Aspen trees are one of the most common species of trees North America and Canada. However, Colorado is most famous for its huge populations of Aspen trees (widely distributed from 5000 – 12000 ft in very diverse geographical and climatic conditions).
Colorado is renowned for the colorful display owing of change in color of Aspen tree foliage during different seasons (from green to brilliant gold within a short span of time). Aspen thrives in Colorado for a number of reasons. The prime reason is the abundance of suitable growing area available for the Aspen to grown and thrive. The geographic location of Colorado (highest average elevation of the Lower 48) is also a contributory factor. Aspen’s resistance to wildfires (and potential to regrow after wildfires) makes Colorado an ideal habitat for Aspen trees.
An Aspen tree can live upwards of 150 years, once established. Apart from the unusually long-life span, Aspen true distinguishes itself from other trees in a number of ways. Unlike other trees who perform photosynthesis through leaves, Aspen carries it out through its white bark. It remains the reason for its survival under tough snowy conditions when other trees remain dormant. The bark of Aspen tree sustains wildlife with its sugar during the winter season. The aspen tree is considered to be a lifeline for a number of animal species including elk and cottontail. Another amazing feature of the Aspen tree is to replicate itself. Apart from producing seeds (the usual reproductive mean for most trees), Aspen roots sprout to produce a genetically identical replica of itself. Owing to this surprising evolutionary ability, an entire clump of Aspen trees can be a clone of a single mother tree. The natural synchronization between cloned trees is so accurate that all leaves turn with the same timing all around the year. A clone can live up to 100,000 years or more.
Aspen trees are known to the oldest living organisms on earth. Reportedly, a clone of Aspen in Utah is spread over an area of 100 acres. The massive tree is estimated to exceed a blue Whale weight by 40 times. It makes this Aspen tree the largest living organism on the globe and unique over 80,000 years old.
Aspen trees remain a crucial link in the history of earth being the oldest living organism on earth. We need to conserve them and create the conditions where they can thrive.
Boulder Tree Services provide professional tree care for Aspen trees and all other indigenous tree native to Colorado.