How to Grow Quaking Aspen Trees from Root Cuttings

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Quaking aspens trees grow in almost every state across the country because they are tolerant of most climates and conditions. Aspen trees mainly reproduce by sprouting up from existing aspen tree root systems. These young aspen trees are called root sprouts or suckers, and they are very easy to transplant and grow. Quaking aspens are an ideal tree to plant if you are looking for a tree that is easy to transplant, grows quickly, multiplies each year, and flourishes in full sunlight.

Things You'll Need

  • Quaking Aspen Trees
  • Root Cuttings
  • Root Suckers/Sprouts
  • Gardening Pruners
  • Locate an existing grove of quaking aspen trees that appears healthy and free of tree disease. The best time to harvest root cuttings is during early spring from February to April.

  • Look at the base of an aspen tree for exposed roots. Roots that are growing over rocky terrain or along a stream bank are most likely to be exposed and easily accessible.

  • Follow a section of exposed quaking aspen root and look for young aspens, termed root sprouts or suckers, growing out of the roots of the mature quaking aspen tree. For best results, choose sections of roots with suckers that are 15-60 centimeters (6-24 inches) tall.

  • Cut out a section of quaking aspen tree root that has one or more suckers growing from it. Ideally, root cuttings are 2-3 centimeters (about one inch) in diameter, and 40-60 centimeters (16-24 inches) in length.

  • Store the root cuttings in moist soil while you are transporting them. The root cuttings should be transplanted as soon as possible, and you do not want them to dry out in the mean time.

  • Transplant the root cuttings and young suckers in an area that provides full sunlight exposure. Water the young aspen sprouts regularly to encourage quick growth, and enjoy your new grove of quaking aspen trees as it grows and proliferates each year.

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  • Photo Credit Rita Forsythe
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