Thursday, July 9, 2009

Nature Study 1A Cottonwood

Cottonwood Seeds. Photo from Land Arts in an Electronic Age.

We learned a little bit about Cottonwood Trees this week, after seeing a little farm COVERED in the fluffy cottony spiderwebby seeds, and seeing them at the Ahtanum Mission. Avery was interested to find out that Cottonwoods have light, flexible wood, often used to make those round cheese boxes, matches, paper, cheap plywood, snowboard cores, and perhaps most excitingly, the "bones" of Buster, the crash test dummy on the TV show Mythbusters! Apparently cottonwood breaks under the same pressure as human bones. Good to know, good to know. Another interesting thing about cottonwoods is that they can sprout roots from buried limbs and trunk (and vice versa) making them good at holding sand dunes, and one of the few trees able to survive a sand dune existence.
Also, cottonwoods are Poplar type trees, and like to grow in wet areas. Around here they are found down in the little valleys and canyons along stream banks.

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