Cottony Clouds

FEATURED NATIVE TREE: Cottonwood /Populus Fremontii
TREE THREE DATES: Post Selfie Pics April 15th to April 22nd

Take a selfie with featured tree during this week of April Tree Hunt. Post using @guardiansaroundtheearth on Instagram or #OpenYourGATE on Facebook. Post all 4 featured trees (and follow page) to enter raffle on April 30th – Arbor Day.

Cottony Cool Quotes

Perhaps you have noticed that even in the very lightest breeze you can hear the voice of the cottonwood tree; this we understand is its prayer to the Great Spirit, for not only men, but all things and all beings pray continually in differing ways.

Black Elk

♫ Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above –
Don’t fence me in.
Let me ride through the wide, open country that I love –
Don’t fence me in.
Let me be by myself in the evenin’ breeze,
Listenin’ to the murmur of the cottonwood trees.
Send me off forever but I ask you please –
Don’t fence me in. ♫

Cole Porter
Heart-Shaped Cottonwood Leaves


  • Fremont Cottonwood’s glossy leaves are triangular, slightly toothed and ♥ shaped. Cottonwood leaves known for rustling song they sing even with gentle breezes.
  • Cottonwood/ Aspen / Poplar all in genus “POPULUS” have short lives for trees. They live about 100 years and grow quickly to about 100 feet.
  • Poplars often form groves in barren, burned, or cleared areas. Groves are communities of trees that support and communicate with each other.
  • Fremont Cottonwood is related to Willow. They love waterways.
  • Cottonwoods grow fast in moist areas by creeks, streams and irrigation ditches but tolerate dry soil too.
  • Thick bark of cottonwood helps this tree survive wildfires.
  • Lewis and Clark attribute their success mostly to this tree.
  • Beautiful seasonal tree – flowering in Spring, cottony in Summer, colorful in Fall.
  • Pollinated seeds spread as snow for just two weeks in Summer. So, if allergic to cottonwood, their snow marks an end to suffering.
  • Cottony seeds blow up to FIVE MILES, on a windy day maybe more!
  • AZ Hopi Peoples hold Cottonwood Sacred – Listen to Wind Messages
  • Squirrels and birds eat tree buds, plus woodpeckers and raccoons shelter within.
  • BARK, like people, is smooth when young, wrinkled when older. Also like people, branches break when very old.
Raptor home-tree on Golden Hills Nature Trails


  • When you see cottonwoods you know water is nearby.
  • Paper and cardboard are made from this softwood pulp.
  • Edible – Sap is Sweet, Bark is Bitter.
  • Inner Bark fibers used for cord making.
  • Central Cali Yokut Peoples use cottonwood twigs in their basketry.
  • Black Cottonwood’s reddish resin reduces pain and fever.

Read More About It

Fall Cottonwood Leaves on Water

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