Aspen Tree care
Our aspen trees have some damaged trunks. Would it be best to remove the damaged trunks or leave them and see if they will survive? If we leave them, should the receive any special care? Is it correct that if we remove the damaged trunks they will send up new shoots? We wound like to encourage an aspen grove to grow in this area, if possible.
Anoka County Minnesota
Aspen (Populous termuloides) are These aspen trees are in pretty tough shape. Because of the consistent location of the wounds and the fact the trees are planted in turf, it looks like mechanical damage such as lawn mower and / or weed whip damage possibly coupled with animal damage. Likewise once a tree is damaged, it can become susceptible to fungal an bacterial infections. http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/diagnose/plant/deciduous/poplar/
There is a good explanation of how poplars grow that includes information on how aspen create clumps. http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=a895
You could wait to see if the damaged trees produce suckers and ultimately new trees. Note that as they die, they may become fire hazard if you have a fire ring on your patio. Another option is to remove the damaged trees now and plant new trees. Remove the grass from around the trees individually or clumps and then mulch all of the trees with wood mulch to prevent further damage to the trees. A ring of mulch around your patio will also allow for planting between trees with shade perennials and making mowing easier.