Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Ubiquitas throughout the southwest is the cottonwood tree (populus deltoidus). They are especially prevalent in the bosque alongside the Rio Grande. Its a wonderful tree for shade in the summer, but it the spring it can be aggravating because it spreads its seeds on the spring breeze, and each seed is suspended in a fluffy ball of cotton like material. If your home is downwind of a cottonwood tree, you'll find your yard so full of the tufts that it looks like snow.
The particular tree in the picture is just north of Los Lunas on NM Route 314. It is one of my favorites. It stands like a gigantic slingshot. one arm on each side of the power line that runs alongside the road. I like this picture of it because with no summer leaves on it you can see its structure better; a much better way to save the power lines than just cutting of all the branches on one side of the tree, making it lopsided and unattractive. Cottonwood trees are attractive, but during our springtime rains and winds it is not unknown for one or more tree limbs to come crashing down through someones roof, so its always wise to keep them at least 50 feet away from any building.