspen in 2014.

Lake many aspens, the quaking is a deciduous tree that prefers regions that are a little bit cooler. However, sometimes they can be a challenging tree to care for.

Just four decades ago, aspens were rarely planted in residential areas, but thanks to their fast growth and ability to give a landscape a finished look quickly, they’ve become a new favorite. Some aspens are smaller, so they don’t overpower a neighborhood, but they have beautiful bark and gorgeous fall colors.

Aspen Tree Services: Top Needs

Insects love aspens just as much as you do! Aspens can be prone to insect infestations and diseases, and some are sensitive to urban development.

The majority of calls to the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Plant Diagnostic Clinic have to do with aspen concerns. One variety of urban-planted aspens has been showing signs of short life spans — sometimes fewer than 20 years. Perhaps more calls are coming in around the country because aspen has been used as a succession tree, fast to fill in where a fire, logging or disease outbreak decimated vegetation.

Aspen reproduces quickly, too, because it spreads by both seeds and root sprouts. Sprouting can be annoying to some urban landscapers, since it can pop up unexpectedly in gardens or otherwise flawless lawns.

Help Your Aspen Flourish

Every tree variety has its pros and cons, so don’t let aspens’ sensitivity scare you off. Having a quaking in your yard is a fantastic way to show your Utah pride, and since it’s one of the sturdier varieties, it has a great fighting chance.

Keep in mind that aspens prefer living at a higher elevations and like moist, well-drained soil that’s acidic. When possible, plant them on east or north slopes/sides of the home with soil that has been mulched and given additional organic matter.

Your aspen also will need regular pruning and trimming, and perhaps fertilization, to give it the best foundation for a long and healthy life. Since it is prone to insects and disease, ask your arborists to check on it annually for any signs of distress (not all infestations and diseases are obvious to the naked eye).

Aspens can be a challenge, but the results are well worth it. Call Reliable Tree Care to schedule a check-up or tree services appointment for your quaking aspen.