Aspen Tree Info!

April 22nd, 2021

Lots of preparation, patience, and understanding are needed to grow
aspen in the urban landscape. Aspen prefers light soils that are acidic and drain
well, but these conditions are rarely found in urban areas. Aspen will do best
on the north and east sides of the buildings.

If the soil where an aspen tree is to be planted has a high content of clay,
build a berm of sandy loam 18 to 24 inches high. A berm is a mound or wall of
earth. The berm should be mulched and several plants should be planted in the
bed.

Nearly all aspen available for sale are collected, meaning they were dug
out of the wild with little of their root system. Even after careful preparation
and care, the aspen still only has a life expectancy of about 25 years in the home
landscape.

Expect Insects and diseases, some of which have no controls. Blackened
leaves towards the late summer and fall are caused by aphid secretion or a leaf
spot disease. The leaf spot disease is known as the Marsonnina leaf spot or aspen
leaf spot. The best control is to pick up the leaves, which are the source of
reinfection, in the fall and cut away trees and branches to increase air
circulation through the aspen.

Orange pimples on the bark indicate the presence of Cytospora Canker.
Branches that show signs of disease should be removed.

Oyster shell scale are tiny, quarter-inch-long brown or gray shells along
the trunk and branches of aspen. This disease is caused by an insect that is
difficult to control.

Once an individual tree in a grove of aspen starts developing deadwood
and a thin crown, it should be removed to allow new shoots to come up.