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Common Tree Species of the Northwest Forest

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Populus grandidentata
Large-toothed Aspen
Salicaceae (Willow Family)

The Large-toothed aspen is also called bigtooth aspen, poplar, or popple.

Description

General - medium to large-sized averaging 18 - 24 m (60 - 80 ft) high, broadleaved hardwood. Crown loose, open, irregular. Branches coarse, spreading. Branchlets dull brownish-gray with gray buds which are usually pubescent and divergent. Trunk with little taper, mainly branchless below the crown. Trunk bark orangish-green when young, becoming brown and furrowed with age.

Large-toothed Aspen Leaves - alternate; 5 - 7.5 cm (2 - 3 in) in length, suborbicular, and coarsely dentate with a flattened petiole. Young leaves have a whitish tomentose.

Flowers - borne in drooping catkins, 5 - 7.5 cm (2 - 3 in) long, that are tan-colored at maturity. Bracts have 5 to 7 clefts and capsules are narrow and cone-shaped.

Fruit - seeds are pear-shaped, with a tuft of long silky hair attached to the narrow end.

Habitat

Most common in the southern regions of Northwestern Ontario in dry/fresh, sandy and coarse loamy soil conditions.Large-toothed aspen is found in pure aspen forest covers either singly or in various combinations with trembling aspen and balsam poplar. In the overstory it is sometimes found in mixed association with trembling aspen, red pine and white pine.

Notes

Typical management of aspen stands does not distinguish between large-toothed aspen and trembling aspen, and their uses are not differentiated. The aspen forests contribute significantly to maintaining other resources. It is no accident that the range of ruffed grouse coincides with the native range of the aspens. Aspen leaves and staminate flower buds provide ruffed grouse with their most important yearlong food resource. Aspen suckers are a favored winter food of moose and are heavily browsed by white-tailed deer. The bark, leaves, twigs, and branches of aspen are preferred by beaver.

More Information - Commercial Profiles for Northwestern Ontario Tree Species.

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