The cottonwood—also known as true poplar—is a tall tree with a spreading crown, named for its cotton-like seeds. The diverse poplar family includes the quaking aspen, which boasts the widest range of any North American tree, and the Plains cottonwood, which was the only tree many early settlers met as they went westward through America’s prairies.
Today as in centuries past, the cottonwood offers welcome shade, as its powerful trunk divides into thick branches and opens into a spreading crown. Many cottonwoods grow up to 100 feet tall, and the tree’s quick growth rate and adaptability to many soils and climates have made it very useful to American people.
On the practical side, cottonwood trunks provided dugout canoes, and the tree’s bark was used to produce both forage for horses and a bitter tea. In modern times, timber produced from cottonwood trees is most commonly used in making plywood, matches, crates, utensils, mouldings, and boxes.
Possessing white sapwood, this wood is generally straight-grained and contains very few defects. Its workability is only fair as this light weight wood causes a slightly fuzzy surface when it is cut. Even so, cottonwood glues exceptionally well and it takes to nailing and glueing very well.
In addition to the many uses listed above, this American hardwood is also used as the primary wood in the construction of Venetian blinds and shutters.
Cottonwood is widely available throughout the Eastern United States, and our professionals at Sterritt Lumber can source this material out for you within a very short period of time!