The U.S. Bureau of Mines tested the hypothesis that the establishment of volunteer aspen on acidic coal spoils is limited by colonization problems by amending bare spoil with surface applications of limestone (5,500 kg/ha), fertilizer (750 kg/ha of 5- 10-5), and root or stem wood chips (0.5 M3/ha). The experiment was conducted on lower Allegheny spoils near Emlenton, Pennsylvania, The amendments were applied in April 1989, 1 month before seed production by local aspens. The density of Aspen seedlings in the experiment plots has been monitored since May 1989. Both limestone and fertilizer significantly increased the initial establishment of Aspen during spring 1989. Plots receiving these treatments averaged 97 seedlings/m2 in June 1989. With the onset of hot dry weather in July, 97 pct of the established seedlings died. Survival of aspens only occurred in plots that received fertilizer. Between September 1989 and August 1991, the number of seedlings only decreased by 26 pct. Currently, the highest densities of aspen seedlings, 8.1 Seedlings/m2, are in plots that received fertilizer, limestone, and wood chip treatments. The soil chemistry in these plots is returning to pre-experimental levels without outward deleterious effects on the established aspens. The amendment applications used in this experiment to stimulate aspen colonization onto bare spoils could be the basis of a low-cost reforestation stretegy for abandoned mined lands in northern appalachia.