• Rainbow over Half Dome


    National Park California

There are park alerts in effect.
hide Alerts »
  • Road Closures Due to El Portal Fire

    The Big Oak Flat Road between Crane Flat and the El Portal Road is temporarily closed. There is no access to Yosemite Valley via the Big Oak Flat Road or Highway 120. Tioga Road is open and accessible via Big Oak Flat and Tioga Pass Entrances. More »

  • Campground Closures Due to Fire

    Crane Flat, Bridalveil Creek, and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds are temporarily closed. More »

  • Yosemite National Park is Open

    Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, and Wawona/Mariposa Grove areas are open and accessible via Highways 140 and 41. Tioga Road is not accessible via Highways 140 and 41 due to a fire.

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

Post A Comment

Submit Comment

Did You Know?

Rockfall area and talus slope at base of Three Brothers in Yosemite Valley.

In March 1987, the largest historical rockfall in Yosemite National Park deposited an estimated 1.5 million tons of debris at the base of Three Brothers, closing Northside Drive for several months.