Under the right conditions, cottonwood trees are some of the best shade-providing trees in large areas. Eastern cottonwood leaves are triangular (deltoid) with curved teeth along the edges. A cottonwood in Willamette Mission State Park near Salem, Oregon, holds the national and world records. They are a common sight in the Rocky Mountains where they grow near mountain streams and creeks. The most abundant poplar, the eastern cottonwood, is more massive than any birch, as this cottonwood can grow to 100 feet and has a spreading canopy. The fast growth rate of cottonwood trees and the strength of the timber means it has many uses. This tree is native to Europe. The Fremont Cottonwood, also known as the Western Cottonwood or the Rio Grande Cottonwood, Populus fremontii, occurs in California east to Utah and â¦ Black Cottonwood The Willow Familyâ Salicaceae Populus balsamifera L. ssp. The light white fluffy fibers can accumulate in yards, get into homes, block drains and gutters, and clog up filters. Poplars, cottonwoods and aspens are all members of the Populus genus, and all are quite tall. Poplar Aspen & Cottonwood Types. Narrowleaf cottonwood trees commonly grow at high altitudes. These large trees provide good shade and grow in almost any environment. To Native Americans, the tree was extremely important. These dark shiny leaves turn to impressive bright yellows in the fall. Types of Spruce Trees and Shrubs With Identification Guide (Pictures & Name). Some people describe the tree as the most hated tree in America. This cottonwood species is also classed as a riparian zone tree, meaning it thrives near rivers and streams. Most species in the Populus genus, including poplars, make cotton, but it is only the female trees that produce it. Deer eat the twigs and leaves. The big glossy triangular leaves dangle down from the stems. Birch trees often grow in stands together in large numbers. Even today, cottonwoods are grown in parks and other areas for the excellent shade from their dense foliage. The cottonwood tree is a hardwood tree that loses its leaves in the fall. As its name suggests, these poplar trees have narrow leaves when compared to other cottonwood trees. The 3 main species are Populus deltoids (eastern cottonwood), Populus fremontii (Fremont’s cottonwood), and the Populus nigra (black poplar). The bark of the tree is grayish brown which appears blackish, and so the name the black poplar tree. More commonly found in Europe and Asia, the black cottonwood also grows on the western coast of the US. The leaves of this poplar are some of the largest of any of the cottonwood trees. Fremont’s cottonwood trees grow well near rivers and streams. While their weak wood makes them a somewhat dangerous tree near buildings and dwellings, they have commercial value as suppliers of material for paper, particle board, plywood, veneer, and lumber. Wet Wood (bacterial): Occurs in Cottonwood and Lombardy Poplar. These are some of the largest and fastest-growing trees. Balsamifera means balsam (aromatic resin)-bearing. The leaves of aspen and Eastern cottonwood are deltoids where black cottonwood and balsam poplar are ovate. The leaf edges are slightly serrated. Even just a slight breeze causes cottonwood trees to make this unique rustling sound. The leaf has fine teeth, unlike the other cottonwoods. The lanceleaf cottonwood, however, will only live for up to 50 years. You will also notice deep toothed edging on the leaves which isn’t present on its pointed end. Due to the fact that cottonwood lumber is soft, yet durable, it has many uses in the timber industry. Black cottonwoods only grow to about 90 ft. (27 m) high which is shorter than their North American cousins. Leaves can grow up to 13â (35 cm) long and 10â (25 cm) wide. These poplar trees shed cotton during June and July. Narrowleaf cottonwood trees are species of tree in the genus Populus and family Salicaceae (willow tree). Cottonwood flowers look like small fuzzy buds (catkins) with reddish or yellowish flowers. Identification of Fremont’s cottonwood trees is by their cordate shape leaves (heart-shape), coarsely serrated edges, and elongated smooth-edged tip. These trees are usually found growing along the Mississippi and in states such as in Tennessee, Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana. These long white beads of fluff shed in June and July and are a nuisance for people living near them. â¢ Summer Key â Long pointed leaf, same color on both sides, fine-toothed margin. When the leaves change color in the fall during October and November, they become bright yellow or orange. 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