Species Detail - Eastern Cottonwood

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Photo You selected a Eastern Cottonwood:

Scientific Name:
Populus deltoides

Leaves:
Alternate, triangular leaves with a flattened base and a long, flat petiole. Dark green in summer, fade through the autumn to poor shades of light green, yellow, and brown.

Flowers:
Male and female flowers on separate trees. The large male flowers shed abundant amounts of pollen in early spring (and can have bright gold, green, or red flowers), while the female flowers eventually give rise to chains of immature green fruits. In late spring and early summer, the fruit capsules open to release their small seeds attached to many cotton-like strands.

Buds:
Large, pointed winter buds on its stout, rugged twigs. These begin to break in early spring, when the large bud scales fall off and expose the green tissue underneath.

Bark:
Smooth to lightly fissured and silvery white when young, but quickly changes to a brownish gray with maturity, developing very deep fissures between the rounded to flattened vertical ridges

Height:
65-80 ft.

Diameter:
2-2 ? in.

Range:
Eastern U.S., Midwest, Great Plains, South and Central U.S. Native to Vermont

Other Info:
Mature Cottonwood bark is among the thickest of all trees in North America. The bark is so thick that it can survive forest fires with only some outer bark loss