Skip to main content

Quaking aspens are tall, beautiful, and easier to care for than you might expect

Read here and learn how to grow quaking aspens

Yellow quaking aspen leaves
Steppinstars / Pixabay

Quaking aspens are native deciduous trees with striking and easily recognizable silhouettes. They have tall, thin trunks wrapped in white or silver bark. Although they are stunning all year long, with small white flowers in the spring and round green leaves in the summer, quaking aspens are perhaps most famous for their brilliant gold color of fall foliage. In addition to their beauty, quaking aspens are also extremely good for the environment. If you’re thinking about planting a quaking aspen tree in your yard, this is the care guide for you.

How to plant a quaking aspen

When choosing your planting site, there are a few key things to look for. First, your planting site should be well away from power lines, buildings, or other structures that tree growth could damage. Quaking aspens typically grow to between 30 and 50 feet tall (although some can grow much taller) and their longest branches can grow up to 30 feet long, so make sure your tree has plenty of room.

Your location should also be in full sun with rich, moist soil. Quaking aspens need at least 4 to 6 hours of sun each day in order to grow properly. In addition to the sun, a quaking aspen needs plenty of water and nutrients. Adding compost to your soil before you begin planting can help improve poor soil. Although it needs moist soil, avoid planting your quaking aspen in wetlands or dips where water pools, as too much standing water can lead to fungal infections.

Quaking aspens in the fall
Steppinstars / Pixabay

Caring for and maintaining your quaking aspen

Keep the soil moist but not soggy while your quaking aspen is growing, especially during the summer when it is hot and dry. However, take care not to overwater it. If it has rained recently or the soil is still wet, then wait to water it until the soil dries. This is primarily to prevent fungal infections which thrive in wet soil. The most common fungal infections quaking aspens suffer from affect the leaves, causing them to discolor and drop early.

Regular pruning and trimming can keep your quaking aspen healthy and keep its size in check. Remove any diseased or damaged branches, as well as those that are growing too close to any structures or hazards. As your aspen grows, you may need a ladder or heavier equipment to prune it properly. Be careful, and have someone close by to help if there is an emergency.

Feed your quaking aspen in early spring with a high-nitrogen fertilizer. Fertilizers that contain a lot of organic material, such as compost or leaf mulch, are particularly good for quaking aspens. Avoid fertilizing quaking aspens more than twice a year, though, as they’re sensitive to overfertilization.

These amazing trees will be right at home in your yard or garden, especially now that you know how to care for them. Give your quaking aspen plenty of sunshine, room to grow, and rich, wet soil, and watch it thrive!

Cayla Leonard
Cayla Leonard is a writer from North Carolina who is passionate about plants.  She enjoys reading and writing fiction and…
Hardening off your seedlings as you bring them outside is crucial – here’s how to do it
Tips to help you successfully transplant your seedlings
Seedlings in plant tray

Even gloomy winter days can't stop enthusiastic gardeners. Unsurprisingly, many avid gardeners start their plants indoors when cold temperatures and unpredictable precipitation bar them from directly sowing their seeds outside. Still, the last frost date eventually comes around, and that's when it's time to bring those baby seedlings outside. Transporting seedlings outside is a simple process, but it still requires savvy coordination to prevent unwanted transplant shock. To help you keep your plants happy and healthy as they situate outside, we'll show you how to harden off seedlings.

What does hardening off seedlings mean?

Read more
5 essential spring lawn care tips you need to know
Top tips for taking care of your grass this spring
Manicured lawn with flower beds beneath shade trees

As the weather warms up and the days grow longer, your lawn will start growing more rapidly again. Spring is an important time for lawn care, no matter what type of grass you have planted. If you aren’t sure where to start with your spring lawn care, then this is the guide for you. We’ve compiled our five favorite spring lawn care tips to help you revitalize your grass.

From seeds to weeds, these tips will help you plan your routine and get back into the swing of things, so you can have the happy, healthy lawn of your dreams.
Check your equipment

Read more
Kokedama is an easy and elegant gardening trend that you can try today
This method from Japan might be a new gardening technique that'll work for you
Three small plants growing in kokedama moss balls on a blue background

There are many unique and inspiring gardening trends and techniques from around the world that you can incorporate into your own garden. Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to learn about these techniques, where they come from, and how to try them out for yourself. One gardening method that’s becoming more popular in the U.S. is kokedama. Curious about what kokedama is or eager to give it a try? Here’s our simple guide to this fascinating gardening method.

What is kokedama?
Kokedama is a traditional Japanese gardening method related to bonsai gardening. Dating back centuries, this method involves growing plants in a ball of soil that is wrapped in moss and bound with some form of twine, string, or wire. The plant is rooted in the soil, the moss keeps the soil together and helps keep it moist, and the twine keeps the moss in place.

Read more