Also known as quaking aspen, this is a beautiful tree with shimmering foliage. Mature trees grow to 25m.
Aspen trees attract a wide variety of insects, including two species of gall midge and the aspen hoverfly which feeds on microorganisms in dead aspen wood. These insects are food for birds and ladybirds. Deadwood cavities provide nesting opportunities for birds, such as the woodpecker. Aspen is a preferred species for beavers, which are native to the UK.
A crown made of aspen leaves was said to give the power to visit and return safely from the Underworld. Aspen crowns found in ancient burial mounds allowed the spirits of the deceased to be reborn. Aspen means shield, which was one of the many traditional uses of its wood. The visual effect of an aspen trembling in the wind is said the tree is communicating between this world and the next.