Aspen trees belong to the genus Populus, which also includes poplars and cottonwoods. They Enjoy a wide geographical range, especially the quaking aspen which grows from coast to coast all across North America.
This tree has the biggest distribution on the continent and is a close relative of the European aspen. Aspen trees can live up to 40-150 years above ground. Some Aspens, like the Pando Aspen, are known to be present on earth for almost 80,000 years.
Rhizomatic roots stem running underground, horizontally. New nodes come out from their roots, down into the soil, and also shoot new stems up to the surface out of their nodes. This kind of root system plays a crucial role in the immortality of these trees. Aspens are literally connected to each other, a community, and a family. They send nutrients to one another when an individual tree is ill, and can also communicate to one another.
Individual cones can survive up to 10,000 years or more. The roots are invasive and great for preventing soil erosion. The root system of the Pando Aspen, a group of 40,000 Aspen trees, considered the largest organism on Earth, has existed for about 80,000 years which makes it the oldest living organism.
Trees around the world are being impacted by climate change, increased fires, drought, insects that weaken their immune systems, and clearing forests for agriculture.
Read, The Hidden Life Of Trees by, Peter Wohlleben to learn more!
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