Aspen Green-up – Spring 2012

Aspen Green Up – Spring 2012

Due to the below normal snow pack around most of the state, spring came early to Blue Valley Ranch this year.  Just in the last week or so, the aspen have really begun to leaf out.  Spring is a good time of year to pick out different aspen clones, as the high degree of genetic variability between clones will cause them to green up at different times.  Often, the trees in what appears to be a single stand will turn out to be members of different clones.


The stand of aspen in the above picture is actually composed of two separate clones, which is very evident when the one on the right has fully leafed out while the left-hand clone is just breaking bud.  This stand was treated in 2003, so these stems are only about 9 years old.


Here is a close-up of the fresh, new leaves on the leafy clone.


While the buds of the other clone are just beginning to break.


Some buds are not quite breaking yet, but will likely do so in a day or two; provided we don’t get a hard frost, which is always a possibility in the high country.


Fall is also a great time for picking out different clones of aspen, as they tend to change colors at slightly different times for the same reason. The above photo was taken in 2005.

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