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Populus tremuloides - Michx.

Common Name American Aspen - Poplar, Quaking aspen
Family Salicaceae
USDA hardiness 2-5
Known Hazards Possible toxic effects due to salicylates (e.g. heartburn, tinnitus). Avoid with ulcers, stomach or peptic ulcers [301].
Habitats A pioneer species of old fields, logged or burnt land, it is found in a range of soils from shallow, rocky or clay soils to rich sandy ones. It grows best in rich porous soils with plenty of lime[229]
Range N. America - Alaska to Newfoundland, south to Mexico.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Populus tremuloides American Aspen - Poplar, Quaking aspen


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Wsiegmund
Populus tremuloides American Aspen - Poplar, Quaking aspen

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Oval.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Populus tremuloides is a deciduous Tree growing to 20 m (65ft) by 10 m (32ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 1. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen from May to June. The species is dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). and is pollinated by Wind. The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Populus aurea. Populus tremula subsp. tremuloides.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Inner bark  Sap
Edible Uses:

Inner bark - raw or cooked[257]. It can be dried, ground into a powder and used as a flour[61, 105, 183, 213, 257]. This is normally mixed with other flours for making bread etc and can also be used as a thickener in soups. It is best used in the spring[172]. Sap - can be tapped and used as a drink[105, 161, 183]. It has also been used as a flavouring with wild strawberries[257]. Catkins - raw or cooked. Bitter[172].

References

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Alterative  Anodyne  Antiinflammatory  Astringent  Diaphoretic  Diuretic  Febrifuge  Nervine  
Poultice  Salve  Stimulant

American aspen has a long history of herbal use. It was widely employed medicinally by many native North American Indian tribes who valued it especially for its antiseptic and analgesic qualities, using it in the treatment of wounds, skin complaints and respiratory disorders[257]. It is used for the same purposes in modern herbalism. The stem bark is anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, nervine and stimulant[4, 61, 165, 213, 238]. The bark contains salicylates, from which the proprietary medicine aspirin is derived[238]. It is used internally in the treatment of rheumatism, arthritis, gout, lower back pains, urinary complaints, digestive and liver disorders, debility, anorexia, also to reduce fevers and relieve the pain of menstrual cramps[238]. Externally, the bark is used to treat chilblains, haemorrhoids, infected wounds and sprains[238]. The bark is harvested from side branches or coppiced trees and dried for later use[238]. An infusion of the inner bark is considered to be a remedy for coughs[213] and an appetite stimulant, it is also used in the treatment of stomach pains, urinary ailments, VD, worms, colds and fevers[222]. The root is poulticed and applied to cuts and wounds[222]. A tea from the root bark is used as a treatment for excessive menstrual bleeding[222]. The leaf buds are used as a salve for colds, coughs and irritated nostrils[222]. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Populus tremuloides American Aspen for haemorrhoids, wounds & burns (see [302] for critics of commission E).

References

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Other Uses

Pioneer  Wood

A fast-growing tree, it rapidly invades bare areas such as logged woodland and soon establishes dense stands of young trees by sending up suckers[226, 229]. It provides excellent conditions for other species of trees to become established and these will eventually out-compete the poplar[229]. The bark has been used to make hats[257]. The bark has sometimes been used for cordage[257]. Wood - soft, light, weak, close-grained, rather woolly in texture, without smell or taste, of low flammability, not durable, very resistant to abrasion[11, 61, 123, 226, 229]. It weighs 25lb per cubic foot[235]. Not strong enough for furniture or construction, it is occasionally used for fences, railings and barn doors, is excellent for cheap crates and boxes and is widely used for pulp, producing a high quality paper[11, 61, 123, 226, 229].

Special Uses

References

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Massing, Specimen. An easily grown plant, it does well in a heavy cold damp soil[1]. Prefers a deep rich well-drained circumneutral soil, growing best in the south and east of Britain[11, 200]. Growth is much less on wet soils, on poor acid soils and on thin dry soils[11]. This species is often found on dry soils in its native habitat and could possibly succeed on dry soils in cultivation[K]. Unlike most members of the genus, this species is drought tolerant once it is established[226]. It is fairly wind tolerant, though it does not do well in exposed upland sites[11]. It dislikes shade and is intolerant of root or branch competition[200]. A fast-growing species that is quite short-lived, though occasional specimens live to almost 200 years[229]. Poplars have very extensive and aggressive root systems that can invade and damage drainage systems. Especially when grown on clay soils, they should not be planted within 12 metres of buildings since the root system can damage the building's foundations by drying out the soil[11]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[200]. Special Features: North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

References

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Propagation

Seed - must be sown as soon as it is ripe in spring[113]. Poplar seed has an extremely short period of viability and needs to be sown within a few days of ripening[200]. Surface sow or just lightly cover the seed in trays in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the cold frame. If sufficient growth is made, it might be possible to plant them out in late summer into their permanent positions, otherwise keep them in the cold frame until the following late spring and then plant them out. Most poplar species hybridize freely with each other, so the seed may not come true unless it is collected from the wild in areas with no other poplar species growing[11]. Cuttings of mature wood in November/December in a sheltered outdoor bed. This species is rather difficult from cuttings[11, 113]. Suckers in early spring[78]. Root cuttings in the winter[200]. Layering[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Expert comment

Author

Michx.

Botanical References

1143200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Elaine   Tue Nov 5 02:19:27 2002

I brought several seedlings from Colorado to S.C. I now have an aspen grove with many new "babies". don't know what I did to make it happen, but they all seem happy. have even transplanted them. anyone need some cuttings? I have them in a wet, sunny location and they are growing quickly.

   Fri Dec 27 04:38:30 2002

Aspen mixed with colloidal silver can cure herpes and possibly aids.

It has cured me from herpes and needs to be tested in a laboratory against these viruses.

Martin Askey   Fri Jun 23 2006

please advise if this species is suitable for biomass in Northern France?

E Crawford   Wed Aug 13 2008

Does anyone know where to source seed or cuttings for Populus Tremuloides (Quaking / American Aspen)?

Richard Pim   Fri Dec 5 2008

I would like to ask E Crawford if he manged to find seed or plants of Populus Tremuloides

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