large-toothed aspen

Populus grandidentata Michaux

Bigtooth aspen is a medium-sized, rapid-growing, short-lived tree that develops best on deep moist soils, but is more common on dry, upland, sandy or stony sites, where it rapidly covers slashes and burns. Here it provides habitat for wildlife that use early successional cover. The wood is similar to that of quaking aspen and is used for excelsior, pulp, woodenware, crates, and boxes.

Bark - resembles that of quaking aspen, though small branches are of a more pronounced yellow color. The lower trunk is generally more deeply furrowed than is that of quaking aspen.

Twigs - stout, round, reddish or yellowish brown in color in early winter, often pale and downy as contrasted with those of quaking aspen which are shiny.

Winter buds - usually larger than those of quaking aspen, terminal bud present; lateral buds generally bending away from twig, dull, dusty-looking, light chestnut brown in color.

Leaves - alternate, simple, 3 to 6 inches long, roughly triangular with square base, blunt apex, coarsely toothed margin in direct contrast to the finely serrate margin of quaking aspen.

Fruit - very similar to that of quaking aspen. Seeds - spread by wind.

Distinguishing features - coarse teeth on leaf with square base; twigs downy.

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