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Populus grandidentata Michx.
Bigtooth aspen, Big-tooth aspen, Long-toothed aspen
Synonym(s): Populus grandidentata var. angustata, Populus grandidentata var. meridionalis, Populus grandidentata var. subcordata
USDA Symbol: POGR4
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Big-tooth aspen is a columnar tree 50-75 ft. tall. Toothed leaves are cottony-white on the lower surface, especially when the tree is young. The slender trunk’s whitish bark, becomes furrowed at base and darker gray with age. Silvery catkins appear before leaves. Deciduous foliage becomes golden-yellow in fall.
Easily distinguishable from Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) by the large curved teeth of leaf edges, mentioned in both common and scientific names. Like that species, Bigtooth Aspen is a pioneer tree after fires and logging and on abandoned fields, short-lived and replaced by conifers. The foliage, twig buds, and bark are consumed by wildlife.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf:
Green Autumn Foliage:
Green Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Apr
, WV Canada: BC
, QC Native Distribution:
N.S. to s.w. Ont. & s.e. Man., s. to w. NC, TN
& extreme n.e. MO Native Habitat:
Mesic, mixed woods
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
High Light Requirement:
Sun Soil Moisture:
Moist Soil pH:
Acidic (pH<6.8) CaCO3 Tolerance:
Medium Soil Description:
Mesic, rich soils. Conditions Comments:
This fast-growing tree
is very intolerant of shade and flooding. It invades cleared areas and reproduces rapidly from seed and root suckers. It is short-lived and plagued by disease and insect problems, but is practically indifferent to soil conditions. In
any soil, weeding around the tree
can boost its growth surprisingly. Aspen can be grown in a clump by periodically removing the older, damaged stems, allowing new sprouts to fill in.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Aspens are host to a wide array of birds, mammals, and butterflies.
Use Other: Large-toothed aspen is important for revegetating recently cut or burned land, holding soil in place and protecting other slower-growing species of plants. (Kershaw)
Larval Host: Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Viceroy
PropagationDescription: Fresh seed germinates readily when placed on a saturated seed bed. Aspens, however, are best established from root cuttings set directly into their permanent locations. Trees can also be started from small sprouts lifted in the dormant season from distu
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2013-12-14
Research By: TWC Staff