Scent of Aspen tress

Asked June 15, 2019, 12:02 AM EDT

I have noticed a very distinct and pleasantly clean smell when traveling through Aspen groves. It becomes most noticeable when the road or trail dips down lower, possibly cooler temps and shade. No one I have spoken with at the Botanical Society or Forestry station seem to know why. I would like to know if it comes from the bark or the leaves or the sap? Is it year round or seasonal?

colorado trees

1 Response

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, I am unable to find any information that allows me to give a good answer. Master Gardeners are trained to use only .edu, org., and/or .gov sites. We do not use commercial sites when looking for answers. A number of commercial sites discuss the scent of aspen. One suggested it is really the clean, more humid air that surround the trees, rather than the trees themselves. The Univ of Wisconsin gave a listing of trees with buds that have a pleasant odor, but no add'l details were provided. Having found this then I found information from the Government of Maine that said the buds of aspen do not have an odor.

I regret that I am unable to find a definitive response to your question.