Eastern Cottonwood
Populus deltoides

Location in Ontario
Eastern Cottonwood grows in the Deciduous Forest Region and along part of the St. Lawrence River. It grows in any open area.


Young Cottonwood, Long Point, Norfolk County
 
Genus Populus
Poplars are fast growing trees with soft wood. The leaves are simple. Flowers are mostly dioecious and appear in early spring. Poplars are pioneer species which grow in a newly opened areas such as after a fire or when land is cleared. Some are successional trees along sand dunes.

In the Landscape
Eastern Cottonwood is a large tree growing to 30 metres. However, it is a short-lived tree that occasionally reaches 100 years of age. It is occasionally seen as a landscape tree. Eastern Cottonwood is a fast growing tree with female trees that produce an abundance of "cotton" in the spring. Eastern Cottonwood should not be planted near water lines, septic systems etc. since it produces many spreading roots.

TREE FACT: Eastern Cottonwood is a common successional tree along sand dunes.


Large Eastern Cottonwood, Rondeau Provincial Park

Leaves
Eastern Cottonwood leaves are simple, with a triangular shape edged with fine teeth. Leaves turn yellow and brown in the fall.
Bark
The bark is dark gray and deeply furrowed.
Flowers
Eastern Cottonwood is dioecious with male (pollen) flowers and female (seed) flowers occuring on different trees. Flowers are in catkins, and appear in the early spring before the leaves. Pollination is by wind.
Fruit: Female trees produce an abundance of "cotton"; white fluff containing seeds, which is easily carried by the wind. Long catkins contain the seeds with tufts of silky white hairs (cotton). Seeds produce seedlings easily and quickly, provided there is enough moisture. Seeds are produced in vast numbers every year, after 10 years of growth.

Wood
Poplar wood is light and soft.
Specific gravity: 0.40
Janka Hardness:
430 lb
Wood Comparison Chart


Young trees, Long Point, Norfolk County

Link to United States Forest Service Silvics Manual for Eastern Cottonwood.

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