We have a restored prairi... #206397 - Ask Extension


We have a restored prairi... #206397

Asked August 13, 2014, 9:43 AM EDT

We have a restored prairie which is about 2 acres. About a half acre is infested with quaking aspen. We have tried mowing and have had it burned but they come back stronger than ever. We also tried clipping the tops and dipping them in round up. We would appreciate any help or ideas. Thank you!

Washington County Minnesota

Expert Response

You may be fighting Mother Nature. Remember that prairies are a stage in the succession of plants, and you may be trying to maintain one which is ready to move on.

The aspens may well all be clones and part of a parent tree, since they grow in colonies. Some are the oldest and the largest single plants on Earth. It is the nature of quaking or trembling aspen to colonize areas that have been disturbed, and may actually be encouraged by occasional fires.

Aspen is often an early succession species. Annual mowing is probably the best control if you wish to maintain an open meadow or prairie. However, the only long-term control is shade and further succession by conifers or other tall trees.

I hope this information is helpful.
Lynne Marie Sullivan Replied August 13, 2014, 11:05 AM EDT

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