Edited by Senior Wetland Ambassador Michaela
As a wetland ambassador, it is my job to record the well-being of our native trees, here I will record the progress of our trembling Aspens, how they are thriving or how they didn’t take when planted.
In the Fall of 2019 our team planted a number of Aspen trees (4), all trees seemed to adapt nicely, staying alive over the winter. All trees bore leaves this spring, however one out of our four Aspens began to lose its leaves, turning yellow with brown to black spots which is a result of under-watering. Due to the 2 week hot flash we faced this summer towards the end of July beginning of August, our trees dried out resulting in one of them to get sick.
We have and will continue to increase the trees water intake but not so much that it will drown, the other trees have lost a few leaves due to the hot weather, however they have made a nice recovery now that they are and will continue to get the right amount of water.
(Populus tremuloides) Trembling Aspen, Quaking Aspen.
Range : seen throughout British Columbia, towards the east of the cascade mountain range, extending from the valley bottom to 4000’ in elevation. Aspens are found in occasional groups on Vancouver island, but are even sparser in coastal forest zones.
Characteristics : in the dry interior Aspens gather in low spreading groves 20’ – 30’ high, where there is evidence of moisture. Aspens do well in wetter regions, where Aspens will grow to be 80’ high, these have straight trunks, 16” in diameter and carry on their top halves a loose, rounded crown of brittle branches. The characteristic groves of Aspen result from spreading roots which will ultimately send up tree shoots.
(Acer saccharum) sugar maple, rock maple.
Range : Native to the hardwood forest of eastern Canada, located from nova scotia, spreading west throughout Quebec to southeast Manitoba, lake of the woods.
Characteristics : the sugar maple will grow at a faster rate if healthy and taken care of, 24” a year. The tree will grow to be between 60’-75’ with a spread of 40’-50’ in diameter. With a shallow root system they are well adapted to wet soil conditions apposed to dry hot conditions. Most maples including the sugar maple thrive better in wetter soil or weather. The leaves can reach between 4”-7” in length, bearing a bright green color, changing to a deep red in the autumn.
After planting our sugar maple tree two winters ago, it had become noticeable that there were cracks starting to form on the base of the maple tree. This was concerning to our team given the good health of our tree, bearing bright green leaves with no signs of diseases or parasites I did some digging, cracks in maple trees are common, both the bark and wood contain water, this causes the tree to swell or then shrink in response to an increase or decrease in temperature. Alternation between hot and cold weather can cause the tree to put on sudden growth which will ultimately end up in cracks in the bark, and in some unfortunate cases the wood. Also planting the tree too close to the end of fall will cause the tree to go into shock which allows the frost of winter to sleep in, causing the bark to split.
Our sugar leaf maple has also recently produced seed pods or ‘helicopters / propellers’