Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
Gerald L. Klingaman
Enormous and fast growing yet notoriously short-lived, cottonwood is one of the largest and most widely distributed North American hardwood trees, occuring in floodplains and other moist habitats over most of the eastern and central United States. This upright spreading tree has beautiful large triangular leaves that turn yellow in the fall. The extensive fibrous root system anchors the tree against floods.
This poplar is dioecious, with female and male flowers borne on separate trees in catkins. Catkins are red on male trees; green on females. Females shed seed attached to fluffy fiber which drifts on the wind. In the domestic landscape female trees are pariahs due to the excessive cottony litter they produce. Almost all cultivars are cottonless male clones.
Like most of its clan this tree likes sun and moist well-drained soil and is an aggressive rooter, sending out a dense network of water seeking fibrous roots that can clog water lines. It’s best reserved for windbreaks and shelterbelts, parks, open spaces, ranches and greenbelts and other places where its size, toughness and vigor are assets.
9 - 1
3 - 9
1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21
0'-100' / 0.0m - 30.5m
0'-70' / 0.0m - 21.3m
Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, Central United States, Canada, Mexico
Average Water, Ample Water
Screening / Wind Break, Shade Trees
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