Yellowstone National Park in Park County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
Roots of Survival
The secret of an aspen grove lies hidden beneath the ground. Aspens rarely grow from seeds but spring up abundantly from the roots of their parent. These young shoots are connected to each other underground by an extensive root system and are genetically identical! This method of reproduction is called “cloning.”
Aspens are masters of cloning. Their clones can cover several acres and sometimes live for thousands of years.
Why Do Aspens Tremble?
Trembling. Quaking. Quivering. These words have all been used to describe Populus tremuloides. Aspen leaves flutter in the slightest breeze because of how they are built. Their slender petioles – the stems on each leaf – are flat and at a right angle to the leaf surface. Consequently, the leaves quiver as they catch the wind.
When aspens tremble, light reflects from each shiny leaf, causing the entire grove to shimmer.
Erected by National Park Service.
Location. 44° 57.651′ N, 110° 33.994′ W. Marker is in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, in Park County. Marker can be reached from Upper Grand Loop Road, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is located
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Seasons of the Range (here, next to this marker); Fire – A Fundamental Force (within shouting distance of this marker); What’s Blooming? (within shouting distance of this marker); The Forest that Needs Fire (within shouting distance of this marker); The Land Tells the Story (within shouting distance of this marker); Wolf Tracks (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Wildlife Paradise (about 300 feet away); Glacial Boulder (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Yellowstone National Park.
More about this marker. Photographs of aspen leaves and of the trunk of an aspen tree appear on the right of the marker. The second photo has a caption of “Elk and deer browse on aspen bark scarring the trunks.” Branches, leaves and cones from an aspen tree are on a display on the left of the marker.
Categories. • Horticulture & Forestry • Natural Features •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 113 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.