15 responses to “Populus tremuloides”

  1. pam in DM,CA

    even though ive been working in some nursing capacity or another since the age of 17(have been an rn with a bsn since 1972), my 1st degree was in biology cause ilove nature. thanks for another winner, DM!

  2. Douglas Justice


    Not to be too pedantic, but I believe it is convention to refer to the North American Populus tremuloides as “quaking aspen,” and the European P. tremula as “trembling aspen.” A stunning image, nevertheless.

  3. Kathryn Knowles

    Yes, I was going to comment on that same thing: I have never heard it called “trembling” aspen. One of my favorite trees. I like your site very much.

  4. Daniel Mosquin

    I need to step in and defend my choice of common name it seems! Using Google as a guide for a “scientific” survey:
    “Populus tremuloides” “quaking aspen&” — 17500 hits
    “Populus tremuloides” “trembling aspen” — 10600 hits
    “Populus tremula” “quaking aspen” — 314 hits
    “Populus tremula” “trembling aspen” — 1150 hits
    “Populus tremula” “European aspen” — 515 hits
    “Populus tremuloides” — 61400 hits
    “Populus tremula” — 80400 hits
    So, quaking aspen is more commonly used than trembling aspen re: Populus tremuloides, but both are found on pages far more often for Populus tremuloides than Populus tremula. However, where I grew up…
    “Populus tremuloides” “quaking aspen” Manitoba — 506 hits
    “Populus tremuloides” “trembling aspen” Manitoba — 569 hits
    A regional difference in popularity of a common name is fairly common. I’ll give another example: Acer negundo. I guarantee most people use “box elder”, but where I’m from, it’s “Manitoba maple”.
    That’s the nature of common names. This is one reason why we use scientific names throughout the site and all of the labels in the garden, i.e., we’re all speaking about the same plant. It’s particularly important when the audience is broader than local or regional, like in a garden (or on a web site) with international visitors.

  5. Doug Gorsline

    This Oregonian travels in BC and Alberta quite often. Usage in the States seems to generally be “quaking aspen”, while in Canada I usually see and hear “trembling aspen”.
    Thanks for the great website, Mr. Mosquin!

  6. Susan

    “Box elder”? It’s “swamp maple” to many New Englanders. *g*

  7. sagiquarius

    I heard that the quaking aspen are not trees but a fungi. Is this true?

  8. Daniel Mosquin

    sagiquarius – in a word, no. I’m not certain where there might be any confusion on the matter.

  9. ZeroK

    I think it may be the name of the rooting structures of both aspens and fungi being similar which confounds Saqiquarius.
    The aspen stand is very often a single unit interconnected by a common root structure- the names for the runner roots are similar or the same as the anchor structure of fungi.

  10. Maureen

    DM wrote: sagiquarius – in a word, no. I’m not certain where there might be any confusion on the matter.
    my memory isn’t as good as it was in my younger years, but it seems I once heard that the largest “single” organism on earth is a fungus … and that the second largest is an aspen stand in the Rockies somewhere. . . I wonder if that has anything to do with Saqiquarius’ confusion???
    Vague enough to be a toss-up on whether it’s true or not. heh
    I love calling aspens trembling aspens. To me, it sounds more poetic. 🙂

  11. gilly

    Hi there,
    You all seem to know a lot more about Aspens than I do – can someone tell me about Populus trem. erecta? I read that tag on one in a parking lot as I love the skinny shape and am considering them for along my back fence. Is it a quaking aspen with the massive height potential? I don’t want to plant something tat will get massive quickly but am having trouble finding them locally anyway (White Rock)

  12. MadelineSpooner

    silver ghosts, that’d make a sweet song.
    It’s amazing how many things are influenced by this global climate change. Big and Small. Everything is affected.

  13. Mary Ann, in Toronto

    My two cents’ worth re common names….
    I’ve lived in Ontario all my life, and the terms I’m most familiar with are “trembling aspen” and Manitoba maple.
    I love this website!

  14. Dkav

    Wow what a poor, beautiful leaf.

  15. Glynn Wright

    In Calgary, (Alberta), most gardeners refer to it as Trembling Aspen.

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