Cottonwood

by Gay Spencer 21. August 2012 22:23
Cottonwood

The newer neighborhoods sometimes have names with "Cottonwood" in them, and there's even a Cottonwood Branch of the Trinity River. The Spanish word for "poplar tree" is "alamo," and the cottonwood is a kind of poplar tree and was a key reason San Antonio and The Alamo were founded where they were, surrounded by many beautiful cottonwoods.

But, despite the official signs at the entrance of a neighborhood saying "Cottonwood," the developers have avoided planting them. They don't live that long, they have brittle wood, they're subject to wind damage, and the female trees produce messy cottony stuff in the spring.

However. I grew up with a big cottonwood tree in the backyard. I would sometimes take a hammock up into the high branches (above the height of the roof tops) and sleep the night up there, occasionally awakened by the volume of the cicadas around me. I was concerned enough to strap a belt around my middle and then around a branch, but otherwise, no worries. Really, how often do sleeping people fall out of a hammock?

Cottonwood leaves are big and fluttery with interesting sort-of serrated edges... quite lovely.

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