Question about Swedish Aspen

nikki_zone3March 21, 2008

Hi all.

New to the forum and am hoping someone can provide some insight. I have about 12 Swedish Aspen that I have planted over the last couple of years. Half of them have done incredibly well (south facing front yard), while some are slower due to less sun in the back yard. This year, my trees in the back yard are starting to produce fluffy little clusters that I would almost call a catkin, akin to a poplar catkin. My neighbour's are doing the same thing. Does anyone know what these clusters are? The last time I had an aspen do this it died. These are trees planted last spring and seemed to do well all last season. Any thoughts would be appreciated! Many thanks!

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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

It likely is just a catkin. I believe Swedish Aspen is a male cultivar, however, so you won't get any of the fluffy seeds that follow afterward. I don't think it will be harmful to the plant, though mine hasn't bloomed yet (unless I've just missed it somehow). I think in general they are pretty tough plants, though some say, being in the poplar family, they are prone to problems. I think good care, regular watering (if drought) helps to ward off problems.

Glen

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 1:30PM
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Sherwood Botsford(3a)

Yes, your aspens are engaging in casual sex. The poplar groups are all dioecious -- male and female flowers on separate plants -- I think they are largely wind pollenated, although honey bees will go after poplar and willow pollen as one of the first available bee foods in spring.

Blooming means they are healthy. Expect die off on branches that are in the shade a lot. The dead branches will fall off naturally after a year or two.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 12:29AM
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