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Quaking Aspen – Populus Tremuloides

During the fall, the Quaking Aspen is one of the most beautiful trees in Northern Wisconsin. Its leaves turn a radiant light yellow that contrasts against its starkly white bark. The Quaking Aspen is an incredibly interesting tree species in that it has the widest natural range of any other tree species on the North American continent. This includes the ability to thrive in varying elevations from inhabiting regions as low as sea level and as high as the tree line up in mountainous areas. They are also very capable of thriving in recently disturbed habitats – such as areas that have been affected by wildfires or avalanches. 

Quaking Aspens also have the ability to grow as a group under one single root system. This makes them the largest living organism and when it occurs, is called a “clone”. A Clone can be as small as less than an acre or up to 1,000 acres. These trees have the ability to live much longer than a single tree ever could. There is even a stand located in Utah that has an 80,000-year-oldroot system.  

– Kate Handberg, GIS Manager