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Tree of the Month Prairie Gold Aspen

By Leonard Phillips, ASLA Emeritus

Prairie Gold Aspen is a recommended specimen for lawn, park, street, and residential locations. It features light green spring and summer foliage, turning golden yellow in autumn. Additional details are as follows:


Trade Name: Prairie Gold Aspen

Botanical Name: Populus tremuloides ‘NE-Arb’

Parentage: Species introduced into the United States

Family: Salicaceae

Introduction: Discovered by Allen Wilke, in east central Nebraska, introduced in 2008

Hardiness Zone*: 2 to 7

Height: 35 to 40 feet

Spread: 15 to 20 feet

Growth Rate: Fast growing but short-lived to 50 years

Form: Narrow, oval becoming pyramidal

Bloom Period: Appear before leaves in early spring

Flower: Pendulous catkins

Fruit: Dry capsule, seeds are tufted and look like cotton

Spring Color: Light green

Summer Foliage: Light green and trembling in a breeze

Autumn Foliage: Golden yellow

Winter Interest: Bark provides winter interest

Bark: Smooth, greenish-white to cream-colored, becomes dark brown with age

Habitat: Grows well and adapted to heat, drought, and humidity of the U.S. Midwest

Culture: Grows well in all soils; best in moist, loamy sands; needs full sun

Pest Problems: Fewer pest problems than the species

Storm Resistance: Fair, many twigs break off in high winds

Salt Tolerance: Poor

Planting: Transplant bare root, B&B, or by container, suitable for use in CU-Structural Soil

Propagating: Budded on seedling understock

Design Uses: Specimen for lawn, park, street, and residential locations

Companions: Use with perennial groundcovers

Other Comments: Excellent tree for special locations, handsome small tree

Available From: Many large retail nurseries.


* For information about the USDA Hardiness Zone Map, visit: http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/index.html


These are the personal observations of the author, living in New England — Zone 6. Leonard Phillips can be reached via e-mail at lenphillips@on-line-seminars.com.

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