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ASPEN

Populus spp.


a note about the genus Populus (IN THE USA) with common names including aspen and poplar (cottonwood)



Populus spp. of the family Fabaceae (syn Leguminosae) the legume, pea, or bean family. Although there are over 30 species worldwide, from 8 genera, that have the word aspen as all or part of one or more of their common names, It it is my intent that the woods on this page be from the genus Populous. There is some possibility for confusion between the sets of Populus that are normally called cottonwood (or poplar) which has its own page on this site and those that are called aspen, PARTICULARLY since ALL of the species that use the name aspen ALSO use poplar or cottonwood or both (but there are numerous Populus species that use poplar or cottonwood or but but which do NOT use the name aspen). Such is the joy of common wood names. Further discussion can be found on the page for cottonwood.

A note about Populus alba: although Populus alba has been given more names containing the word poplar (black poplar, bolleana poplar, English/European poplar, Lombardy poplar, silver poplar, silver leaf poplar, white poplar) than it has names containing the word aspen (aspen, great aspen, white aspen), AND it is most commonly sold as white poplar, it is none the less genetically closer to the aspens so it is shown on this site on the aspen page.

my samples:


both sides of a sample plank of aspen ("white poplar") / Populus alba --- HUGE enlargements are present. See the note at the top of the page regarding naming of this species.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above but taken from the other end


both sides of a sample plank of aspen ("white poplar") / Populus alba --- HUGE enlargements are present. See the note at the top of the page regarding naming of this species.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of aspen ("white poplar") / Populus alba --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. See the note at the top of the page regarding naming of this species.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


both sides of a sample plank of aspen ("white poplar") / Populus alba --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. See the note at the top of the page regarding naming of this species.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of aspen ("white poplar") / Populus alba --- HUGE enlargements are present. See the note at the top of the page regarding naming of this species.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of bigtooth aspen / Populus grandidentata --- HUGE enlargements are present


end grain and HIGH GRIT END GRAIN CLOSEUP of the piece directly above (the original end grain closeup showed showed nothing but saw marks, as you can see from the end grain pic)


both sides of a sample plank of bigtooth aspen / Populus grandidentata --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


both sides of a sample plank of bigtooth aspen / Populus grandidentata --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The vendor of this piece has it as bigtooth cottonwood, which IS one of its common names but it belongs in the aspen group of Populus spp.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of trembling aspen / Populus tremuloides --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. Note that this species is also called trembling poplar and MANY other names including both "aspen" and "poplar" and in Canada, where this was labeled, it is called tremble.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above --- the left side of this update clearly did not get sanded properly but the middle and right are just fine and show the fine grain detail quite clearly.


both sides of a sample plank of quaking aspen / Populus tremuloides --- HUGE enlargements are present.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of quaking aspen / Populus tremuloides --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of figured quaking aspen / Populous tremuloides --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The figure on this piece is a light curl which is more apparent in the wood than it is in the pics


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of figured quaking aspen / Populus tremuloides --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The vendor of this piece had it as "quilted" but it is curly at best, not quilted.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of figured quaking aspen / Populous tremuloides --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The figure on this piece is a light curl which is more apparent in the wood than it is in the pics. The vendor had it as "quilted", which it is not.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


both sides of a sample plank of figured quaking aspen / Populus tremuloides --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The "figure" is a very light curl which is barely visible in the pics.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


first face and the end grain of a sample of aspen / Populus tremuloides. This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION A


the second face, before and after sanding, showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above.



both sides and both ends of a sample piece


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above


a set of planks --- except for the first one, each of these images is of a plank section approximately 8" wide by 24" long. The first image is of a section about half that size. I took these in a lumber yard and chose the various pieces to show a good range of grain and color. Both enlargements are available for all of these.


planks shot at LOWES at various times but looking more pink than the wood which was white


planks shot at LOWES at various times


long piece of flat cut veneer and closeup of same --- the yellow on the distance pic is not correct --- the closeup has the correct color. This was listed as "pin knotty" which seems correct based on the small pin-sized knot holes here and there.


quartersawn veneer with correctly shown salmon color


veneer sheets: the top is unfigured, the bottom is figured. The yellowish tan color is correct, but there is just a slight green tint in the pic that is not present in the wood.


figured veneer --- the color of this pic is a little off; the color is actually exactly like the sheet directly above this one but the shiny surface is correct, not an effect of the camera.



The Wood Book pics


flat cut, quartersawn, end grain
white poplar (Populus alba, also listed as abele) from The Wood Book --- both levels of enlargement are available for each of the 3 views. See the note at the top of this page regarding the naming of this species


flat cut, quartersawn, end grain
quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides, also listed as just "aspen") from The Wood Book --- both levels of enlargement are available for each of the 3 views

web pics:


log section


planks just listed as aspen


planks just listed as aspen and with colors that are just silly


plank listed as quaking aspen


quaking aspen crotch


planks listed as aspen / Populus tremuloides --- the yellow on that first one is absurd


plank listed as aspen / Populus granditentata


end grain shot listed as European aspen / Populus tremula


oiled plank


veneer just listed as aspen


veneer listed as aspen / Populus canescens --- the first is flat cut, the second quartersawn/figured and the third is quartersawn


figured veneer


bowl


turned box