Eastern Cottonwood, a type of Poplar that is present throughout all of Ohio, is a tree native to portions of the Eastern United States, but makes its greatest impact in the Midwest, Great Plains, and south central United States. It is almost as massive as Sycamore in terms of its girth and broad-spreading canopy. It frequents floodplains and river bottoms, but can also be planted in the driest of soils and survive to produce adequate shade. Its mature trunk has extremely thick bark, so thick that it can survive forest fires with only some outer bark loss. Its triangular leaves flutter in the slightest breeze, as do those of most Poplars. It commonly reaches 80 feet tall by 60 feet wide, but can be much larger. As a member of the Willow Family, it is related to the Willows and other species of Poplar.
Planting Requirements- Eastern Cottonwood prefers moist or wet, deep soils of variable quality and pH in which to thrive. However, it adapts surprisingly well to harsh conditions, especially poor, dry soils, and for this reason it is prized in the Great Plains and south-central United States as a tree that tolerates perpetual drought and still gets large enough to cast significant shade. It is found in zones 3 to 9, in full sun to partial sun.
Potential Problems- Eastern Cottonwood has a host of pests (including borers and caterpillars) and diseases (including the major pathogens that are trunk cankers) that afflict its health. However, most trees grow with great vigor and do not have serious problems until they reach a large size, when lightning or wind begin to take their toll