According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), cottonwoods grow in areas of full sun and in moist, well-drained sandy soil. There are only a few species of poplar trees that are classified as cottonwoods. Fremont’s cottonwood trees grow well near rivers and streams. Sarah Moore has been a writer, editor and blogger since 2006. The Lombardy Poplar (Populus nigra ‘Italica’) is a form of Black Poplar that probably came originally from Northern Italy in the 18th century but has since been planted throughout the world as an ornamental tree.It is a male tree with red catkins in spring and can reach a height of more than 30m. The Chinese necklace poplar is a delightful shade tree with large leaves and dense foliage. The Black Cottonwood , Populus balsamifera, grows mostly west of the Rocky Mountains and is the largest Western cottonwood. Cottonwoods trees play a very important role in … Flowers on both male and female species are red and the bark is whitish-gray and cracked. trichocarpa (Torr. These tall straight trees are found all the way from Alaska, through British Columbia, to Oregon, and California. This cottonwood species has long buds that grow up to 3 cm and these bloom into yellowish flowers. The lanceleaf cottonwood, however, will only live for up to 50 years. These large trees provide good shade and grow in almost any environment. Cottonwood (Poplar) The cottonwood—also known as the poplar—is a tall tree with a spreading crown, named for its cotton-like seeds. Poplar Aspen & Cottonwood Types. These poplar trees shed cotton during June and July. The big glossy triangular leaves dangle down from the stems. While some caterpillars feed exclusively on soft plant tissue like leaves, flowers and fruit, a few cottonwood pests bore into the wood. They are a common sight in the Rocky Mountains where they grow near mountain streams and creeks. Narrowleaf cottonwood trees commonly grow at high altitudes. The leaves are willowy, long, and narrow, which is another way to distinguish the narrowleaf cottonwood from other types. The name “cottonwood” comes from the fluffy white substance that surrounds the seeds. The leaves of this poplar are some of the largest of any of the cottonwood trees. Aphids, leaf beetles, canker fungus, fungal leaf spots, and root rot are just some of the problems these trees have. Nurseries sometimes sell male trees as ‘cottonless,’ and you can buy sterile hybrids that also do not produce it. Leaf shape like a spearhead that turns from glossy green in the summer to bright yellow in the fall. The cottony seeds are often seen … You will find cottonwood trees growing in the eastern, central, and southwestern states of the US. They have clusters of erect branches which often appear as a single column, and look absolutely beautiful. It is also called Western balsam poplar and California poplar. Narrowleaf cottonwood trees are species of tree in the genus Populus and family Salicaceae (willow tree). Similar to all species of cottonwood, black poplars are fast-growing trees that produce low-grade timber. These large trees can grow to between 50 and 80 ft. (15 – 24 m). Poplars, cottonwoods and aspens are all members of the Populus genus, and all are quite tall. Apart from producing a flurry of white fuzzy fluff in late spring and early summer, there are other ways to identify cottonwoods. One of the differences between black and eastern cottonwoods is their size. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Their tall stature and wide-spreading dense foliage mean they are great shade trees. Cordate (heart-shaped) large oval leaves that are up to 6” (15 cm) long and with an elongated tip. Member of the Poplar family, cottonwood trees are amongst the tallest hardwood trees that are commonly found all across North America and Europe as well as in many different regions of Asia. The trees are also used in large parks to attract different kinds of wildlife and create windbreaks. Massive green leaves in a triangle shape that create lush foliage. Black Cottonwood The Willow Family– Salicaceae Populus balsamifera L. ssp. Description. Poplars thrive in moist soils, so look for them along rivers and streams. Both are members of the Populus genus, which includes poplars, cottonwoods and aspens. Cottonwood trees are not the ideal type of landscaping tree for small or medium-sized backyards. Cottonwood leaves are large, shaped like a triangle and have toothed edges. The eastern cottonwood is a large and fast growing tree. Luster Leaf; Aspects; Lawn & Garden Products; Woodlink; Birds Choice; View all Brands; Annual Care Kits Tree Health ... Poplar Aspen & Cottonwood. Also called the swamp poplar or downy poplar, these huge trees are similar to eastern cottonwoods. Leaves and Buds Bud arrangement - Alternate. What Is the Difference Between a Poplar & a Cottonwood Tree? As with most species of trees in the cottonwood family, the timber is weak and the narrowleaf cottonwood tree is not commercially important. … These are some of the largest and fastest-growing trees. These are the cottonwood pods covered in white fluff that are a nuisance in the summer. As with all species of cottonwood, the Chinese necklace distributes fluffy cotton fruits from May until the end of June. Poplars, cottonwoods and aspens are all members of the Populus genus, and all are quite tall. Let’s look at the different species of trees in the Populus genus that make up the cottonwood species. You will notice the leaves have a serrated edge and the curved triangle shape tapers to a sharp, elongated point. The cottonwood tree is a hardwood tree that loses its leaves in the fall. The Cottonwood Leaf (Populus Deltoides) cottonwood and balsam buds - resin from buds used to treat sore throat , coughs etc, a balm was also made from cottonwood buds to relieve congestion balsam poplar: bark - boiled as a poultice for wounds, worm medicine; inner bark - food One of the common features of all types of cottonwood trees is the fluffy cotton-like strands that appear every June. The leaves are also smaller and can be diamond or triangular-shaped and grow to between 2” – 3” (5 – 8 cm) long. The gently spreading shape of the tree provided shade in grasslands. • Summer Key – Long pointed leaf, same color on both sides, fine-toothed margin. Poplar Aspen & Cottonwood Types. Cottonwoods have an impressive growth rate and grow about 3 ft. (1 m) every year. The bark is smooth and greenish-white with characteristic diamond-shaped dark marks on young trees, that become blackish and fissured at … Types of Willow Trees: Weeping Willows, Willow Shrubs, Dwarf Willows and More (With Pictures and Nam... Types of Cedar Trees with Identification Guide (Pictures, and Name) - Including False Cedar Trees, Types of Evergreen Trees with Identification Guide, Pictures and Names, Cottonwood Trees: Facts, Identification, Pictures, Problems, and More. As with all cottonwoods, the bark has deep fissures giving it a cracked appearance. Due to the fact that cottonwood lumber is soft, yet durable, it has many uses in the timber industry. These hardwood trees are also found in deciduous forests. Usually, most cottonwood species of tree leaves have pronounced tooth edging whereas black poplars are almost smooth-edged. Why plant a Cottonless Cottonwood tree? Also called the necklace poplar, the eastern cottonwood tree grows throughout the central and eastern regions of the United States. These trees are usually found growing along the Mississippi and in states such as in Tennessee, Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana. Poplar leaves have a more oval to oval-lance-like leaves. The main identifying features of black poplar cottonwoods are their fine-toothed leaves, oval diamond shapes, and glossy green color. A cottonwood in Willamette Mission State Park near Salem, Oregon, holds the national and world records. Some species of cottonwood trees have been known to reach heights of 100 ft. (30 m) or more. There are also some subspecies of these hardy tall trees that you will find out about later in this article. Eastern cottonwood leaves are triangular (deltoid) with curved teeth along the edges. When male trees fertilize female trees, females produce a capsule that eventually splits open to distribute the downlike ‘cotton,’ connected to seeds that disburse on the wind. Pustules later turn dark brown or black. Black cottonwood trees become stunning in the fall where their foliage turns a beautiful bright yellow color. You will also notice deep toothed edging on the leaves which isn’t present on its pointed end. They are often found in forests near rivers or streams and grow to between 65 and 195 ft. (20 – 60 m) high. Only the female species of cottonwood trees produce the white fluff for which the tree is known. Black cottonwoods only grow to about 90 ft. (27 m) high which is shorter than their North American cousins. The balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera L. subsp. Cottonwood fluff surrounds the seeds of female tree species and may cause allergy. The 3 main species are Populus deltoids (eastern cottonwood), Populus fremontii (Fremont’s cottonwood), and the Populus nigra (black poplar). You will also notice fruit looking like large clumps of fluffy white cottonwood pods on the tree. Of course, the cotton fluff they shed in early summer is a problem for most people living near to cottonwood trees. It provides forage for browsing wildlife such as white-tailed and mule deer up through the sapling stage. These develop on the tree in early summer and can create a blanket of summer “snow” when they disperse in the wind. Grosbeaks eat the seeds. As nouns the difference between poplar and cottonwood is that poplar is any of various deciduous trees of the genus populus while cottonwood is a tree from one of number of species of tree in the genus populus (poplars), typically growing along watercourses, with fluffy catkins. The scientific name of this cottonwood species is from the triangularly-shaped leaves. Cottonwood bark. This disease is caused by a bacterial infection. The leaves of aspen and Eastern cottonwood are deltoids where black cottonwood and balsam poplar are ovate. The tufted seeds are shed in masses of white "cotton" which can cover the ground inches deep. This cottonwood species is also classed as a riparian zone tree, meaning it thrives near rivers and streams. The leaf veins and shoots are finely covered with soft hair. Some types of cottonwood such as the narrowleaf and Fremont species can live for up to 150 years. White Poplar is a massive tree and can grow to over 100 feet tall. (2). Aigeiros.The tree was named after 19th century American explorer and pathfinder John C. Frémont Although they do have weak wood, poplars and cottonwoods are still commonly used as shade trees, though they are more appropriate for ornamental use in rural areas where they are less likely to fall on dwellings and their messy cotton does not create a problem. In fact, cottonwoods are one of the fastest-growing trees in North America. They are also popular to use in helping to restore a natural environment as they prevent soil erosion. Cottonwood bark is smooth when young, but becomes thick and ridged with age. Apex of leaf has a curving point, hence the name whiplash. Lanceleaf cottonwood trees grow to between 40 and 60 ft. (12 – 18 m) and have a spread of up to 40 ft. (12 m). Very shiny. Another way to tell this species of poplar apart from other broadleaf trees is the rustling sound the leaves make in a gentle breeze. Trichocarpa means with hairy fruits, referring to its fluffy seeds. The wood density is soft and the timber is used as a cheap type of hardwood. These long white beads of fluff shed in June and July and are a nuisance for people living near them. Triangular; 3"-6" long (but sometimes much larger); green above and white below, often with rusty markings. These cottonwood trees grow in the western regions of North America at high altitudes. Margins are smooth or with rounded teeth. The leaf shape of this popular is more heart-shaped than triangular. Siouxland poplar, a "cotton-less cottonwood" was introduced by South Dakota State University. Deer eat the twigs and leaves. For many people, the fluff from cottonwood trees is a nuisance. Fremont’s cottonwoods grow to between 40 and 115 ft. (12 – 35 m) and they have a large spread that creates shade. Lanceleaf cottonwood is a medium sized tree used in landscape for shade. • Often occurs with black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) and yellow willow. The Fremont Cottonwood, also known as the Western Cottonwood or the Rio Grande Cottonwood, Populus fremontii, occurs in California east to Utah and … The leaves of this poplar are some of the largest of any of the cottonwood trees. Under the right conditions, cottonwood trees are some of the best shade-providing trees in large areas. The diverse poplar family includes the quaking aspen, which boasts the widest range of any North American tree, and the Plains cottonwood, which was the only tree many early settlers met as they forged westward through America's prairies. You can tell the male and female species apart because the males have yellow catkins and the females have green colored ones. Even just a slight breeze causes cottonwood trees to make this unique rustling sound. Being a species of a poplar tree, cottonwoods are also related to aspens. Populus deltoides, the eastern cottonwood or necklace poplar, is a cottonwood poplar native to North America, growing throughout the eastern, central, and southwestern United States as well as the southern Canadian prairies, the southernmost part of eastern Canada, and northeastern Mexico. Size: Grows to 200' tall and 6' in diameter. 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