and Deciduous Forest Trees
of Southern Ontario

Trembling Aspen
Populus Tremuloides

Location in Ontario: Trembling Aspen grows throughout Ontario.

Trembling Aspen grove in fall, University of Guelph Arboretum

Genus Populus: Poplars are fast growing trees with soft wood. The leaves are simple. Flowers are mostly dioecious and appear in early spring. Poplars are pioneer species which grow in a newly opened areas such as after a fire or when land is cleared. Some are successional trees along sand dunes.

Habitat: Poplars like sunshine! They grow in any open area.

Landscape Use: Trembling Aspen are fast growing, and often used in rows, as windbreaks, on large properties and farms. They are planted to help stabilize soil and prevent soil erosion. Poplars should not be planted near water lines, septic systems etc. since they produce many spreading roots.

Trembling Aspen are a pioneer species, they are the first trees to grow in a newly opened area; after a fire, or when land is cleared.

Leaves are simple and oval in shape with fine teeth along the edges.

Trembling Aspen leaves


Flowers: Poplars are dioecious, male (pollen) flowers and female (seed) flowers occur on different trees. Flowers are in catkins, and appear in the early spring.

Fruit: The seeds are found in long catkins produced in the late spring. Each seed has a tuft of silky white hairs (cotton). Seeds produce seedlings easily and quickly, provided there is enough moisture. Seeds are produced after 10 years of growth, every 4 to 5 years.

Bark:  Young bark is smooth, waxy and pale green to almost white while old bark at the bottom of the tree is gray with flat-topped ridges.

Size: It is medium-sized, growing up to 25 metres.

Wood: Poplar wood is light and soft.
Specific gravity: 0.38
Janka Hardness:
350 lb
Wood Comparison Chart

Trembling Aspen with seeds, Norfolk County