Quaking Aspen : Why aren't there many young stands of quaking aspens in the West?
Quaking aspens need a lot of sunlight to grow, so when other trees take root in the forest and block out the sunlight, it is very easy for the aspens to die out. It is believed that fire suppression has led to a decrease in the population of aspens because other trees are invading aspen territory. When fires wipe out all of the other trees, aspens will grow back quickly. Because of an increase in fire prevention and fire control, less fires have ripped through forests. Now, in the West it is much less common to find young stands of quaking aspen trees. Before, when Native Americans deliberately burned areas to initiate growth, quaking aspens took over large areas because of how quickly they grew back. The fires allowed the root system to remain and new stems to grow. With nothing to destroy the stems, new growth is less likely to be found.