Ok to let aspen tree root sprouts grow?

Asked September 19, 2017, 7:20 PM EDT

I love aspens. If it was acceptable in my neighborhood, I would have a whole grove of them in my backyard. My neighbor currently has an aspen established near our property line. This year we've started to see many little root sprouts start to pop up in our yard, a few of the sprouts are in desirable locations.

Is there anything wrong with letting a couple of them grow?

What kind of spacing should we aim for between the aspen sprouts and existing trees and shrubs?

For your information, we're located in Firestone Colorado.

Weld County Colorado trees and shrubs

1 Response

Aspen reproduce not only by seed but also by extensive suckering. An aspen grove starts as suckers off the roots of a mother tree, so the grove is all one organism. This suckering habit can be a nuisance in the urban landscape, coming up in lawns and gardens – often in neighbors’ yards. There is no way to prevent suckers from forming. Mowing can keep their size down, but doesn’t kill them. If the root system is not killed when a tree is removed, suckers will still form. It’s the tree’s natural way of living and survival. So, you're not going to be able to STOP them from coming up in your yard. The decision is yours about what to keep, how many to keep, and how far apart you want them. Know that as these mature, they will also produce suckers.

Aspen grown in landscaped soil here at our lower altitude often have a number of diseases and require more care. More information on aspen: http://planttalk.colostate.edu/topics/trees-shrubs-vines/1701-aspen-trees/