world distributionAspen is a medium-sized tree in the poplar family.  The Eurasian Aspen Populus tremula and the North American Populus tremuloides are closely related.  Together, they have the widest natural range of any tree species in the world.

Although it is found throughout Scotland, Aspen is generally rather scarce.  It is most common in the Highlands, but even here it survives mainly as small remnants, widely scattered and unmanaged.

On sea-cliff



Aspen is found on a wide range of sites from sea-level to the tree-line. It occurs in most types of woodland, but most commonly associates with birch.  It is often found in sites inaccessible to grazing animals, such as crags and riparian woodlands.

Aspen’s importance for biodiversity has become increasingly recognised.  It supports many rare animals and plants.  It is also a preferred foodplant for beavers, whose reintroduction to Scotland is currently under trial.

Beaver with Aspen


Until recently, Aspen has been largely neglected by woodland managers .  The distribution and condition of Aspen stands are poorly known.  Very few Aspen woods are managed, and the supply of local origin planting stock is severely limited by difficulties with propagation.

A lot of information on Aspen has been gathered together during conferences in 2001 and 2008.    To download the proceedings, click on the images.


conference cover