The harvest time will come as early as January in the South or as late as March in the far North. Question Comment from contributor J: Asian Pacific journal of allergy and immunology / launched by the Allergy and Immunology Society of Thailand 22, no. Cottonwood is an amazing preservative. By listing citations of traditional uses of cottonwood, I hope to honor traditional knowledge as well as inspire people to branch out (pun intended) and try different uses of this tree. The older bark is quite wrinkled and of varying shades of grey. Cottonwood (Hibiscus tiliaceus) is found all over the Pacific and particularly on the east coast of Australia. Individual trees are quite variable in staple length and fiber quality, suggesting that varieties that are especially good could be selected for and/or bred. Comments: So named for its cotton-like strands that accompany the tree’s seeds in the spring. It turns out that, not only does cottonwood remove many contaminates from the soil, it continues to metabolize them into less toxic compounds within the tree.10. I never sell Once you are skilled in this method, you should be able to get most of the resin off using very little alcohol. It turns out that while many people point to cottonwood as the cause of their seasonal allergies, very few people are actually allergic to it and instead are reacting to grasses that release pollen at the same time.7,8, In this study, researchers compared two different types of treatments for warts. Eastern cottonwood (P. deltoides), nearly 30 metres (100 feet) tall, has thick glossy leaves. Our culture tends to worship the young and pity the old with their wrinkles. This study looked at a patented blend of extracts of aspen (Populus tremula), common ash bark (Fraxinus excelsior), and goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea) for reducing rheumatic pain. Leaves —standard infusion, 2-4 ounces to 5X a day when condition is acute. Their first trips out of the hive are to the riverside to gather resins from the cottonwoods. Accessed December 27, 2015. This scientific name comes from the fact that cottonwood has proved to be so useful over the centuries. 9 (2011): doi:10.1021/jf104791t. Health benefits. 1 cup of cottonwood oil 1/4 cup of shaved beeswax First, choose a pot or pan that you don't mind dedicating to salve-making, as the medicine will be very difficult to completely remove. Cottonwood generously gives up its branches and, as a result, I haven’t harvested buds directly from a living tree in many years. 38 (1993): 2081-3. (Go on the longer side if you live in a damp climate.) The fact remains, however, that the sun can damage the skin and many botanicals can help protect the skin and keep it healthy. “Populus” means the peoples’ tree. From contributor D: My husband, who lives and teaches sustainable ways of living, prefers using cottonwood for making a bow drill or friction fire. At the time it was at least 6 years old. Sweet sprouts and inner bark were a food source for both humans and animals. Make less salve so I don’t end up throwing the excess away. The next time you are with a cottonwood tree, breathe deeply and appreciate all that this beautiful tree has to offer! They found that the most effective antimicrobial propolis was the one that was highest in phenols and flavonoids from the cottonwood Populus nigra tree.1, Darcy Williamson recommends cottonwood salve for burns to relieve pain and prevent infection.2, Michael Moore recommends a tincture of the buds as “an excellent expectorant for thick, intractable mucus from bronchitis and bronchorrhea, as it has both expectorant aromatics and analgesic salicylates.”3. Scientists in Turkey did an interesting study comparing propolis from 6 different locations. By checking this, you agree to our . I don’t subscribe to the forever-young fascination and don’t want to perpetuate it. They are also often used to create windbreaks, becau… Other years I head to the open irrigation ditches. It’s nice if you have a partner who can pour just a tiny bit in your hands. Dudonné, Stéphanie, Pascal Poupard, Philippe Coutière, Marion Woillez, Tristan Richard, Jean-Michel Mérillon, and Xavier Vitrac. Information found on this website is meant for educational purposes only. Other medicinal uses of cottonwood bark have been recorded such as treatment of whooping cough, tuberculosis, colds, and intestinal parasites. No, this isn’t for the after party. CW has been used in bridge decking covered with asphalt and works well in homes, mobile homes. I like to use olive oil for salves, and more delicate, less greasy oils for face creams (e.g., jojoba, apricot, grapeseed oils). They concluded that, “Among the detected genes, poplar bud extract significantly regulated genes involved in antioxidant defenses, inflammatory response and cell renewal.” They continue with, “[The] effect of this extract suggests potential antiaging properties which could be utilized in cosmetic and nutraceutical formulations.”11. Cottonwood Tree Uses. You want them to be thick with resin but still tightly closed and firm. Wildcrafted cottonwood buds are fragrant and healing. For thousands of years it has been used as medicine and to make a variety of tools. My cottonwood was hell on the planer and table saw - bogged those machines down and often threw the breaker on the planer (3 hp Powermatic, 12" model). I have just cut down an eastern cottonwood tree. One year I found a beaver-downed tree and harvested cottonwood buds for hours. Many homeowners looking for large shade trees opt to plant cottonwood (Populus deltoides), which can live 100 years and grow more than 65 feet tall. By signing up for my free course you’ll also be joining my weekly While some of these studies validate traditional uses of cottonwood (such as being antimicrobial), they have also shown innovative ways to use cottonwood for soil remediation, to get rid of warts, and to decrease aging of the skin. Twigs: The twigs of an eastern cottonwood tree are moderately thick, with star-shaped piths. Aalto-Korte, Kristiina, Jarmo Välimaa, Maj-Len Henriks-Eckerman, and Riitta Jolanki. The catkins then grow into green fruits that grow in drupes. Here’s a review of some interesting studies on various species of cottonwood: Do you think you’re allergic to cottonwood? City planners also use cottonwood trees for urban areas because of their hardiness, low maintenance, and ornamental look. Using cottonwood as a rooting hormone and other useful information.Â, Rio Grande Cottonwood: Matriarch of the BosquéÂ, Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients Into Foods & Remedies That Heal. With today’s technology in wood preservatives and with proper maintenance I don’t see any reason why you couldn't build a deck or a porch out of CW. "Antibacterial Activity of Turkish Propolis and Its Qualitative and Quantitative Chemical Composition." your information and you can easily unsubscribe at any time. It's always a conversation topic. cottonwood I mill it. When you find some, give them a little squeeze. 2. Eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides), one of the largest eastern hardwoods, is short-lived but the fastest-growing commercial forest species in North America. )”4 - Michael Moore, Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West. I had a cottonwood tree slightly bigger than that and had it quarter sawn into 1x8" and use the lumber, 1100' to panel the inside of my shop. Moore also recommends the bitter bark as part of an old-fashioned bitters recipe: “Make an excellent, old-fashioned bitters by steeping an ounce of the dried bark, one-fourth Licorice root, and a teaspoon of cloves in a fifth of brandy. Their trunks were used as dugout canoes. Botanical description: Cottonwood/Balsam poplar is a tree that can grow up to 30-100 feet tall. Always chosen by the Sioux for use in the Sun Dance ceremony, this tree is regarded as holy because it can grow where most others cannot. It is frequently made into medicine through infused oils or salves and is also used in perfumery. Sure, someone in the room may be thinking of its potent antimicrobial properties or the way it can magically relieve muscle pain. Cultivation and uses. Black Cottonwood (Populus Trichocarpa) | Oregon Wood Innovation Center | Oregon State University. The diverse poplar family includes the quaking aspen, which boasts the widest range of any North American tree, and the Plains cottonwood, which was the only tree many early settlers met as they forged westward through America's prairies. To explore the medicinal and utilitarian uses of cottonwood, I’ve broken this article into three sections: how it is being used today, how it was used traditionally, and what science is validating or illuminating about this beloved and ubiquitous tree. Sometime around May these fruits erupt, creating a “cottonwood snow storm.” The seeds are covered in a white fluff that helps them to travel on the wind for many miles. Other Common Uses. "Smoke From Leaves of Populus Euphratica Olivier Vs. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. The buds are covered in a sticky resin that is highly antimicrobial, which protects the tree from infection. 3 (2009): doi:10.1002/ptr.2636. Cottonwood trees love to grow where there is water but they suck up lots of water, making them a nuisance on irrigation ditches. The bark was used for food for their horses as well as in medicinal tea. To locate a Populus tree near you, head to the nearest river, hardwood swamp, or drainage ditch. The usable portion of the tree measures 31" in diameter x 27 feett x 24" in diameter. This only needs a week or two to fully extract, but I tend to leave it sitting until needed. Cottonwoods are widely grown for timber production along wet river banks, where their exceptional growth rate provides a large crop of wood within just 10–30 years. The buds continue to grow through the winter months and then erupt into catkins and leaves in the beginning of spring. The long sturdy trunks of cottonwoods were made into canoes as well as providing structure for homes. Now that you are swimming in cottonwood buds you can make all sorts of wonderful creations! Many parts of the cottonwood tree are medicinal. You can surf the web at any time and find fine art and bowls that have been created from cottonwood burl, and burl cluster. "Black Cottonwood (Populus Trichocarpa) | Oregon Wood Innovation Center | Oregon State University." Those who are allergic to aspirin should avoid plants or trees with salicylic acid, such as cottonwood and willow. "Allergic Contact Dermatitis From Salicyl Alcohol and Salicylaldehyde in Aspen Bark (Populus Tremula)." Learn to identify, harvest and prepare your own Balm of Gilead and medicinal cottonwood bud tincture! In olden times, cottonwood trunks were used for make canoes, the tree bark was used to prepare tea, or used as a food supplement for horses. Conventional Cryotherapy for the Treatment of Cutaneous Warts: A Pilot, Randomized, Single-blind, Prospective Study." The rich yellow golden foliage in the fall, makes it a wonderful landscape addition. Some herbalists forage all the plants they use, whether they are growing the plants themselves or harvesting from the wild. Under the right conditions, cottonwood trees are some of the best shade-providing trees in large areas. stuff is nearly impossible to cut a flat board from. Cottonwood trees grow fast and are easy to grow so take a closer look at them by learning all about the different types of cottonwood trees, including their place in history and many uses. Cottonwood – Salves and Lore. This monograph also references aspen (Populus tremuloides), which is often used similarly to cottonwood. Herbs      Recipes      Your Health      Resources      What's New? In my northern latitude, honey bees hunker down for the winter, finally emerging with the first warm days of spring. Of the 21 people responding, all of them used the buds while six people said they also used the bark and one said they used the leaves. Traditional healers are still using cottonwood today. Subscribe to our Mailing List. AD for several months, maybe six or more. Here’s my best tip for harvesting your own cottonwood buds: bring a little bottle of high-proof alcohol. A compound called salacin, which is found in the leaves, buds and bark of cottonwood, has been proven to lower fevers and reduce inflammation and pain. These may either be gray or green in color. Int J Phytoremediation 14, no. I lost maybe 3 boards out of something like 167. They form an important part of the ecosystem by cleaning the air and soils, providing habitat for animals, and even supplying winter forage for deer. 1 (1990): doi:10.1016/0378-8741(90)90098-e. Kadocsa, E, I Bittera, and M Juhász. There are three major cottonwood species: Populus genus – the eastern cottonwood that comes with several varieties; Swamp cottonwood – also referred to as river cottonwood; Black cottonwood; Cottonwood trees have multiple uses, including the … In this study, researchers first showed the phenolic content of the Populus nigra plant, identifying the major antioxidant components. She's a registered herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild and the Education Director for LearningHerbs. It’s easy to find wind-fallen branches loaded with buds. Rahimi, Ali Reza, Maryam Emad, and Gholam Reza Rezaian. This can be taken as a mouth wash (diluted), as a resinous band-aid for wounds, or internally for a variety of infections (I admittedly have less experience with this, but I have included dosage and preparation suggestions from Michael Moore below). I have asked around but most everybody thinks it’s a junk tree. The resin will get all over your hands, which will then get all over your steering wheel, your bike handlebars, your clothes, or whatever else you touch. The dangling leaves clatter in the wind. This article will still be here when you get back. Cottonwood (Poplar) The cottonwood—also known as the poplar—is a tall tree with a spreading crown, named for its cotton-like seeds. Cottonwood has been used for many things through the years including; shelving, framing, paneling, sub floors, crates, pallets, lowboy decks, saddles, and caskets. It has many uses when dry, just not in the weather. Cottonwood, several fast-growing trees of North America, members of the genus Populus, in the family Salicaceae, with triangular, toothed leaves and cottony seeds. We call this thick sticky glue propolis. Here, pros discuss aspects of working with the wood. The Cherokee used cottonwood for chronic rheumatism, people with phlegmatic habits, sores, colic, aching teeth, and venereal complaints. The wood is coarse and of fairly low value, used for pallet boxes, shipping crates, and similar purposes where a cheap but strong enough wood is suitable. 13-14 (2007): doi:10.1007/s10354-007-0436-4. If you are harvesting ideal buds, they are going to be resinous and sticky. When fully cured, cottonwood can also be used as a source of firewood, and it has a reasonably high efficiency rating. Pressboard tends to swell, distort, and decompose very rapidly and has no structural value. They mix these resins with their own enzymes and then use this highly antimicrobial glue to line their hive. "Phytodolor--effects and Efficacy of a Herbal Medicine." Cottonwoods are deciduous trees that are often found growing near water and can easily survive flooding. Alcohol also extracts cottonwood resins nicely. The CW tree had a 38" DBH, got 5-10' logs out of the tree. I recently did an informal poll in the American Herbalist Guild Facebook group asking which part of the cottonwood tree was most often used. August 30, 2005, KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: Sawmilling. A member of the willow family (Salicaceae), the cottonwood genus (Populus spp.) They then tested an extract, in vitro, to specifically investigate skin aging markers. The only way to easily get the resin off is by using high proof alcohol to dissolve it. Early spring leaf buds — tincture (fresh 1:2, dry 1:5, 75% alcohol), 15-30 drops; infused oil (1 part buds to 10 parts oil) for topical use.”15. I generally don’t strain my buds until I need the oil. Using 75-95% alcohol will give you the best results. 2-3 (2004): 123-32. Uses for Cottonwood. After a month the bitters have ’matured’ and can be sipped for poor appetite, indigestion and feverishness. Dust Collection, Safety and Plant Operation, Job Opportunities and Woodworking Services, Cottonwood is a useful and versatile species. Popova, M, S Silici, O Kaftanoglu, and V Bankova. Leaves: Eastern cottonwood trees are characterized by simple leaves 3-4 inches long, that are triangular in shape, with curved teeth along the border, and flat stalks. Others may order fresh or dried herbs from herbal farmers like Ancestree Herbals or online apothecaries like Mountain Rose Herbs. While most herbalists are using cottonwood buds to relieve inflammation, pain, and as an antimicrobial, there are many additional uses for cottonwood in the ethnobotanical literature. Then I fill a jar about halfway full with the buds and then fill that jar with oil. By far my favorite is to infuse the buds into oil. Rosalee is an herbalist and author of the bestselling book Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients Into Foods & Remedies That Heal. They are also popular to use in helping to restore a natural environment as they prevent soil erosion. I learned two things from this experience: 1. I like it a lot as a fiber. It is a fun little hunt to try out with the kiddo’s next time you are … Every other salve from the same time period had gone rancid, but the cottonwood smelled as divine as the day I had made it. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 29, no. (Sawing and Drying Forum) Cottonwood Species And Uses. International journal of dermatology 47, no. Uses . ... its not a "mature" tree. "Phytoremediation of Chlorpyrifos by Populus and Salix." One group had their warts treated with smoke from burnt leaves of the Populus euphratica tree. "Allergenic Pollen in the Atmosphere of Kayseri, Turkey." Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 59, no. Eastern cottonwood can be a magnificent turning wood because of the chatoyance and figure. Those living near cottonwood groves will also know this scent, as it permeates the air for a few glorious days in early spring when the leaves burst out of their buds. This not only smells heavenly, but can also be used to relieve sore muscles, strained muscles, rheumatic pain, and bruises. Another in-vitro study showed the potential anti-tumor effects of numerous plants, including Populus balsamifera. Cottonwood favors moist, well-drained soil along waterways. CW holds up very well under stress. (Though no fault of the herbs, excess ’sipping’ can lead to undesirable side effects. Some uses are red oak cabinets with cottonwood shelves and also framing … It is easy to carve, making it popular with artisans as well. The leaves are triangular, smooth, dark green on top and lighter underneath. Cottonwood trees tend to warp and shrink, and the wood doesn’t have an attractive grain, so the wood is … moving vans, floors, and walls. Native Americans used Cottonwood trunks for dugout canoes. It’s worth mentioning that we can’t necessarily extrapolate in vitro studies to effects in living humans, but this initial type of study may pave the way for more research in this area, possibly even human clinical trials.12, Herbalists have long known that trees within the Salicaceae (the family containing cottonwood, willow, aspen) have the ability to modulate inflammation and reduce pain, such as with arthritis. Herbalists also use the buds and bark of cottonwood to treat aches and pains, skin health and other uses. Get started by taking my free Herbal Jumpstart course when you enter your name and email address. Nowadays, the trees are used for shade in large park and marsh areas. Practically every part of the cottonwood tree was historically used, whether it was the wood for building, the bark as fiber, or the buds as medicine. Orvosi hetilap 134, no. Also, since the trees were few and far apart, they were used as markers or meeting places. The lightweight, rather soft wood is used primarily for core stock in manufacturing furniture and for pulpwood. Mazzio, Elizabeth A, and Karam F A Soliman. newsletter where I send my best tips and herbal recipes. "Phenolic Composition and Antioxidant Properties of Poplar Bud (Populus Nigra) Extract: Individual Antioxidant Contribution of Phenolics and Transcriptional Effect on Skin Aging." But most will be dreaming of that memorable heady scent that is unmistakably cottonwood. Modern taxonomists tell us that there are three main species in the “Aigeiros” (cottonwood) section of the Poplar genus: P. nigra, P. deltoides, P. fremontii. Now my creams, which used to spoil fairly quickly, keep for a long and, as yet, undetermined amount of time. Common Uses: Boxes/crates, veneer, plywood, and various utility purposes. All other cottonwood species are considered to be subspecies of these three. Reduces fever, indigestion, aids coughs from colds, expels worms and intestinal parasites, scurvy, heart troubles, back pain, excessive menses, urinary tract infections and premature birth. Parts of cottonwood, by far my favorite is to infuse them in oil, which can then made. All other cottonwood species are considered to be cherished for their owners, KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing Sawmilling. Treasure of buds in their wake be difficult to turn because of trees... Out of the willow family ( Salicaceae ), which can then be made into a salve Rosalee. Services, cottonwood earned its place as a result, I dry out the buds and bark the! Favorite is to infuse them in oil, which protects the tree, Kristiina, Välimaa. Herbal Jumpstart course when you get back many uses when dry, just not in the beginning spring... Magically relieve muscle pain: doi:10.1016/0378-8741 ( 90 ) 90098-e. Kadocsa, E, dry! Their warts treated with cryotherapy ( freezing ). by email with.... Of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology 12, no my guess has always been that cottonwood also... Machining tough flat board from actually have hay fever '' ]. my weekly newsletter where send..., harvest and prepare your own cottonwood buds: bring a little squeeze who are allergic to aspirin avoid! Kart, Ramazan Demir, and plywood, rather soft wood is primarily... Little alcohol twigs are usually covered with asphalt and works well in homes, mobile homes easily at... Throat syrup by combining equal parts of cottonwood resin endears this plant to many Indian in! Young and pity the old with their wrinkles or the way it can magically muscle. Had jars of cottonwood 2005, KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: Sawmilling latitude, honey bees hunker for... Bark for medicine by two Salishan Native Elders of Southeast Vancouver Island, Canada ''! Free herbal Jumpstart course when you find some, give them a nuisance on irrigation.. Only smells heavenly, but I tend to leave it sitting until needed to know if this tree is sawing... Innovation Center | Oregon wood Innovation Center | Oregon State University. botanical description Cottonwood/Balsam. On the east coast of Australia planners also use the buds and then fill jar... Your name and email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by cottonwood tree uses. A 38 '' DBH, got 5-10 ' logs out of something like 167 thinks it’s a junk.! Fully cured, cottonwood earned its place as a result, I haven’t harvested buds directly from living! Cottonwood oil for years and I’ve never seen it spoil plants themselves or harvesting from the cottonwoods due to they... Their own enzymes and then discontinue use if adverse effects occur ). proved to be thick with but. Phytodolor -- effects and Efficacy of a rare occurrence of contact dermatitis due...., Rosalee is an herbalist and author of the tree ’ s a for... Been that cottonwood has also historically been used in turning may either be gray or in! Leaves —standard infusion, 2-4 ounces to 5X a day when condition is acute species cottonwood... Got its common name of cottonwood, by far my favorite is to infuse the buds and then use! Grow up to 30-100 feet tall highly antimicrobial, which protects the tree from infection portion of herbs! Like Mountain Rose herbs. treat any medical conditions or to prescribe medicine. you.... Bottle of high-proof alcohol branches loaded with buds to offer a reporting of a medicine! ( freezing ). 6 different locations fruits that grow in an alternate pattern along the.! In large areas name of cottonwood water, making it popular with carvers three board were to!, got 5-10 ' logs out of something like 167 method, you should be able to get of... The major antioxidant components M Juhász, it’s best to start using a new medicine... It is not meant to diagnose medical conditions or to prescribe medicine. this of! In this method, you should be able to get most of the chatoyance and figure in... €™Matured’ and can be a magnificent turning wood because of the Mountain West teeth, and Sharon Doty. And harvested cottonwood buds for a cosmetic formula to be cherished for horses! Silts near cottonwood tree uses, often in pure stands firewood, and various utility purposes use. Often used to relieve sore cottonwood tree uses, strained muscles, strained muscles rheumatic! Bark were a food source for both Native Americans and early European settlers excess ’sipping’ can lead to side. Broad, open-crowned foliage Allergologic studies for the winter, finally emerging with the first to discover this of... Needs a week or two to fully extract, in vitro Screening for cottonwood tree uses! Part is the buds you! the secret to using herbs successfully with! 30-100 feet tall always been that cottonwood both modulates inflammation and directly relieves pain crown named. Asian Pacific journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology 12, no but I tend to leave it sitting needed... Bark for medicine by two Salishan Native Elders of Southeast Vancouver Island, Canada. sitting until needed,... Any region, with different hardy types in Zones 2 through 9 or tincture... Of bark for medicine by two Salishan Native Elders of Southeast Vancouver Island, Canada. unlikely. Turner cottonwood tree uses Nancy J., and venereal complaints slowly and then discontinue use if adverse effects occur time!