How To Distinguish An Aspen

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How To Distinguish An Aspen
How To Distinguish An Aspen

Video: How To Distinguish An Aspen

Video: Identifying quaking (trembling) aspen 2022, December

Among botanists, aspen is known as the "trembling poplar". The foliage of this tree always trembles a little, even in the clearest weather. Aspen can be distinguished by other features, both in nature and during wood processing. It is used in construction and as an ornamental material. Before work, it is important to clarify the origin of the raw materials, since the aspen massif has its own characteristics, and sometimes it requires special processing.

How to distinguish an aspen
How to distinguish an aspen

It is necessary

  • - saw;
  • - sandpaper with coarse and fine grain;
  • - magnifier;
  • - clean water and boiling water;
  • - cutter, button.


Step 1

Identify the aspen by habitat. This deciduous species is very common in the forests and forest-steppe areas of the middle zone; it quickly populates fires and clearings. Aspen are especially often found in swampy and other wet places, like other representatives of the willow family.

Step 2

You can recognize aspen in nature by its characteristic external signs:

• its bark is light gray, with a characteristic openwork of lentils - large tubercles on the trunk;

• buds are small, which distinguishes aspen from a relative of poplar. In mature trees, rounded small inflorescences are formed, similar to willow catkins. Flowers are dioecious: males are reddish, and females are greenish;

• diamond-shaped carved leaves are planted on long petioles, the top of which is slightly flattened;

• aspen fruits - seeds with a powder puff in a small box.

Step 3

Rhizomes can be assessed in uprooted aspen. Their twisted (that is, with a random arrangement of fibers) wood is distinguished by a pearlescent sheen, therefore it is used for decorative crafts. By the way, the same material is mined around large aspen knots.

Step 4

Breathe in the scent of freshly cut wood. Aspen should smell nice, but not as pungent and tart as conifers. When decaying, it emits a characteristic vanilla smell.

Step 5

Prepare several slices of the log to identify the species. Usually, craftsmen clean the bark and make an end cut across the fibers and two longitudinal - radial (through the core) and tangential (parallel to the core). The cut should be white, with a bluish-grayish or greenish tint.

Step 6

Treat the aspen blanks with sandpaper (coarse and fine-grained) and examine them. To do this, use a magnifying glass and slightly dampen the wood with clean water so that the tree rings are more clearly defined. The cut should be uniform in structure (the core of the trunk and younger wood hardly differ in color). The wood fibers of the aspen trunk are arranged in even, straight and dense layers.

Step 7

Try dry aspen wood in your work - it should be easy to cut and turn on a lathe. A non-sharp cutter at the cross-section of the array can pull out individual fibers. Straight grained wood produces thin, long, straw-like shavings.

Step 8

Make shallow punctures with the button - its marks should be almost invisible on the tree. By the way, precisely because of the softness of aspen and its ability to close the fibers, this material is so popular among the manufacturers of drawing boards.

Step 9

You can test aspen wood for the effect of water. If you steam the aspen bars in boiling water, they will become very pliable and plastic - cut like butter and bend. Under the influence of water, the massif swells, but it is perfectly preserved and almost does not change its natural color (it is no coincidence that wells were always made of aspen, but today this material is used to decorate baths).

Step 10

On the contrary, selected dry edged aspen (shrinkage reaches 40%!) Becomes monolithic. Try to moisten it - the moisture will be absorbed by no more than 5 mm. A cube of this material weighs about 600 kg, and over time it only gains weight. It is difficult to work with such an array - the ax and the saw get stuck in its texture, and very large shavings are obtained.However, you can use dry timber even for roofing rafters in complete confidence that the aspen will not let you down.

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