Aspens are known by many names: quaking aspen, trembling aspen, and popple. It is a fast growing, short-lived tree, not often exceeding 50 to 60 feet in height and a diameter of 18 to 29 inches. It has a narrow crown with a long trunk free of lower branches  .
The wood of aspens are very white in color. The knots tend to change a reddish color once coated with a clear coat of water-based polyurethane. Like other alpines, the aspen is light in weight. Because they are found at such high altitudes, Aspen wood is considered a dry wood.
Engelmann spruce (picia engelmanni) is derived from the Latin word for pitch. This tree was named after the botanist George Engelmann . The wood is white, odorless, lightweight, straight grained, soft, stiff, and can be readily air dried .
Engelmann spruce is a long-lived, native, coniferous, evergreen tree. It is one of the largest of the high-elevation mountain conifers. Mature trees have a narrow, pyramid form and short, compact branches. Within natural stands, mature trees average 15 to 30 inches in diameter; the average dominant height varies from 45 to 130 feet. Larger individuals are not uncommon and may exceed 40 inches in diameter and 160 feet in height. Dominant spruce are often 350 to 450 years old.
Engelmann spruce is found in some of the highest and coldest forest environments in the western United States, characterized by long, cold winters with heavy snowpack and short, cool summers. It extends down to lower elevation along stream bottoms where cold air flows down the Rock Mountains of Colorado, Engelmann spruce is generally found at elevations of between 9,000 to 11,000 feet; as low as 8,000 feet along cold stream bottoms and sometimes as high as 11,500. In the plateaus of Utah, they are found between 8,000 and 12,000 feet .
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Aspen grove in Colorado.