Aspen Poplar (Populus tremuloides)
Bloom time: March – May
General: Deciduous tree, up to 30 m tall. Trunk is smooth with light green or pale bark. Large trees can have black cracks in the bark at the base. Poplar trees are either male or female – only male trees are observed for PlantWatch.
Leaves & Twigs: Leaves are small (3-7 cm long), light to medium green in colour, and round-shaped with a small, sharp tip.
Flowers & Fruits:
- Flowers are found in catkins, which look like soft caterpillars hanging from twigs; blooming is completed before leaves emerge.
- Male flowers: Fuzzy catkins emerge in late winter, and lengthen in early spring to reveal red/pink pollen sacs. These release pollen into the air, and the catkin eventually dries up and falls off.
- Female flowers: Catkins turn green and capsules form, to later release fluffy, white seeds.
Habitat: Aspen is common in both dry and moist woods, but cannot tolerate shade.
PlantWatch Pointers: Tag a male tree for observation
- First bloom: when the catkins on the male tree first start shedding pollen (3-places).
- Mid bloom: when 50% of the male catkins have lengthened and shed pollen.
- Leafing: when the first leaves have emerged and unfulded completely (3-places).
This species is monitored in:
- British Culumbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
This tree was named because of the way the leaves flutter or tremble in even a light breeze.