A Densely Packed Stand of Trembling (or Quaking) Aspen Trunks Above Jasper.
All materials on this site are copyright 1992-2014 by Doug Gorsline / ashcreekimages.com
Stands of aspen trees are scattered throughout the Canadian Rockies and provide dramatic fall color in September. Large aspen groves like this one can be found on the hills and benches above the Town of Jasper.
This photo was taken a few meters off the road at the intersection of the Pyramid Lake Road and the Patricia Lake Beach spur road. Other large stands of aspens in the Jasper area can be located on Google Maps satellite views and can be reached from the road or by short cross country hikes.
Aspens in Banff and Jasper turn color at about the same time. The peak color usually occurs about the middle of September, just ahead of the larch trees in Banff
Aspens are known by several names, including trembling aspen, quaking aspen, and trembling poplar. The most widely distributed tree in North America, they are found from above the Arctic Circle in Alaska to central Mexico and from coast to coast in the United States and Canada.
Some aspens sprout from seed, but most are produced by cloning. Probably all the trees in this photo are part of the same clone. Clones are produced as sprouts or suckers from roots. These clones are easy to spot when the leaves begin to turn. You'll see entire groves of aspens that are exactly the same shade of yellow or gold. Scientists speculate that some of these large aspen clones were established by the end of the last ice age, over 10,000 years ago.
Scientists also believe that some of the oldest and largest aspen clones,
such as Pando in Utah, may be up to a million years old. At an estimated 6,000,000 kg (13,200,000 lbs), Pando is thought to be the most massive living organism on the planet.