Radically pruning an aspen...?

Howdy,
About 8 months ago, I had access to the use of a mini-excavator for several days. Among other things, I used it to (crudely) transplant a bunch of small trees. I just scooped 'em up, and placed them into holes that I had prepared for the purpose. Most were evergreens, and all of those are doing remarkably well. Their color is great, and they all show lots of new growth.
One was an aspen, and it is the cause of my question:
It is far taller than all the others (about 15' tall) and, because it was growing in a wooded area, it had leaves only at the very top. In its new location, it is exposed to full sun.
It appears to be loaded with leaf buds at the top, but none have opened. I had assumed that it had not survived the transplantation, but just recently discovered a few leaf shoots growing from its sides about six or eight feet above the ground.
What should I do to increase the chances of the tree's survival?
I could just wait, but have also thought about sawing it off above the highest point of the leaf shoots. Perhaps there are other thoughts.
What would you suggest?
Sincere thanks,
--
Kenneth

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Aspens and cotton woods (Populus) are painfully easy to grow from seeds, and painfully hard to transplant. I have had this experience on both coasts and the Rocky mountains. Wild-dug Populus from the 'woods' almost never do well IME. Sorry.
--
Mike LaMana, MS
Heartwood Consulting Services, LLC
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I don't think I would cut the top out at this point. If you have time, I would just wait it out for a while and see what develops. Then if after a while you have healthy, new lower growth and the top is still dead, you could cut the top out and still have a nice tree. Another option might be to select a smaller tree. The little ones (1-2 ft. tall) have a much better survival rate. They grow fast, so you won't have to wait forever to have a nice tree. Also, in my experience of transplanting aspen trees from the Rocky Mtns., it seems that they do better if you can get a small clump of about 3 trees. BTW - Be sure to get permission before taking trees from private property or public lands, to avoid hefty fines, jail, other hassles, etc. Hope this is helpful. Gary
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Aspens (what eastern Canadians call poplar) are hardy but short-lived and prone to disease, i.e. weed trees in this locality. The 1998 ice storm stripped half a dozen of my poplars like popsicle sticks 12 to 18 feet high, but all have since grown out as well as up.
-- Don Phillipson Carlsbad Springs (Ottawa, Canada)
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