In recent years, Big Tooth Aspen have become one of my favorite trees. Native to southern Minnesota and with a range that extends north into central Canada, Big Tooth Aspen put on quite a fall color show, and are tough enough to withstand corn country heat and 50 below zero winters.
I try to spend a few days each fall in the Ely, MN area where Big Tooth Aspen are found in mixed forests with their better known cousin the Quaking Aspen, as well as Paper Birch, Red Maple, Spruce, Pine, Fir, Larch and even a few scattered Red Oak, Bur Oak and Northern Pin Oak. While the Birch and Quaking Aspen take on a mixed mantle of yellow/gold in mid fall, the Bigtooth Aspen typically color up a week later and sometimes add intense orange and red highlights to complement their basic gold fall color.
When you witness a grove of Big Tooth Aspen literally glowing in the sunlight with a shimmering apricot color as the leaves rustle in the slightest breeze, it is a sight to behold, especially when there is a clear blue sky for a backdrop.
In the canoe country a very common and super hardy low growing understory native shrub called Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle turns lovely shades of red and burgundy, providing a lovely contrast to the color show of the BigTooth Aspens. Dwarf Bush Honeysuckles mae great groundcover shrubs. The accompanying photo shows both plants as they occur just a miles south of Ely!