The cottonwood tree can be used for a variety of purposes: 


Timber: The trees may be used in pulp, and its lumber is used for low grade construction.  Even though the cottonwood is easy to work with, it is soft and weak.  Because of the high water content in the wood, it would warp terribly once it had dried. 


Fuel: Cottonwood trees can also be used as fuel because of their rapid growth.  The wood is easy to make into fuel wood.  However, it burns quickly and produces low heat. 


Wildlife: Not surprisingly, the cottonwood play a major role in wildlife as well.  It provides shelter and cover for a number of organisms including deer and turkey. 


Windbreaks: The cottonwood is also an ideal tree for windbreaks due to it incredible size and fast growth rate. 


Shade: The tree is often times planted near homes in order to provide quick shade.



Interesting Facts


Obvious from its common name, a major characteristic that helps to identify the cottonwood tree is the "cotton" on its seeds.  During the beginning of the summer months, the female cottonwood trees release their "cotton", leaving the air around the cottonwood tree full of white fluff.  This white fluff can often times give the impression that it is "snowing" in June.  Interestingly, some fishermen relate the "snowing" of the cottonwood trees with excellent crappie fishing. 


Due to the morphology of its leaves, even on a day without wind, the cottonwood leaves create a glimmering effect.  Native American children would use the leaves of cottonwoods to build miniature teepees. 


There are some cottonwoods still existing today that were alive when large bison herds roamed the prairies.


The cottonwood tree is the State Tree of Kansas as determined in the year 1937.


Are you a fan of country music?

Not only has the cottonwood tree firmly planted its roots in the soils of the United States, but it has also made its way into the entertainment industry!  How impressive is that?  Maybe you have heard of the song "Almost Home" by Craig Morgan, which makes references to this well-known species,"...He said, 'I just climbed out of a cottonwood tree, I was runnin' from some honeybees'...".  If you would like to enjoy some lovely music in which the cottonwood tree is mentioned, click HERE



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