Eastern cottonwood

Silhouette - eastern cottonwood
  • Latin name: Populus deltoides ssp. deltoides Bartr. ex Marsh.
  • French name: Peuplier deltoïde
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 22446
Description

Leaves

  • Leaf, with detail of glands at junction of leaf stalk - eastern cottonwood

Form

  • Triangular, tip taper-pointed
  • Often pendulous
  • Usually 3–5 warty glands at the base of the leaf blade
  • Neoformed leaves broadly ovate, hairy when unfolding

Length

  • 5–10 cm

Colour

  • Upper surface bright shiny green
  • Lower surface slightly paler

Margin

  • 20–25 rounded teeth per side, no teeth on the tip or near the petiole
  • Narrow, translucent
  • Teeth smaller and more numerous on neoformed leaves

Petiole

  • Smooth
  • Hairless
  • Flattened
  • Long
  • Yellowish-green

Buds

  • Lateral bud and leaf scar - eastern cottonwood

Form

  • Terminal bud 3-sided
  • Slender, long-pointed
  • Very resinous, hairless
  • Lateral leaf buds slightly smaller, diverging from the twig
  • Flower buds stout
  • Leaf scars large, 3-lobed, with eyelash-like hairs at juncture of bud and scar

Length

  • About 20 mm

Colour

  • Yellowish-brown

Twigs

  • Lateral bud and leaf scar - eastern cottonwood

Form

  • Stout, smooth, hairless
  • Angular in cross-section
  • Narrow ridges extend down from either side of the bud
  • Lenticels sparse, linear

Colour

  • Yellowish-brown

Flowers

Length

  • Catkins 5–7 cm

Structure

  • Dioecious

Fruits

  • Fruit capsule - eastern cottonwood

Form

  • Stalk hairless
  • Capsules oval, tapering to both ends
  • Splitting into 3 or 4 parts when mature

Length

  • Mature seed catkins 15–25 cm
  • Capsules 8–12 mm

Bark

Form

  • Smooth, with age becoming deeply furrowed

Colour

  • Yellowish-grey, with age becoming dark grey

Size

Height

  • To 30 m

Diameter

  • To 100 cm

Maximum age

  • 50 years

Tree form

  • Silhouette - eastern cottonwood

Forest-grown

Trunk

  • Long, straight

Crown

  • Small, rounded

Open-grown

Trunk

  • Short, massive
  • Often divided near the ground into a few large, wide-spreading limbs

Crown

  • Broad, irregular-shaped, open

Root system

  • Usually shallow, wide-spreading
  • Sometimes deep

Habitat

Site

  • Rich moist sites, stream banks

Associated species

  • Mixed with other species

Range

In the Montreal area in Quebec, and near Lakes Erie and Ontario in southern Ontario; not a common tree
In Ontario, eastern cottonwood intergrades with plains cottonwood

Insects and diseases

Insects and diseases that are found most frequently and/or that cause the most damage in our Canadian forests.

Photos
  • Eastern cottonwood
  • Eastern cottonwood
  • Eastern cottonwood
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