Other massive 5 to 6-ft driver bottom specimens are not uncommon. 2nd photo - in the early spring, in process of elongation. The largest known Plains Cottonwood tree is more than 300 years old, 36 feet around and 105 feet tall. Identification booklet for most of the flowering forbs and small flowering shrubs of the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden. The Plains cottonwood is the great tree of the American prairies. 2nd photo - The female seed capsules splitting to release seeds to the wind. Photo of cottonwood seeds by Steve Hurst / USDA/NRCS Plants Database. The fruits split open when ripe and cotton-like material comes out carrying the seeds. Usage Requirements. Below: A leaf comparison of the four Minnesota native species of Populus plus the introduced P. alba. Here is some detailed information on the cottonwood tree. The largest known specimen in Minnesota (2020) is in Chippewa County - height 106 feet, crown spread 110 feet, circumference 394 inches. Fall color is a brilliant yellow. They are related to poplars and aspens. Cottonwood trees are also large shade trees and their sprawling branches have a spread of up to 113 ft. (34 m). The species is divided into three subspecies or up to five varieties. Some species of cottonwood trees have been known to reach heights of 100 ft. (30 m) or more. Below: 1st photo - is the typical rough and deeply furrowed bark of cottonwood trunks, - 2nd photo - frequently the trough of the furrow is lighter color. The leaf tapers to a long pointed tip. The subspecies monilifera is found in North America in the Great Plains region and somewhat eastward, but not into the southern states where the dominant subspecies is subsp. Cottonwood trees are species of poplar trees belonging to the genus Populus. These trees have been very important to the native people living in North America… Provided by ND State Soil Conservation Committee. Flowers are in 2 to 3 inch drooping catkins. See All State Trees - National Tree. Names: The genus Populus is the Latin name for the Poplar. "www.friendsofthewildflowergarden.org". North Dakota tree handbook. The color is red to yellow and each small flower on the catkin has a saucer shape basal disk with 30 to 40 stamens. The Plains Cottonwood is a large native deciduous tree forming a tall trunk, up to 100 feet high and diameters often larger than 4 feet. Within Minnesota, it is found in most counties with a few scattered exceptions, mostly absent in the NE section. Distribution principally from W1, W2 and 28C. Below: 1st photo - the upper branches which have smoother gray-ish white bark. The example in the 1st photo has multiple trunks branching close to the base and is squeezed around a shorter Black Willow on the right side. The author names for the plant classification are as follows: First to publish was ‘Bartram’ which refers to John Bartram (1699-1777) early American botanist and explorer who traveled extensively in the colonies collecting plants. Members of the willow family, cottonwoods are named for the cotton-like mass of hairs surrounding their seeds. It has leaf tips that are very short pointed, either 0 or 3 to 6 leaf stalk glands, winter buds without hair, and the catkin stalks are longer and not of uniform length. The root system is wide and branching and deeply penetrating to find moisture. Images not to scale. Each leaf is about 6 inches long and 4 inches wide. Return to -- Site Plan/Archive Index --or-- List of Common Plant Names -- or -- List of Scientific Names -- or --Home Page - - - Back to top. USDA NRCS ND State Soil Conservation Committee; NDSU Extension and Western Area Power Administration, Bismarck. No other tree approaches its stature on the grasslands that sweep five hundred miles from the ninety-eighth meridian to the foot of the Rockies. References: Plant characteristics are generally from sources 1A, 32, W2, W3, W7 & W8 plus others as specifically applied. The Plains Cottonwood is a large native deciduous tree forming a tall trunk, up to 100 feet high and diameters often larger than 4 feet. (Noncommercial Use Permitted with Attribution), Source | Reference Links | Additional Resources. Below: Female aments starting to elongate. Large individuals can reach over 130 ′ in height. Details Here. Hardy to -40°F Maximum Elevation: 7,000 Feet. It has long been prized in the Great Plains where it … Provided by USDA NRCS Bismarck PMC (NDPMC). Branches that fall into water will grow roots and shoots that will capable of becoming another tree. wislizeni. Colorado's major tree species include bristlecone pine, Colorado blue spruce, Douglas-fir, Engelmann spruce, limber pine, lodgepole pine, narrowleaf cottonwood, quaking aspen, piñon pine, plains cottonwood, ponderosa pine, Rocky Mountain juniper, subalpine fir and white fir. He sent many plants to Europe, including many to Linnaeus who considered him the ‘greatest natural botanist is the world'. Photo by madpoet_one/Flickr (Noncommercial Use Permitted with Attribution). Both show the open crown. The plains cottonwood is the western subspecies of the Eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides). Although cottonwood trees are really attractive and add to the appeal of their surroundings, their immense size makes them unsuitable for small yards. Wyoming designated the plains cottonwood as official state tree in 1947. Leaves are triangular, 3 to 7 inches long and 3 to 5 inches wide, alternate, simple, with long pointed tips and straight to heart-shaped bases and curved (slightly hooked) coarse teeth on the margin. [Cotton for clothing comes from the true cotton plant (Gossypium sp. Look for the following signs to confirm the existence of a western cottonwood tree. Cottonwood trees (Populus spp.) The plains cottonwood is a Colorado native tree but, while it grows in our area, it’s considered native to the lower elevations of the state and is typically found in elevations between 3,500 to 6,500 feet. The statute was amended in 1961 to change the scientific name to: Populus deltoides variety monilifera. Wide, triangular shaped green leaves turn yellow in the fall. It has 0 leaf glands and winter buds with hair. There is another subspecies, subsp. P. deltoides is strongly heterophyllous, that is, it has two types of leaves - those that are formed in the winter bud for early spring growth, known as preformed or early leaves and leaves produced later in the season known as neoformed leaves. In 1765 he became “The King’s Botanist” for North America. ), not the cottonwood tree.] Friends of the Wild Flower Garden, Inc. Plains Cottonwood Trees (populus deltoides): the greenish-yellow bark of the young tree becomes rough and dark gray as it gets older. deltoides. Rich green, wide, triangular- shaped leaves turn yellow in … Cottonwood (Poplar) The cottonwood—also known as the poplar—is a tall tree with a spreading crown, named for its cotton-like seeds. Plains cottonwood ranges from Alberta east to Quebec and south to Rocky Mountain foothills, the Great Plains, Pennsylvania, the Texas panhandle, and New Mexico [ 55, 88, 147, 173, 194 ]. The buds are large, about 3/4 inch long and covered with several green-brown resinous scales. Plains Cottonwood David F. Van Haverbeke Eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides), one of the largest eastern hardwoods, is short-lived but the fastest-growing commercial forest species in North America. Flowers: Cottonwood is dioecious, that is male and female flowers occur on separate trees. Trees require full sun and are generally shade intolerant. One of the cultivated male varieties, “Straight Plains” or ‘Jeronimus’ cottonwood keeps a straight main leader, is tolerant of many soil types and conditions, and can make a nice shade tree in landscapes that provide enough room for this tree to mature. wislizeni or Rio Grande Cottonwood, is native to 7 states of the southern Rocky Mountains. Lanceleaf Cottonwood Tree; Narrowleaf Cottonwood Tree; Plains Cottonwood Tree; Great Plains Cottonwood Tree; Rio Grande Cottonwood Tree, a deciduous poplar of the willow family; Swamp Cottonwood Tree; Parry's Cottonwood Tree; Cottonwood Tree: Facts, Info on the Cottonwood Trees. Below: The brilliant fall color of a Rio Grande Cottonwood, P. deltoides subsp. The third subspecies, subsp. Catkins are also called 'aments'. The Plains cottonwood is the great tree of the American prairies. The leaves are broad, glossy, and light-green in color. His work was not complete and was amended by ‘Marshall’ which refers to Humphry Marshall (1722-1801), American Botanist, who published in 1785 - Arboretum Americanum: The American Grove, an Alphabetical Catalogue of Forest Trees and Shrubs, Natives of the American United States. The largest known specimen in Minnesota (2020) is in Chippewa County - height 106 feet, crown spread 110 feet, circumference 394 inches. Below: 1st photo - The fertile female catkins develop a number of green 4-chambered seed capsules, each of which can have 28 to 40 seeds. Male Catkins: Below- 1st photo - partially elongated catkin; 2nd photo - the male flowers just emerging; 3rd photo - The male flowers fully developed with the stamens on filaments from the basal disc of the flower. wislizeni. Cottonwood Pole Planting Guide. No other tree approaches its stature on the grasslands that sweep five hundred miles from the ninety-eighth meridian to the foot of the Rockies. monilifera, which is called the Plains Cottonwood. 2nd photo - twigs have slight angles and green-brown resinous buds. The species, deltoides, is from the Greek letter 'Delta' and refers to the delta shape of the leaf. It grows best on moist well-drained sands or silts near streams, often in pure stands. The crown is open and spreading with slightly drooping stout branches. Comparisons: There are three subspecies of this tree that somewhat overlap geographically. Many species and hybrids have wood with a variety of uses, including for matches and matchboxes. These trees have a widespread foliage that can extend to 5 feet in diameter. You can recognize them at a distance by their broad, white trunks. The tree in the 2nd & 3rd photos, has a single trunk. A crushed twig has a bitter aspirin taste. They are shiny green on top, pale green under, and have a long slender, flattened stalk which has 2 round glands on the top side. Female catkins (pistillate) appear singly or in opposite pairs, are green and the individual small flowers are stalked. Populus L. – cottonwood Species: Populus deltoides W. Bartram ex Marshall – eastern cottonwood Subspecies: Populus deltoides W. Bartram ex Marshall ssp. Male Catkins: Below 1st photo - the catkin prior to elongation. The Plains Cottonwood, (Populus deltoids occidentalis,) was adopted as Wyoming state tree on February 1, 1947. Over-wintering buds have fine hair. It will tolerate a wide range of soils as long as they are well-drained. But nothing sounds quite like the whisper of a plains cottonwood’s glossy, shimmering leaves sighing in the wind, as if … Uses: Cottonwood wood is light, soft and weak but has a uniform texture so it is used in plywood, paper pulp, and lumber for uses not requiring bending or compression strength. The crown is open and spreading with slightly drooping stout branches. The plains cottonwood is a large, fast-growing, short-lived tree of the Great Plains and eastern border of the Rocky Mountains. Members of the willow family, cottonwoods are named for the cottonlike mass of hairs surrounding their seeds. I'm waiting for leaf fall at the tree at my work so I can take cuttings and put them in the pond. Below: 1st photo - Plains Cottonwood leaves have long pointed tips and straight to heart-shaped bases, curved (slightly hooked) coarse teeth on the margin and a slender flattened stalk that has 2 glands at the base. Habitat: Plains Cottonwood in its native habitat is found in moist bottomlands. In Canada the range is from British Columbia east to Ontario. Smooth, grayish bark becomes deeply grooved and darker as it ages. Read on for more cottonwood tree facts. Peterson / USDA NRCS PLANTS Database. Western Cottonwood Tree Identification. Come join me at www.peacockorchard.com . Text and photos are by G. D. Bebeau unless otherwise credited. See All State Trees | National Tree. 2nd photo - For a comparison, this is the very similar looking leaf of the Rio Grande Cottonwood, P. deltoides subsp. Notes: Plains Cottonwood is considered indigenous to the Garden area and Susan Wilkins added some young plants in 2011 to enhance the tree canopy in the woodland area. They have a basal disk, a 4 chambered ovary and pistil with 2 to 4 flattened stigmata. There are only four species of Populus that are native and commonly found in Minnesota: P. balsamifera, Balsam Poplar; P. deltoides, Plains Cottonwood; P. grandidentata, Bigtooth Aspen; and P. tremuloides, Quaking Aspen. A broad, irregularly rounded canopy with coarse, spreading branches. A database that provides information on more than 200 native tree and shrub species, and on almost 300 insects and 200 diseases found in Canada's forests. A selection of Plains Cottonwood with a straight central leader and a pyramidal habit that matures to a broad rounded form. Above: Various tree shapes of Cottonwood. They have lustrous, bright green foliage in summer that changes to brilliant yellow in fall. They are related to poplars and aspens. Flowers appear before the leaves and are wind pollinated. Cottonwood trees in autumn; Edness K. Wilkins State Park, Wyoming. The subspecies recognized as the native to Minnesota is subsp. Minnesota's champion tree cottonwood measures a whopping 10-ft diameter at breast height. Trees need to be about 10 to 15 years of age to produce seed. Both male and female catkins have (+ or -) 15 to 40 individual flowers. Plains Cottonwood Facts The plains cottonwood is a large, fast-growing, short-lived tree of the Great Plains and eastern border of the Rocky Mountains. The subspecies classification is as follows: The plains cottonwood is a large, fast-growing, short-lived tree of the Great Plains and eastern border of the Rocky Mountains. This tree should not be planted near wells and underground water pipes. Mature trees in the state are usually 60 ′ to 80 ′ tall and up to 36 ″ in diameter at breast height. Flowers: Catkins, male-female on separate trees. are native along many streams and rivers in the Western United States. The later leaves will be different in size and number of teeth and are the last to fall from the tree in Autumn. Photo Nov. 10, 2017 near the Rio Grande River at Bernado NM. Other sources by specific reference. From the roots and trunks to the leaves and fruits, the locals used different parts of these trees for various purposes to satisfy different needs. The area that had been accidentally dug up by the excavator had really nicely established cottonwood and aspen on it. Cottonwood trees get their name from the fluffy cotton-like seeds produced by the female tree. Deciduous Tree Type: Shade Tree: Tree Habit: Round, Pyramidal, Dense Branching: Mature Size (generic) Plains Cottonwood does not sucker; it can re-sprout from a stump but not vigorously but is a vigorous self-seeder. It is the state tree for Wyoming, Kansas and Nebraska. These large trees can grow to between 50 and 80 ft. (15 – 24 m). Then the capsule splits and releases 7 to 10 seeds per ovary chamber; the seeds are attached to white cotton-like hair and are dispersed far and wide by the wind in early summer. Bark: Yellowish-green and smooth on young trees but deeply furrowed in maturity. Also known as Fremont cottonwood or Rio Grande cottonwood, this tree is commonly found near water bodies of arid regions. Wood is used in commercial production of things such as wooden pallets and paper. Two others are reported: One is a native cross - P. X jackii, Jack's Cottonwood, which is usually sterile [The DNR does not track county populations of it]; and the other is the introduced P. alba, White Poplar. There are reports of stands in several states further east but this range excludes the southern states and New England. It is the big tree on the banks of the mightiest rivers of the great plains, and the on the smallest streams. They do REALLY well on creek and pond edges. The Plains cottonwood is also the largest broadleaf tree of Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Plant cottonwoods only if your house has a large expanse of outdoor land for maximum effect. In the U.S. the range is from the Rocky Mountain states of Montana south to New Mexico eastward as far as Texas and Oklahoma and then up to Missouri, Illinois and Wisconsin. From left to right: plains cottonwood, narrowleaf cottonwood, and lanceleaf cottonwood leaves on branches About All Cottonwood Trees Cottonwood trees are a common street tree and are the largest native broadleaf trees in Colorado. Identification: This deciduous hardwood tree is the most massive tree in Minnesota. Cottonwood … Twigs are very stout, brownish, with slight angles. Seed germinates immediately. See Reference List for details. Great Plains cottonwood (P. sargentii), of North America, has thick coarse-toothed leaves. plains cottonwood tree As a breeze picks up in the night air, leaves from every treetop near and far rustle together to render soft, swishing sounds. Members of the willow family, cottonwoods are named for the cotton-like mass of hairs surrounding their seeds. Male catkins (staminate) are in clusters of 2 to 4 at the branch tips. It is located about a mile from Hygiene, Colorado on closed property maintained by Boulder county Parks and Open Space. monilifera (Aiton) Eckenwalder – plains cottonwood The Plains Cottonwood tree (Populus sargenti) also known as the Poplar is a tall tree named for its cotton-like seeds. Lombardy poplar (P. nigra) is a columnar form that is much planted. As with most trees, all leaves will be slightly variable in shape and size on the same tree. All State Trees. Planting history generally from 1, 4 & 4a. Seed: After pollination, the female catkins elongate up to 6 inches in length and the fertilized flowers produce an elliptical seed capsule, green initially, turning brown. 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. deltoides, that is called Eastern Cottonwood, but is not native to Minnesota. It is the state tree of Wyoming. United States, ND. The bark is smooth when young, light gray to yellow-green, turning gray with age becoming very thick, rough, and deeply furrowed. Cottonwoods (Populus deltoids) are massive shade trees that grow naturally throughout the United States. The catkin stalks are of uniform length. These trees can be enormous in size and prune themselves, sometimes dropping Cadillac size branches. Plains cottonwood tree leaves; photo ©J.S. During the tough years living in wild prairie plains where trees were a rarity, Native Americans derived great benefits from the cottonwood trees that would grow in the harsh conditions nonetheless. 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