Audubon® Quaking Aspen
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Is there anything prettier than a Quaking Aspen on a sunny summer’s day, its leaves twirling and dancing in the wind? Perhaps it is the sight of songbirds hopping from branch to branch, feeding in the fluttering canopy! Quaking Aspen hosts a vast array of insects that birds love. Chickadees, tanagers, orioles, warblers, and wrens get valuable nourishment from the caterpillars and other insects they find there. When nesting, birds bring home much of that bounty to their ever-hungry young. Have the most beautiful birdfeeder on the block with this splendid native tree!
May Benefit & Attract: Chickadees, tanagers, orioles, warblers, and wrens
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
- Hardiness Zone: 2-6
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Quaking Aspen, a.k.a. “White Poplar,” or “Popple,” is North America’s most wide-ranging tree and can be found from coast to coast and from Northern Canada all the way down to the mountains of Central Mexico. This remarkable tree rarely gains new ground by seed, however. Aspen spreads by sending out suckers, which pop up to produce new trees. These trees are all connected by one root system and are genetically identical, so each “colony” is technically a single organism. The largest colony, “Pando” (Latin for “I spread”), in Utah, covers an area the size of 80 football fields! Scientists estimate that the Pando colony has been growing for 80,000 years.
This native tree belongs to the Willow family, and like Willows it’s a great tree for a wildlife-friendly garden. Quaking Aspen feeds many species of butterflies, including the beautiful viceroy. The viceroy’s orange and black markings mimic those of the iconic monarch, thus fooling predators into thinking it tastes as bad as the toxic monarch butterfly.
How to Grow
Because of its unusual growing habit, Quaking Aspen is probably a little different from other trees you may have grown. To keep it as a single specimen tree, you must be careful to never damage the bark, and you must keep the roots cool with a layer of mulch. Otherwise, the suckering mechanism kicks in. You can keep suckers under control by mowing, though letting them spring up and form a grove is nice, too. Quaking Aspen laughs at cold weather (it grows where temperatures drop below -50°F!), but it isn’t crazy about the hot, humid summers of the Southeast. Plant it in a sunny site with well-drained soil for best results.
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