Comparing All Types Of Aspen Trees Update 10/2021

types of aspen trees

There are nine different types of Aspen trees. They all have similar, features but each is a different type of tree. These trees can range in size from just 10 feet tall to over 60 feet tall. They usually grow in clusters together and live for a few hundred years.

These trees are most closely related to the poplar tree and look very similar. The reason they often live for a long time is because they have one of the fastest growing rates of any plant on Earth. They can grow as much as 6 inches in a year this makes these trees very popular with wildlife and herbivores alike.

White Aspen

White Aspen

This is a white colored tree that can grow to be around 70 feet tall. They are very common and quite popular in the United States as well as Canada. Some people use this kind of Aspen tree for medicinal purposes but they do not have many uses besides that.

White Aspens have oval shaped leaves with little hairs on them. The leaves can grow to be as long as 9 inches and the leaf stalks are about 2 inches. The shape of the leaves is narrow and oval, which makes them almost look like they are made out of paper.

Red Aspen

Red Aspen

This red colored tree grows to be around 38 feet tall sometimes up to 50 feet at the highest point. They have similar leaves to the White Aspens with them being shaped like oval paper.

Sometimes they can also be colorless and transparent which is called a glass leaf. They have many medicinal purposes but most of those uses are not very popular today due to the world changing and finding synthetic solutions to medical problems. They are sometimes used for venereal warts. Most of the time this tree is planted in parks, less often as house plants or just in general vegetation.

Quaking Aspen

Quaking Aspen

This is a very tall tree that can grow to be up to about 80 feet tall. They are usually green in color but sometimes can be found with white or red leaves as well. These trees live a very long time and have been able to survive many different factors such as droughts, forest fires, ice storms, and even some nuclear bombs not being dropped on them.

Quaking Aspens have leaves just like the Red and White Aspens with them being shaped like paper and having little hairs on the edges. They are very thin and fragile, which is why they move so much in the wind that it even gets a name called ” Quaking “. 

Black Cottonwood

Black Cottonwood

This is a very unique looking tree that can grow to be over 90 feet tall. They are one of the tallest types of Aspen trees and they have some branches that even reach above the ground almost 15 feet high. These trees live to be around 250 years old so they take quite a long time to grow into adulthood.

Black Cottonwoods have very large leaves that are shaped like a star with having 5 to 7 points. They can grow to be around 14 inches long and it is quite large when compared to other Aspen trees.

Black Cottonwoods were once used in the past for things such as making clothing, blankets and even paper. They also have some medicinal uses, which are not very common today. 

Trembling Aspen

Trembling Aspen

This is a very popular type of Aspen tree that can grow to be as tall as 50 feet. This tree has some small branches almost the size of its leaves, which are incredibly tiny when compared to other types of trees in this family.

Trembling Aspens have leaves shaped like those found on most other Aspens with them being oval and having little hairs on the edges. These leaves can grow to be anywhere between 2 inches and 4 inches long.

They are very similar to the Black Cottonwood’s but they are shaped differently like that of a star with more points rather than 5 or 7. They look very weak in nature because their bark is almost see-through looking and some can even be called transparent.

Chinese Aspen

This is a very popular tree that can grow to be anywhere between 80 and 200 feet tall. They have leaves shaped like those of an oval, with some hairs on the edges. These leaves are incredibly thin which gives them very good resistance to strong gusts of wind as well as pollution. Some people use these trees for medicinal purposes but it is not a very popular way to do so any more.

Chinese Aspens have small branches that are found on their lower parts almost as if they were roots. Some of these types of trees even start to grow horizontally along branches and stumps without being connected by the main trunk any longer. These is usually an indicator that the tree will die within the next 10 years.

Chinese Aspens also have a very special meaning to the Chinese people, which is why this tree is so popular in their culture.

Korean Aspen

This is a very popular type of Aspen that can grow to about 50 feet high. They have some very unique branches that are shaped like those found on weeping willows but much larger than them.

Korean Aspens have some pretty small leaves for an Aspen Tree with them being shaped almost like a fern leaf. They usually have anywhere from 5 to 7 points on the star shape that they have and can grow to be around 8 inches long.

Korean Aspens are quite popular in Asia, but not so much in North America. The meaning of this kind of tree is two-fold such as one being a symbol of hope for a safe pregnancy with the other meaning being good health or longevity.

Bigtooth Aspen

This tree is pretty hard to miss with them being shaped kind of like a tepee. They can grow to be around 30 feet tall which makes them one of the smaller Aspens out there but that is still considered rather large when compared to most trees in North America.

Bigtooth Aspens have some very large leaves that are shaped almost like giant feathers and can grow to be as big as 12 inches long. These leaves are incredibly large and they have some very small branches on them that makes it look like a star at first glance.

Bigtooth Aspens are one of the most popular types of trees in North America today because they are so unique looking. They can be nearly anything from having a light shade of green to even being silver in color but the most common one is that of a deep dark green.

Japanese Aspen

This is a very popular type of Aspen that can grow to be anywhere from 40-50 feet tall. This tree has a unique shape with branches and leaves that are shaped like small ferns but much larger than those previously mentioned.

Japanese Aspens have some pretty thick leaves, which is another similarity they have to many other types of Aspens out there. These leaves are shaped like a star that has 5 to 7 points and they can grow to be anywhere from 4 inches to 8 inches long.

Japanese Aspen trees have very strong wood used for making paper so it is no wonder why they are one of the most popular types of wood in almost any country around the world.

Eurasian Aspen

This is a very hard to miss type of Aspen that can grow to be anywhere from 35-40 feet high. This tree has a unique shape with branches and leaves almost shaped like those found on weeping willows but much larger than them.

Eurasian Aspens have some pretty small leaves for an Aspen Tree with the most common one being shaped like a fern leaf. They usually have anywhere from 5 to 7 points on the star shape that they have and can grow to be around 8 inches long.

Eurasian Aspens are quite popular in Asia, but not so much in North America. The meaning of these trees is two-fold such as one being a symbol of hope for a safe pregnancy with the other meaning being good health or longevity.

FAQS

What are the physical characteristics of aspens that make them unique?

Aspens have several different types of leaves which help to identify what type of tree it is. The leaves will be anywhere from 2-5 inches long and they are shaped a little bit like those found on ferns but much larger than them.

Aspen leaves have several different types of points on them such as being sharp, rounded, or even somewhat scalloped. The bark on aspens will be a light shade of gray in color with most having whitish-gray coloring to it.

Aspens also have some pretty interesting flowers that are shaped like stars but without any stems coming from the center of it. They usually form these flower clusters that are anywhere from 3-10 inches in diameter and they will most always be colored yellowish-green.

What is the biggest difference between all of the different types of aspens?

There is not too many differences between each type, but there are some standouts based on how unique an appearance they have. The biggest difference is the overall size of them with Bigtooth, Japanese, and Eurasian being a little bit larger than most other types.

Where do most of these types of trees grow?

These types of trees can be found growing in North America, Asia, and even Europe but they have a very wide range of them growing in those 3 continents. They are mostly found growing in the Rocky Mountains especially with the Bigtooth Aspens that grow there being some of the largest trees in North America.

What level of protection do aspen trees have today?

Aspens are considered to be an invasive species which means they can grow very quickly and are difficult to control. They have several benefits such as providing shade to other plants in the area but they can also hurt them by blocking out sunlight from reaching those plants. This is a big problem for some types of plants that need sunlight in order to grow.

What are the top 3 most common aspens?

The top 3 most common Aspens today include the Bigtooth, Japanese, and Eurasian varieties which make up about 85% of all the species out there. These trees can be found anywhere from Alaska right down to Mexico.

What are the most protected aspens in North America?

The most protected species of Aspens can be found in Canada with 52% of the continent containing those types of trees. There is one certain area in Colorado that has become famous for its dense groves of Bigtooth Aspens and they are called the Aspen Alley.

What is the biggest danger for Aspens today?

Over 70% of Aspens have been killed off by insects like the aspen bark beetle which is a huge reason for concern mainly because they reproduce so quickly that it tends to be difficult to control them once they start spreading throughout an area. They also have no natural predators which means they will most always be able to get away from anything that tries to harm them.

What colors do the different aspens have?

Many of these species contain yellow, white, or even gold shades among the leaves with some of their colors being found on the flowers also. The bark can be many different shades such as gray, tan, brown, or even a dark shade of red-brown.

How much height are these types of trees?

Aspens can grow to heights anywhere from 40-120 feet tall and they have trunks that range in width from 2-4 feet wide. The branches themselves usually reach out toward the sky and then spread into a flat top to where they look like an umbrella.

How tall are the tops of these trees?

The tops of these types of trees can grow to be anywhere from 80-130 feet in height and they usually have a very wide coverage area because leaves on all of the branches tend to spread out over each other so that there is almost no ground that can be seen from the top of them.

Conclusion

While there are many more types of Aspens that exist, these three stand out as being the most common and also one of the largest. They are easy to spot anywhere you may go because they tend to grow in very large groups around each other. If you find yourself near a grove of them I would definitely recommend going over and taking a few pictures of them because they are truly beautiful to look at.