Aspen Trees That Grow on the Texas Gulf Coast
Aspen trees, known botanically as Populus tremuloides, are members of the Salicaceae plant family. Aspen trees are common in areas of Texas, including the western Chiso Mountains, the Trans-Pecos region and the Gulf Coast. The deciduous trees are also referred to as trembling poplar, alamo blanco, golden aspen and quaking aspen.
Aspen trees generally grow to heights of between 30 and 50 feet, with widths of between 20 and 30 feet. Aspen trees are conical and slender when they are young, and with maturity, develop into crowns that are rounded. The rapid growing trees have small, deep green, alternate and simple leaves that are between one and a half and three inches in length. During the autumn, the leaves become yellow in color. The stems are narrow and reddish brown, while the smooth bark is greenish gray. With age, the initially creamy and yellowish white bark gets darker and becomes furrowed. The flowers bloom during the spring months. The male flowers are purplish red, while the female flowers are yellowish green.
Aspen trees thrive when grown under full sun. Aspen trees are adaptable to a wide array of different soils (from heavy and deep clays to rocky and shallow soils), but prefer soil types that are wet. The trees thrive in moist and rich loams, or in clay loams (with high calcium levels) or silt that is well drained. Aspen trees are very intolerant of shade, and almost full sunlight is required for optimal healthy cultivation and survival purposes. Cold can be tolerated. The trees have soft and thin living bark, and as a result of susceptible to many types of pest infestations and diseases, including cankers, Aspen trunk rot, shoestring rot, leaf rollers, western tent caterpillar, poplar borer, roundheaded woodborer, flathead woodborer and leaf miner beetle.
Aspen trees are highly distributed trees in North America. Aspen trees appear all the way from the province of Newfoundland in Canada to Alaska, including states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota. The trees are also common in northern region of Mexico's mountainous regions.
Aspen trees are often used for their lumber. The wood is significantly lighter and softer than the majority of hardwoods from North America, and is relatively straight-grained with a light color. The texture of the wood is uniform and fine, with no odor. The wood is often used in pulp products for newsprint, books, fiberboard, chip board and insulation board. It is also used for furniture parts, and also for everything from tongue depressors to matchsticks.