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To plant or not to plant Swedish Aspen

Posted by nutsaboutflowers 2b/3a (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 20, 09 at 19:36

Hello all. I was at Canadian Tire today and saw a bunch of beautiful Swedish Aspen. I love how their leaves rustle in the wind.

What are their pros and cons? I read that their roots are not invasive like a towering poplar. Are they disease resistant? I'm not very patient when it comes to disease prone trees.

When we bought the house it had two sticks in the back yard, both of which are Schubart Chokecherries. Since then I have planted 3 Junipers, a grafted lilac, an Amur Maple, and I have 6 Emerald Cedars waiting for holes.

Does anyone have any reasons why I shouldn't plant Swedish Aspens? I thinkthey would provide a nice contrast to what we have. BTW we have tons of sun =:)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: To plant or not to plant Swedish Aspen

My wife loves the rustling leaves as well and we planted 3 of these aspens beside our deck. We really like them. Haven't noticed any diseases. In the last few seasons, they have had some bug of some kind that gets in the leaves and causes them to roll into little tubes. When I asked the local nursery about it, they said it was a cyclic thing and that there was not much one could do about it, but that it would not really harm the trees. This year, the leaf roll is quite minimal and the trees are doing great. Our experience with the first 3 trees was good enough that we got 5 more to plant on the north side of the house for a screen from the neighbours. These trees grow about 4 or 5 feet a year. The ones by our deck that started out about 6 years ago at about 6 feet are now about 30 feet tall. We planted them 5 feet apart. Yes, the roots go all over the place. Occasionally a sucker pops up in the lawn, but the mower takes care of that and after a mowing or two, we never see that sucker again. One came up in the neighbour's yard and he decided to let it grow. Likes the way ours look.

RE: To plant or not to plant Swedish Aspen

The leaf rollers are a bug and can get quite bad, they can cause damage if they get bad, it is easy enough to get rid of them by picking off the rolled up leaves as soon as you see them. Normally they are just a minor annoyance but they nearly killed my sil lilac one year.

RE: To plant or not to plant Swedish Aspen

Believe it or not, one of my Swedish Aspen suffers from chlorosis (lack of iron in the soil that causes yellowing of the leaves, typically in very clay soils). It's gotten to the point where another aspen that I planted two years later has surpassed it in growth (that one seems healthy).

But, yes, the pros are the leaves that rustle in the wind, the quick growth, and the fact that they are not wide trees. You can fit into a small yard. They say the roots aren't invasive, but I don't think I would plant them right next to a building. As with all quick growing trees, they say the wood isn't as strong as a slower growing tree. Then again, the tree grows straight up and tall, so at least there's not really any wide side branches to snap off, just the main trunk.

If you want to do internet research though, the botanical name is populus tremula 'erecta'. You'll likely find more pros and cons.

RE: To plant or not to plant Swedish Aspen

Pros: affordable, grows fast and tall, beautiful, doesn't take up a lot of space, hardy - sometimes you can get dieback on the leader which can result in a funny looking tree in a few years as another branch will take over, but they can recover nicely

Cons: eventually gets really big, it suckers (destroyed my parents deck), no winter privacy, you will have to spend more time raking in the fall

Would I plant them? Probably not, but that's because I am looking for an evergreen privacy screen - our winters are too long!


RE: To plant or not to plant Swedish Aspen

If they're suckering far from the main plant, then it's planted too deep.

This is actually a huge problem with container grown trees - nurseries chronically plant them too deep. Causes all sorts of problems.

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