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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

August

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?

Vernal and Nevada Falls

In Yosemite Valley, dropping over 594-foot Nevada Fall and then 317-foot Vernal Fall, the Merced River creates what is known as the “Giant Staircase.” Such exemplary stair-step river morphology is characterized by a large variability in river movement and flow, from quiet pools to the dramatic drops of the waterfalls themselves.