Eastern Cottonwood


(Populus delotides)

The eastern cottonwood is a large tree native to, but not common in Canada. As a tree more widespread in the United States, It is restricted to a few patches in Southern Ontario. The cottonwood is a very fast growing weak-wooded tree reaching to 4 - 6 ft in diameter. Because of this and its messy seed dispersal and vigorous root system, it is not recommended for tight urban spaces. In an open or country setting, however, the tree can be a beautiful landscape specimen.

The eastern cottonwood can be identified by its deeply ridged and furrowed bark, cottony seed tufts (on female trees), and triangular toothed leaves. Its Leaves are often used to feed livestock due to their high protein content. Cottonwoods are Dioecious, producing either make or female catkins. Like other poplars they easily hybridized with other species which can present a challenge for identification.


The Arboretum, (n.d.). Eastern Cottonwood - Populus delotides. Retrieved from https://www.uoguelph.ca/arboretum/thingstosee/trees/easterncottonwood

Natural Resources Canada, (n.d.). Eastern cottonwood. Retrieved from https://tidcf.nrcan.gc.ca/en/trees/factsheet/54

Illinois Wildflowers, (n.d.). Eastern cottonwood. Retrieved from https://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/trees/plants/cottonwood.htm

The Morton Arboretum, (n.d.). Eastern cottonwood. Retrieved from https://www.mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-plant-descriptions/eastern-cottonwood