Black Cottonwood

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Black Cottonwood

View photo of tree | bark | leaves

(Populus trichocarpa)

Size at 120 years: 60-120 feet tall, 1-3 feet in diameter

Life Span: 120 years

Leaves: 3-6" long, egg-shaped, tapering to a point, edges notched, dark green.

Fruit: 1/3-1/2" long, 3 valved, pubescent

Bark: Tawny yellow to gray and smooth on young trees, turning dark gray and deeply furrowed in older trees.

Where to find: Moist to wet soils of valleys, mainly on streambanks and flood plains.

Things to know: The tallest native western hardwood. The wood is used for boxes and crates. The hard, unripe seeds have been adapted for pea-shooter ammunition. The released seeds form the familiar "summer snow," carried on the wind by their cottony filaments.

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