Quaking Aspen - Knowledgebase Question

Peyton, Co
Avatar for scorp6711
Question by scorp6711
June 10, 2010
We bought some Quaking Aspens. When comparing the leaves of ours to our neighbors more mature trees the leaves on ours are twice as big if not more. Is it possible that our trees were incorrectly tagged?

Answer from NGA
June 10, 2010
Quaking aspen is Populus tremuloides. At the moment there are no cultivars available so you didn't get a different variety. If your trees are tagged as Quaking aspens, that's what they are. The leaf size is probably due to the growing conditions. I suspect your trees had more shade as they were developing foliage and your neighbor's trees are in full sunshine. The fact that your trees are younger might also trigger larger leaf size. Because it will have fewer branches and therefore fewer leaves, larger leaf surfaces will capture more energy from the sunlight and the leaves will transport more carbohydrates back to the roots of the trees. Since your neighbor's trees have many more leaves, the leaf size can be smaller and there will still be plenty of leaf surfaces for photosynthesis. Once your trees become established in their new homes and they get full sunshine as the leaves are emerging, I think you'll see a difference in the leaf size.

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