Wednesday 23 August 2023

An Aspen Forest in the Lawn

    I knew that Aspen trees spread through the roots and that when you see a huge area of Aspen, you are really seeing only one genetic tree.  I never really thought about it very much until recently.  Because it has been so hot and dry, I stopped mowing my lawn, to keep the grass from stressing out and dying.  I was surprised to see what happened.

    I have a very large Aspen in the yard and before I knew it, I had hundreds of little Aspen, sprouting throughout the yard, as the “Mother” Aspen, sought to expand her range.  Seeing all of those tiny Aspen coming up, made me realize just how extensive the root system of the mother tree was.  

    I have heard it said that there is as much of a tree underground as roots, as what you can see above the ground.   In my brain, it always just seems that the the tree stops at ground level, unless there are some obvious roots showing above ground.

    Recent studies have shown that tree roots work cooperatively with underground fungi to share nutrients.  Researchers found a Douglas Fir tree that was keeping a nearby Fir stump alive by providing  nutrients to it, through its roots. 

    There is so much we have yet to learn about trees and Nature.

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