Populus tremula L.
Aspen, European aspen
Family - Salicaceae
The adult aspen trees are very difficult to distinguish from poplars by the bark. Only young trees have the unique light grey bark with a beautiful delicate design resembling a net of large lentils. The young aspen's bark is so light that grove of young aspens can be easily confused with a birch grove.
There are two types of adult aspen. Branches of the first type are darker than the trunk, extending from the trunk nearly orthogonally. The branches and trunks of the other type of aspen have the same grey-green «poplar» colour with the delicate design of young trees, but the branches extend from the trunk at a more acute angle.
Unlike a poplar, aspen has small buds.
An additional distinctive characteristic of an adult aspen tree in a winter is presence in a crown of both buds and round inflorescences closely resembling willow catkins.
The trees have a height of 30-35 m and trunks with a diameters of 60-70 and; rarely, 100 cm. It grows rapidly and lives about 150 years.
It is the most abundant deciduous species after birch. As a «pioneer» of the forest, it rapidly occupies the slashes and burned areas after a forest fire.
Aspen's wood is widely used. Artists use it's charcoal for drawing. It is medicinal and food plant.
Distribution in the Russia's Far East. Primorsky and Khabarovsky Krais, Amurskaya Oblast, Sakhalin Island, Southern
Kuril Islands - Shikotan, Kunashir, Iturup.
General distribution. Europe, Middle Asia, Asia Minor, West and East Siberia, Mongolia, Japan, China.
Authors: M.N. Chipizubova, L.M. Pshennikova
Photo: L. Pshennikova, Chipizubova M., N. Razzhigaeva
Collage: E.V. Bibchenko