One of the joys of living in Colorado is the gorgeous gold of the aspen in fall. Other regions may boast more colorful foliage—the reds and purples of the hardwood forests to the east, for example—but nowhere else do we get the combination of cobalt blue skies, spectacular mountain scenery, and shimmering golden leaves. Such a treat is not to be missed, so we recently joined some friends and went leaf “peeping.”
Stands of bright gold aspen shimmering in the sunlight are a spectacular sight, so it is no surprise that many people plant aspen in their home landscapes. Sadly, aspen is probably not the best choice for local gardens. The same qualities that make aspen perfectly suited for colonizing mountainsides denuded by fire, rock slides and avalanches create problems in more constrained spaces.