Black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) grows in the Pacific Northwest. It favors moist, well-drained soil along waterways. The tree has roughly a 125-year life-span and commonly grows 80-100 feet and sometimes up to 150 feet tall. Diameters are 3-4' with a few up to 5' in diameter. The gray bark is thick and deeply fissured. Large leaves are heart shaped and contain summertime cotton tails for which it acquired its name. Since the trees grow in areas with water they were a gathering place for settlers in the 1800's on the Oregon Trail. The wood is soft and can be easily carved for children's toys and games. Thin stock also adapts well to painted or stenciled scroll saw projects. Working properties are similar to Basswood. Approved by the FDA for food containers, cottonwood works well for bowls or other turned articles. Shearing cuts with sharp tools prevents fuzzing that can occur with dull tools. Air dried and surfaced on two sides. This has been kiln dried and is ready to use. Nice, clean piece.
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