There is an air of melancholy beauty in a stand of quaking aspens. Maybe it’s the whispering leaves or the stark array of the bare white trunks. Or could it be the golden light produced when the autumn sun shines through those amazing yellow leaves. Perhaps all of that. Unfortunately it has usually been a tree of the mountains that was not without problems such as susceptibility to canker, leaf spot and borers, which occurred when it was planted outside its optimal environment. Well many more people will be able to appreciate this lovely tree thanks to a new cultivar that is highly resistant to those problems and has taken the nursery industry by storm. It is ‘Prairie Gold’ quaking aspen and not only is it resistant to pests and disease, it grows in everything from moist sandy soil to rocky soils and even clay. Prairie Gold aspen has performed well in heat and high humidity as well, greatly extending the range of the Quaking aspen. And in addition to all this low-maintenance good news, it grows at a prodigious rate of 3 to 4 feet a year, making it suitable for any number of landscape situations such as quick screens or reclamation. Prairie Gold has, like any aspen, the beautiful ivory bark, the pale, silvery catkins and the famous dancing leaves - lustrous dark green above, pale beneath, which flutter in the slightest breeze. And finally, what tree in the world has a yellow to rival its autumn foliage? A grove of aspens, with their canary yellow leaves framed against a clear blue sky is simply one of the most stunning autumn scenes imaginable.
Prairie Gold aspen eventually reaches 35 to 40 feet tall and 20-30 feet wide. It will grow across most the upper half of the US, much of Canada, the UK, and New Zealand and cooler parts of Australia. It is however, only just now becoming available so it may not be easy to find for a while yet.

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Prairie Gold Quaking aspen

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A TREE A DAY

2017