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 While quaking aspen may be found growing alongside a number of different tree species, it is also commonly found inhabiting recently disturbed sites alone. Aspen is likely to take over a site after any major disturbance, such as fire, wind, or logging. The rapidly growing young trees may arise from seeds, or more likely, from sprouts of already existing root systems. Due to their intolerance to shade, they compete vigorously for sunlight, each tree maintaining only a small crown of leaves at its top. Over time, the aspens begin to die out, and give way to slower growing, more shade tolerant species which become established underneath their shimmering canopy. While the oldest aspens may grow to more than 100 feet in height, with diameters upwards of 2 feet, most die well before that time.

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