Cottonwoods are named for their cottony seeds and are dioecious: each tree is either male or female. Another surprise: Although classified as a hardwood, its wood is soft and valuable, used to make boxes, baskets and food containers, as well as pulpwood that’s turned into paper for magazines and books.
Animal fans include beavers, which gnaw the roots, and nesting birds. A number of insects like the tree, too, but do damage. That’s nature for you. If cottonwoods had a motto, it’d be “Don’t Mess with Me.” They crave sunlight and compete aggressively for it, striving to outgrow neighboring trees like black willows that also can’t survive in shade. Maryland cottonwoods can reach 125 feet.
For more information, look it up online or visit: https://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/pubs/misc/ag_654/volume_2/populus/deltoides.htm