Big Toothed Aspen

Populus grandidentata

Leaves are alternate, simple, single toothed, triangle shaped.

leaf, twig, and bud This is a fast-growing, relatively short-lived tree, sometimes reaching a to 80 feet and a diameter of 24 inches or more. It has a tall, straight bole. It is also known as Large-toothed aspen.

The single leaves are 3 to 4 inches long, with a dark green upper surface and with large, coarse, irregular teeth. The buds are smaller than the cottonwood, more or less pale and downy rather than resinous.

The fruit is a catkin like the cottonwood fruit but the capsules are smaller and darker in color, containing brown, fine, tufted seeds.

On branches and small trees the bark is light gray in color. On older trees it is more yellowish or brown, breaking into dark gray to brownish-black shallow ridges near the base.


  • usually larger than other Populus species
  • coarsely toothed with a flattened slender leafstalk (petiole)
  • young leaves whitish and woolly underneath

Branching: alternate

Bark: mostly smooth, olive green on young trees; later brown and furrowed

Height: 60 to 70 ft.

Trunk Diameter: 1 to 2 ft.

Longevity: 50 yrs.

Tolerance: intolerant

Range: north central and northeastern U.S. and southern Canada

Fun Facts:

  • Produces more wood per acre than most other trees
  • Used to make paper, pressboard
  • Deer browse
  • Sprouts from the roots (suckers)


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This key was developed by "bt" in June 1982. It was put into HTML format by Stephen Ostermiller in July 1997. Copies of the entire guide in zip format that may be taken to camp on a laptop are available to those who write.