Planting Aspen Trees.

Omnitha(4a CO)August 2, 2005

Hello Fellow Gardeners!

I have some Aspen trees coming up in my back yard. One of them is really big and about 10 feet tall. I would like to move it another place as it is closer to retaining wall. My wife wanted it closer to the deck as a shade, but changed her mind after reading a lot about the tree's invasive root system. I need advice from you all -

1. What should I have to do to move this tree and not to kill it in the process.This tree is really healthy and looks good.

2. What is the best distance I can have between house and the tree in order to avoid the invasive root system coming into my house.?

Invasive root system of the tree makes me worry about having it in the backyard. Do I really have to worry about their root system coming in to my house? ( Like Papal trees?)

I appreciate your feedback.




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delray(z5 UT)

My experience with Aspens is they are particularly difficult to move after established. This time of year would be very hard for it. I moved one in the Fall and most of it died off the next Spring. The part that remains is still struggling. Once they are weakened they are susceptible to all kinds of problems.

If you move it now, it will likely lose all its leaves and will probably die back or die completely. They are inexpensive and a new one will can rapidly grow to replace it, so if you are ok with the fact you will likely lose it then go for it. Then again, this might be an opportunity for a more select variety? Nothing against Aspen in the right place, but they are ornery about sending up suckers are'nt they.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 9:05PM
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irisgirl(Z5 - CO)

Hi. I have lived in Colorado most of my life and am familiar with aspens and the problems gardeners have with them.

My daughter & son-in-law live in a neighborhood in Ft. Collins in which aspens were planted as a regular part of the initial landscaping in most of the homes in about 1984. They had to remove a large (25') aspen and a smaller offshoot one (9') this past May due to what appeared to be a fungal disease which caused large galls on the stems and branches. They have been fighting the invasive roots which produce baby aspens Every Year! No problems w/ roots invading the basement walls, thankfully, but they do wish that a less invasive tree had been chosen.

Sorry, I would not recommend growing aspen as part of the landscape to anyone who lives at an elevation less than about 7500'. They just do not do well at lower altitudes. To verify this for yourself, drive up in the mountains along Hwy 285 up to Fairplay. There are some awesome aspen groves on the eastern side of Kenosha Pass. Get out and look around at the environment in which they live. Can you provide the same conditions in your backyard?

Alternative trees I would recommend include:
Western Redbud
English Hawthorn
Crabapple - either Prairie Fire or Indian Magic
Purple Leafed Plum

Best luck to you; please let me know if this has been helpful!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 10:06PM
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greenbean(z5CO) are these other trees going to provide the privacy i want soon as the aspen would?
i need something to put up near the deck to get privacy from the neighbors...not necessarily for shade.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 10:59PM
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popmama Zone 5(5)

For quick-growing privacy, I'd recommend a Bradford Pear. We have one in our backyard that was planted five years ago and it's already about 30' tall. And it has a nice upward shape, beautiful flowers in the spring and thick leaf cover for privacy.
I never really thought of Aspens as "privacy" trees because they are slow growing and have sparse branches.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2005 at 8:22PM
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does the bradford pear ...drop pears on the deck and make a mess? how tall was the one you bought?
once it gets really big though, isn't the privacy part gone? (you know, the head goes up above the people you are trying to screen out)
i'm thinking of doing a vancerwolf's pine in the spot next to the deck for privacy.
it's a columnar shaped pine tree...very pretty....
i just took a tour of a nursery yesterday, looking for something for that husband keeps saying he doesn't want aspens.
i'll check out the bradford pear though...

    Bookmark   August 7, 2005 at 6:25PM
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popmama Zone 5(5)

the bradford pear is a fruitless tree. The one that was planted in our yard was probably 8 feet when planted.
No, the head does not go above the people. The leaves begin just about the same height as the fence.
I love the look of pine trees but never cared for the needles. Our yard is just far too small for sharp trees.
I'm sure you'll find something that suits your needs. Go to a good nursery and they'll be able to help you sort out your wish list and come up with just the right thing.
From your other posts, it seems like you have your heart set on aspen trees. I say if you want them, get them. If they don't work out, just take them out later.
I've alwyas liked aspens myself. I still battle with the idea of having some. I hear so many things about them that are not good, so I'm trying to find an alternative.
I have seen some trees in a yard that I really like, but I can't figure out what they are. They are tall and upright, even their branches grow at an upright angle.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2005 at 6:31PM
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nancy_in_co(z5 CO)

Aspens aren't my favorites by a long shot and I would wait until it is a little cooler to transplant. But I have successfully transplanted them in the past.

I was told to carefully mark the north side of the tree and to make certain that when we transplanted it, the north side was properly oriented again to the north. I did it and than gave the trees lots of water.

Maybe the garden gods were smiling at me on the two times I transplanted or maybe it really works. It can't hurt to give it a try.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 1:14PM
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You will not find two trees that are more hated than Bradford Pears and Aspens. There are large numbers of people who will rail against both those trees. Having planted both, I would probably plant Aspens again but not Bradfords. Either way, you should plant a slower growing "quality" tree to take its place because either one is going to be gone before long.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 10:43AM
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NO ONE answered one of the original questions!

" Do I really have to worry about their root system coming in to my house?"

I have the same worry about the direction of the roots on a few saplings that I just planted yesterday.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 7:04AM
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