Skip to main content

U.S. Forest Service

Fading Gold: The Decline of Aspen in the West

Do you enjoy traveling into the mountains to see the gold-colored aspens in the fall?

Quaking aspen in the Western United States are getting harder to find. In recent years, scientists have noted that populations of quaking aspen are in decline in the western United States and Canada. Study of the causes, and in some cases action, is needed to understand and reverse this trend so opportunities to view and enjoy aspen do not fade.

Celebrating Wildflowers explores how aspens grow, the symptoms and possible causes of aspen decline, and the challenges to maintaining this species in the western landscape. Enjoy this unique species and its dazzling fall colors. Find out about the wildflowers found in aspen groves, and the carvings left on the trees' bark by visitors.

Join us to learn about one of our important western trees and the wildflowers that depend upon them for their habitat.

Aspen stand

How Aspens Grow

Learn about aspen biology

Wildfire burning in an aspen grove

Aspen Ecology

Explore the interactions of aspen with its environment

Aspen stand

Aspen Decline

What is happening to the aspen?

A man cutting conifers in an aspen stand

Managing Aspen

What are we doing to manage the aspen?

Golden aspen in the fall

Fall Colors of Aspen

See the dazzling fall colors of aspen

Lilium pardalinum var. shastense

Flowers in the Aspen Groves

Enjoy the wildflowers that live with aspen

Basque sheepherder carvings on an aspen's trunk

Basque Carvings

Learn about historic carvings left on aspen bark

Road in the mountains with golden aspens coloring the landscape

More Information

Related links and publications

YouTube: Loda Lake Hike

Thumbnail image of YouTube video introduction.

The Michigan Garden Club, a member of the Garden Clubs of America, partner with the Manistee National Forest produced a DVD about Loda Lake for their distant garden club chapters to learn more about Loda Lake. A portion of this video is posted on YouTube.

See Loda Lake Hike on YouTube,…