American Hardwood Information Center

The Authoritative Resource for American Hardwoods

Cottonwood

Populus deltoides

DISTRIBUTION
Eastern U.S. Main commercial areas: Middle and Southern states.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
The sapwood is white and may contain brown streaks, while the heartwood may be pale-to-light brown. It is a diffuse, porous wood with a coarse texture. The wood is generally straight-grained and contains relatively few defects. Cottonwood is a true poplar; therefore, has similar characteristics and properties to aspen.

WORKING PROPERTIES
General machinability is fair, although tension wood is frequently present and can cause a fuzzy surface when cut, which in turn will require additional care when finishing. The wood glues well and has good resistance to splitting when nailing and screwing. It dries easily but may still have a tendency to warp, with slight movement in performance.

PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
Cottonwood is relatively light in weight. The wood is soft, and weak in bending and compression, and low in shock resistance.

AVAILABILITY
Widely available.

MAIN USES
Furniture, furniture arts, millwork and moulding, toys, and kitchen utensils. Specialized uses are Venetian blinds, shutters, and caskets.



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