is a tree that grows in low, wet sites, such as the borders
of swamps and rivers, in the Atlantic coastal and Mississippi
Valley regions. The tiny, cottony seeds, which are carried far
by winds, genninate on wet, sandy soils. Swamp cottonwood grows
singly or in small patches.
Its leaves are broadly oval, 4 to 7 inches long, and 3 to 6
inches wide. They are rounded at the tips and often are heart-shaped
at the base. The margins are toothed, but the teeth are quite
shallow and rounded. Leaves have a stout, yellow midrib.
The fruit resembles that of eastern cottonwood. The tree may
reach 70 to 90 feet in height and 2 to 3 feet in diameter on
good sites, but it usually is poorly formed. The wood is light
and soft and, as lumber, requires special attention during drying
to prevent serious warping. Cottonwood is used for crates and
baskets. It makes excellent pulp for white paper printing.
European white poplar
(Populus alba L.) is a native of Europe that has become naturalized.
It has prominent light gray bark and leaves that have few coarse
teeth and are white wooly beneath. It often is found near old
houses and along roadsides. European white poplar is a very
aggressive species that often produces many root suckers around
the base of the parent tree.
(P nigra var italica M.), another of the true poplars, often
is planted as an ornamental tree but is not well-suitcd for
this use because it is very short-lived. This tree is fast-growing
and produces a distinctive, tall, narrow crown.