Populus tremuloides Michx.
trembling aspen (quaking aspen)
Salicaceae (Willow family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Brian Klinkenberg     (Photo ID #25022)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Populus tremuloides
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Dioecious tree up to 25 m tall; colonial; branches greenish-white; twigs greenish-white, smooth.
Alternate, deciduous, simple, broadly egg-shaped, kidney-shaped or circular, 2.5-9 cm long, 2.5-8 cm wide, the bases rounded to slightly heart-shaped, smooth, finely toothed and fringed with long white hairs, upper side green, lower side paler; leaf stalks 2-7.5 cm long; buds smooth.
Borne in catkins; male catkins 2-3 cm long, soon deciduous, with 6-14 stamens; female catkins 4-10 cm long.
Capsules, lanceolate to narrowly egg-shaped, carpels 2, smooth, short-stalked.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Mid Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: White
Present from Spring to Summer
Source:  The USDA


Ecological Framework for Populus tremuloides

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
939 6 2400
Slope Gradient (%)
19 -2 230

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

199 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 0 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

AT(1), BG(53), BWBS(1066), CDF(5), CWH(42), ESSF(219), ICH(964), IDF(1013), MH(1), MS(458), PP(69), SBPS(258), SBS(1504), SWB(70)

Habitat and Range

Moist to dry ravines, depressions, meadows, ridges, upland forests and occasionally on floodplains in the lowland and montane zones; common throughout BC, except infrequent on SW coast, absent on Queen Charlotte Islands; N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to NY, NC, IN, AR, TX, NM, AZ, CA and MX.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Populus polygonifolia Bernard
Populus polygonifolia Bernard
Populus aurea Tidestr.
Populus cercidiphylla Britt.
Populus tremula subsp. tremuloides (Michx.) A.& D. L÷ve
Populus tremuloides var. aurea (Tidestr.) Daniels
Populus tremuloides var. cercidiphylla (Britt.) Sudworth
Populus tremuloides var. intermedia Victorin
Populus tremuloides var. magnifica Victorin
Populus tremuloides var. rhomboidea Victorin
Populus tremuloides var. tremuloides
Populus tremuloides var. vancouveriana (Trel.) Sarg.
Populus vancouveriana Trel.