Cottonwood Trees

“In the centre of the bottom flows the brownish stream, about twenty yards wide, between two dense lines of tall sweet cottonwood. The tree which was fated to become familiar to us during our wanderings is a species of poplar (P. monilifera), called by the Americo-Spaniards, and by the people of Texas and New Mexico, ‘Alamo: resembling the European aspen, without its silver lining, the color of the leaf, in places, appears of a dull burnished hue, in others bright and refreshingly green. Its trivial name is derived, according to some, from the fibrous quality of the bark, which, as in Norway, is converted into food for cattle and even ma ; according to others, from the cotton-like substance surrounding the seeds. It is termed ‘sweet’ to distinguish it from a different tree with a bitter, bark, also called a cotton-wood or narrow-leaved cotton-wood (Populus angustifolia), and by the Canadians liard amere. The timber is soft and easily cut; it is in many places the only material for building and burning, and the recklessness of the squatters has already shortened the supply.”