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Aspen

January 2012

QuestionIn late September we drove from our home in Bella Vista to Colorado. It was time for the Aspens to shine. Some were bright gold, some were just turning and some were still green. Overall they put on a beautiful show. We would like to plant a small grove of Aspens on our property near the water line. Since the Aspens thrive in Colorado, one would assume our winters would not be a problem. How about the summers? Is it entirely too hot here for the Aspens to survive? Haven't noticed Aspens in Arkansas. Does that mean they won't grow in our rocky red dirt? I remember being told Aspens in a grove are technically one organism sending out shoots underground to grow new trees. Does that mean the surrounding area must be constantly monitored for new shoots if the size of the "grove" would be problematic, say near a concrete cart path?

 

AnswerAspens are quite cold tolerant, but really don’t like heat and humidity, so they would not be happy campers in Arkansas. That being said, I have seen at least one aspen tree in Arkansas, in Conway to be exact. I am not sure if it is still living after our past two summers, but it survived for several years. Bella Vista would stand an easier chance of growing them than Conway, so if you want to give it a try, go for it. I would not plant a grove but two or three and see how they do. Your best bet would be the quaking aspen – Populus tremuloides. If they are happy and thriving, they do sucker which aids in the grove effect, but I doubt that would ever happen in Arkansas. Make sure you give them ample water, because drought tolerance is not one of their attributes.


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