Sunset through the Aspens
Hard to say what is most spectacular about Aspens, the vibrant yellow in the fall, the tall, tube-like clusters of white stands or the sound of the “quaking” leaves. Regardless of what comes to mind when you think of aspens, they hold the title of the most widespread tree in North America. From the Midwest, across Canada, north into Alaska and across the West through to Arizona and New Mexico, quaking aspens dot the edge of conifer forests in clusters or “clones.”
One aspen tree is actually only a small part of a larger organism. A stand or group of aspen trees is considered a singular organism with the main life force underground in the extensive root system. Before a single aspen trunk appears above the surface, the root system may lie dormant for many years until the conditions are just right, including sufficient sunlight. In a single stand, each tree is a genetic replicate of the other, hence the name a “clone” of aspens used to describe a stand.