Narrowleaf Cottonwood


  • Bark: Yellow-green and smooth on young trees; thick, gray-brown and furrowed with interlacing ridges at maturity.
  • Leaves: Broad-leaf foliage is shiny green with a pale underside; narrow and 2 to 3 inches long; lance shaped with a fine, serrated edge and a pointed tip.
  • Fruit: Light brown, hairless fruit; inch long; many broad, egg-shaped capsules that mature in the spring, then split into two parts containing many cotton-like seeds.
  • Elevation: 5,000 to 8,000 feet.
  • Height: Up to 60 feet.
  • Habitat: Moist soils along streams; can often be found with willows and alders in coniferous forests.
  • Relation to Fire: Severe fires can easily kill both young and mature trees. Young trees are able to sprout from roots and/or branches after a fire.