Aspen Facts

Aspen Facts
Aspen is a type of deciduous tree that belongs to the willow family. There are six species of aspen that can be found in the temperate areas of the northern hemisphere. Aspen grows in the sunny areas, on a moist, but well-drained soil. Aspen can be seen in the woods, mountains, valleys, parks and near the waterways. This tree represents important source of food for the animals. Unlike many plant species, aspen can survive forest fires and easily populate destroyed areas. People cultivate aspen because of its ornamental morphology and calming effect that sound of trembling leaves produces.
Interesting Aspen Facts:
Aspen can grow from 49 to 98 feet in height, depending on the species. It usually grows to the height of 65 feet.
Aspen has green, round or oval leaves that are serrated on the edges. Color of the leaves changes from green to golden yellow during the autumn. Even the slightest breeze triggers trembling of leaves because of their light-weight and long leaf-stalks.
Aspen has strong root system that can reach 40 feet in diameter. It can easily destroy sidewalks and underground sewers in the urban areas.
Aspen produces cylindrically-shaped clusters of flowers called catkins. Aspen blooms during March and April. Flowers can be seen on the tree before first leaves appear.
Aspen is dioecious plant which means that male and female flowers develop on the separate trees.
Aspen produces hundreds of miniature, hairy seed that are easily dispersed by wind.
Aspen is important source of food for the forest animals. Beavers eat bark, twigs and leaves and use branches to build dams. Moose, elk and deer eat twigs and leaves, while rabbits, hares and muskrats consume bark of the tree. Songbirds eat seed, flower buds and fruit.
Woodpecker carves aspen to create nesting holes.
Native Americans were using leaves of aspen in treatment of burned skin, swollen joints and headache. Bark was used in treatment of urinary tract and stomach disorders.
Wood of aspen tree has application in the industry of paper and matches.
Heat-resistant wood of aspen have application in the manufacture of interior parts of sauna and roofing.
Ancient Greeks were wearing crowns made of leaves of aspen because they believed that aspen possesses magical properties. Also, Greek warriors used wood of aspen to manufacture shields.
According to the widespread belief, stake made of aspen wood can kill vampires and werewolves.
Some people believe that life's mysteries can be revealed by careful listening of the sound produced by trembling leaves of aspen.
Lifespan of aspen depends on the vegetative part of the tree. Parts of the plant that grow above the ground live 40 to 150 years (depending on the species), while root may survive thousands of years.

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