This very beautiful tree is among the biggest in Quebec. Its triangular leaves, edged with large, rounded teeth, are attached to the twigs by flat stalks. After flowering, the female trees bear clusters of pods. At maturity, tiny seeds attached to silky fluff are dispersed by the wind. The eastern cottonwood must be planted away from buildings and streets because its root system is very invasive.
It is found mostly along major waterways, in the Saint Lawrence River valley as far as Lake Saint-Pierre, because it likes rich, moist, alluvial soil. To germinate, the light seeds require a lot of moisture. This tree cannot tolerate shade. It grows very quickly and reaches an imposing height in a few years.
The heartwood varies from gray to pale brown, while the sapwood is nearly white. The annual rings are scarcely visible and the wood has a coarse texture. Cottonwood is weak, soft and has low impact resistance.
It is used for particleboard and plywood, hidden parts of furniture, and excelsior. It is also made into boxes, crates and pulp.
Leaves, alternate, simple, toothed, triangular in shape.
Fruits, oval capsules on drooping loose catkins.