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12. Quaking Aspen
Winona State University is home to several Quaking Aspen trees (Populus tremuloides) which are native trees to much of the United States. The Quaking Aspen is also known as Trembling Aspen, American Aspen or Small-toothed Aspen.
Considered to be the most widely distributed tree in North America, the Quaking Aspen is one of the smaller Poplars having simple, alternate, almost round leaves that stir in the faintest breeze, giving the tree its popular name.
The bark on younger trees is greenish white, becoming darker and rougher as it ages. Interestingly, an ingredient of the Aspen's bark, salicin, has medical uses. Salicin, when present in the human body, converts to salicylic acid, a component of aspirin. A preparation of Aspen bark has been used for headaches and fevers.
The Quaking Aspen is a fast-growing, but short-lived tree. Known as a "pioneer tree," it can quickly establish itself in open fields or areas burned clear by fire. The soft white wood is one of America's leading pulp woods for paper and is also used in the manufacture of kegs, wooden boxes, and matches.
The Quaking Aspen prefers moist sandy soil. It generally grows 40 to 50 feet in height, but in the southern Rocky Mountains it can regularly be found at heights up to 100 feet.
At Winona State, several Quaking Aspens can be found on the edge of the volleyball court just south of the main entrances to Prentiss-Lucas Residence Halls.
(see #21 on the maps)
Last Modified: Thursday, May 08, 2008 13:59 by