Monthly Archives: May 2024

Aspen’s Covert Cotton and Other Subversive Traits

Cottonwoods are notorious for spewing cotton each spring, but the trails my husband and I followed on Colorado’s Grand Mesa were far from cottonwood country. So why was cotton everywhere? We were surrounded by aspens and spruce, and as far as we knew, neither produced cotton. Spruce trees launch their seeds in cones. Why would they make cotton? Suspicious. I scrutinized grove after grove and finally spotted fluffy tufts wafting off an aspen treetop. I’m a fifth-generation Colorado native who’s spent considerable time in the mountains. I’ve also watched three aspen clusters in our yard for over 35 years, so […]