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Mather Musings: Quaking Aspen

August 11, 2012 Posted by: AS - Mather District Interpretive Ranger

Quaking Aspen
Populus tremuloides
Quaking Aspen Trunk  Quaking Aspen Leaf


This deciduous tree has smooth whitish bark when young. As it ages it begins to have dark furrows in the trunk and can easily scar. Sometimes bears will mark their territory by leaving scratch marks on the trunk. The trunk is generally small and straight, measuring 60-80ft tall. In exposed locations the trunk may become bent or grow prostrate to the ground. The leaves are almost oval-shaped and have a flattened petiole which allows the leaf to flutter in the wind, thus the name quaking aspen. Stands of these trees are often all clones of one individual, connected by their roots!

mather musings

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Did You Know?

Wawona Covered Bridge

Built to connect human developments on both sides of the South Fork Merced River, the Wawona Covered Bridge is one of few covered bridges in the region. Built in 1868 by Yosemite’s first guardian, Galen Clark, the Wawona Covered Bridge boasts state significance within transportation, entertainment, and recreation contexts.