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Aspen catkins

Discuss the wonderful plant life of the Outer Hebrides here
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Paul Smith
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Joined: 05 May 2012, 19:04

Aspen catkins

Post by Paul Smith » 05 May 2012, 20:19

I've been looking at aspens (Populus tremula) on cliffs for quite a few years, wondering how long they've been there and whether they reproduce. For the first time this year I've found two trees with catkins - one male and one female (the sexes are on different trees in aspen). The evidence seems to be that catkin production is driven by environmental factors, so this spring may be the best chance to look for catkins on other trees. The female ones should be obvious, big and chunky on bare twigs, but the male ones (more silky) are already shrivelled and falling. But if there are aspens near you please go out and look to see - I'd love to know which clones (usually only one clone on a cliff) are male and female.

paul
aspen female catkins.jpg
aspen female catkins

chrisjohnson
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Joined: 29 Mar 2012, 11:01

Re: Aspen catkins

Post by chrisjohnson » 07 May 2012, 09:07

Hi Paul

I looked at some Aspens yesterday but no evidence of catkins. I may have been too late as they are now coming into leaf.

Chris

Paul Smith
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Joined: 05 May 2012, 19:04

Re: Aspen catkins

Post by Paul Smith » 10 May 2012, 19:12

Thanks Chris...I've now looked at a lot round Uig parish on Lewis, and I can't find any more with catkins either, but at least the females should be visible even when they come into leaf. So please keep looking! Thanks,

paul

Paul Smith
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Joined: 05 May 2012, 19:04

Re: Aspen catkins

Post by Paul Smith » 11 May 2012, 17:51

They're definitely still there, but only on a minority of trees. Fresh male catkins on one clone in the gorge at Giosla today, but other clones in the same place have none...

paul
Populus tremula male catkins (small).jpg
Aspen male catkins, Giosla gorge

chrisjohnson
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Joined: 29 Mar 2012, 11:01

Re: Aspen catkins

Post by chrisjohnson » 12 May 2012, 13:25

Interesting that those are not in leaf yet whereas here in South Uist they have been for over two weeks.

Chris

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