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Quaking aspen are deciduous trees with straight trunks and gently ascending branches. Bigtooth aspen can be distinguished from quaking aspen by its leaves; they are bigger and marked with large, irregular teeth on the leaf margins. Quaking aspen is typically closer to 50 feet. Six species of aspen exist worldwide--all belonging to the scientific genus Populus. Quaking aspen and bigtooth aspen have white bark and brilliant fall color; both provide food for black bear, deer, porcupine, beaver, elk and moose. Native Americans used both of these trees as food, grinding the dried inner bark into meal for bread or mush
According to the Unites States Department of Agriculture, quaking aspen is the most widely distributed tree on the continent, its growth range extending from Alaska to eastern Canada and south to Mexico. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Colorado and Alaska each have at least 2 million acres of quaking aspen forest. On the other hand, bigtooth aspen is found largely in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada.
Quaking Aspen, which was used by both native Americans and early pioneers to treat fever, scurvy, cough , pain and as an anti-inflammatory. The inner bark of this tree contains salicin, a substance similar to the active ingredient in aspirin.