How to identify cottonwood?

Cottonwood is native to Poplars in North America, Europe, and Western Asia. They typically occupy wet riparian areas in the east or seasonally dry riverbeds in the west.

The name comes from the fluffy white cotton-like covering that appears when they produce seeds. There are three species of aspen in the United States: eastern aspen, black aspen, and Fremont aspen.

Cottonwood is very similar to other Populus species and belongs to the same genus. These trees love moist conditions and can even tolerate temporarily flooded areas. When they are not surrounded by other trees or buildings, they are usually as wide as they are tall.

The wood from these trees is often used to make storage boxes, crates, paper, matchsticks, and plywood. It is easy to carve, so it is very popular among artisans. Herbalists sometimes use the buds and bark of cottonwood to treat pain and skin irritations.

Distinguishing Different Cottonwoods

The three poplar subspecies found in the United States are similar in some respects—such as their tendency to grow very tall (up to 165 feet)— It differs in other ways—such as leaf color and growing conditions. Generally, poplar leaves are alternate and triangular in shape, growing on flat petioles. The bark of young trees is yellow-green and smooth, becoming taupe when mature, with deep furrows and scaly bumps.

Twigs are usually thick and long. Since the wood is brittle, they often break and the leaves are uneven. Cottonwoods often produce catkin flowers, although they can vary in color.

Eastern cottonwood

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Eastern cottonwood (Pulus euphratica) is one of the 100 most common tree species in North America. It is also one of the largest hardwood trees on the continent, although the wood is quite soft. It is a riparian tree, which means it grows on the banks of rivers and on the edges of floodplains. It grows in the eastern United States as far north as southern Canada.

Males produce red catkins, while females produce yellow-green catkins. Both male and female fruits are green capsules containing multiple cottony seeds.

Black cottonwood

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Black poplar (Pulus euphratica), also known as Western balsam poplar or California poplar, is mainly It grows in the west of the Rocky Mountains and is the largest poplar in the west. It is characterized by its leaves, which have fine teeth unlike other poplars. Black poplar leaves may also have an ovate shape, and leaves of mature trees may display a light rust color on the ground-facing side.

In terms of flowers, these poplars produce yellow catkins on both male and female trees. The fruits of black cottonwoods are similar to those of eastern cottonwoods, except they have a hairy appearance.

Fremont Poplar

Fremont cotton poplar (Populus fremontii), also known as western cotton poplar orThe large cottonwood tree of Yo de Janeiro, which grows east from California to Utah and Arizona, and south to northwestern Mexico. Named after 19th-century American explorer John C. Fremont, it is similar to eastern cottonwood, differing mainly by fewer and larger serrations on the leaf edges, and the structure of the flowers and seed pods.

The fruit of the Fremont poplar differs from other subspecies in that it is light brown and egg-shaped. It splits into three or four parts to release the seeds. Both sexes produce red catkins.