What Complications Arise from Cottonwood Trees?

Joshua Wilke | July 1, 2019

Spring has come and gone, and so has the invasion of those pesky little white seeds that float around your neighborhood. As you may or may not know, those seeds come from a tree called the cottonwood. And, sad to say, you can’t blame their annoyingness on being an invasive species because they are native to Washington state. Even though those seeds are now out of sight, out of mind, their trees still pose a threat.

Cottonwoods are a trouble-making tree for many reasons. They have those irritating seeds that float into every nook and cranny, and sticky buds that fall off everywhere. These buds are troublesome to get off of cars and will stain carpets yellow if tracked inside.

Even though they can practically grow all over the United States and in many environments, cottonwoods are not as resilient as they seem. They are a fast-growing species. In fact, they are the fastest growing trees in North America, growing 6 feet or more in height per year. This puts them at risk for having weaker, more porous wood than other types of trees. They have a propensity to be penetrated by infestations, to rot, and to break more easily. Because their weak wood is more likely than other trees to be diseased, rotten, or bug infested, they are more likely to die, break, and fall. The summer season is especially dangerous as it is a time when cottonwoods are growing too fast for their own good, thus making them more vulnerable to breakage.

Because they grow so easily and quickly in many places, their root systems are likely to spread where they shouldn’t and tear underground things, like pipes, apart. They also are a major culprit in the destruction of wetlands and retaining ponds.

If you are prone to allergies, you might think that the annoying seeds are going to make your allergies worse. But, if you have a tree pollen allergy, the bloom season when those cotton-covered cottonwood seeds are being blown around, is not when your allergic reactions will be at their worst. The season of pollination occurs before the seeds mature and fall and so this is when your symptoms will be most pronounced.

If you have a cottonwood tree that has been bothering you, it’s a good idea to get it down before their limbs start to break off and land where you don’t want them to land. So, complete our free quote form or give us a call at 253-797-3621 to discuss what to do with your cottonwoods.

In any case, a site visit by one of our tree experts will allow us to give you the most accurate and fairest price. Whether you have one tree or a whole grove of them, we would welcome the opportunity to help you decide how to handle your cottonwoods. We encourage you to complete our form to request an appointment.

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