Life expectancy 100 to 120 years, height 20-25m, spread 10-15m, very fast-growing tree
Of old the aspen was a tree of heroes, whose crowns of trembling leaves gave them the power to not only visit the Underworld, but to return safely as well. Similarly, the aspen crowns placed in ancient burial mounds may have to been to allow the spirits of the deceased to return to be reborn.
The Celts used aspen as they favoured its lightweight wood for making shields. These shields were more than a physical barrier between warrior and enemy. Celts thought they had magical qualities to safeguard the bearer from psychic as well as physical harm. The protective nature of the shield tree extended to homeowners as well, who like rowan trees would plant aspen close to a dwelling for protection. Aspens were also said to protect buried treasure.
Aspen Latin name Populus Tremula means the trembling poplar. Their distinctive round leaves with pale underside on the end of long flattened stalk give the appearance of shimmering in the wind.
Flower remedies recommend extracts of aspen to treat fear and apprehension. Indeed, the beauty of the aspen’s shimmering bright green summer canopy, turning to autumn gold, is enough to gladden any heart.
Aspens are dioecious, meaning that their male and female flowers (catkins) grow on different trees. These catkins appear in March-April time, once pollinated, female catkins ripen to release tiny fluffy seeds in the summer. Aspen can also propagate itself by suckers.
Aspen attracts a wide variety of insects, including two species of gall midge (new to Britain in 1989 and now widespread) and the aspen hoverfly which feed on microorganisms found in dead aspen wood. These insects are food for birds and ladybirds. Deadwood cavities provide nesting opportunities for birds, such as the woodpecker.
Photos are for example only. Size, trunk and habitat will vary. All trees supplied are between 1.75 and 2.75m (not precise height.) Please feel free to contact us to discuss.