Aspen (Populus tremula) is a species of poplar native to the UK.
It has beautiful, shimmering foliage and pretty catkins in early late winter / early spring.
Aspen normally reach heights of up to 25 metres tall and the branches spread out as much as 8 metres.
The bark of the Aspen is greyish, at first it is smooth and shining, later it is rough and becoming fissured towards the base of the trunk.
The leaves are almost circular 2.5 - 6 cm with shallow rounded teeth, young leaves are coppery, before turning green, and then yellow or red in autumn.
Wind-pollinated flowers appear in February - March in red-purple dropping catkins, with male and female being borne on different trees. The small fruits open to allow tiny seeds with tufts of hair to disperse by wind.
Aspen wood is white, soft, lightweight but fairly strong. It's been used to make oars and paddles. It's not very flammable and is often used to make matches and paper. When the wood is shredded it can be used for packaging and animal bedding.
Mythology and symbolism
The Greek name for Aspen is Aspis, which means shield, and was one of the many traditional uses of its wood.
In Celtic mythology, it was believed that the visual effect of an aspen tree shimmering in the wind was the tree communicating between this world and the next.
DISCLAMER : Any uses for trees or tree extracts. whether edible or medicinal, have not been tried or tested by EFORESTS.CO.UK so please take caution and seek proper advice before attempting any recipes or medicinal extracts from any of the trees listed on our site.
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