‹‹ Colorado Postcards


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Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
A view of fall colors on Vail Pass, Sunday, September 16, 2021.
Aspens quake as one

A grove of Aspen, all turning one vibrant color, is also a sign of something underground: those hundred golden or fiery red trees are all one organism.

A Quaking aspen clones itself from its roots, sprouting shoots and suckers and becoming an aggregate of genetically identical trees that can cover a 100 acres. A single tree may stand a 100 years, but the clone may last for thousands, doing best on gravelly slopes and quickly filling in areas wildfires have made bare. The wind blowing through aspens sounds like nothing else in the forest: a soft rustle of green on a summer day, or a dry rattle in winter with most of the leaves gone. And black fissures on the white bark of an aspen reveal what else has passed by: the marks of a bear, or deer and elk, or even shepherds alone in the high country a long, long time ago.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.