Cottonwoods, a member of the poplar family, love wet soils and is often found in riparian areas and boggy spots. So it is quite plentiful here.
It has little value, unless of course we were to install a paper mill. As firewood goes it would be better to just burn paper. Cottonwood maybe in the hardwoods but it is anything but hard. It takes forever to dry out, rather like that bacteria ridden sponge on your sink back.
Even if you get it to dry out so it will take a match you might as well sit back to enjoy the look of the flame because it is doubtful that you'll feel any heat from it. The heat it renders comes from wrasling with it because it does not split well at all because of the irregular grain, which also along with it sponginess also renders it rather useless for lumber save for pallets and such.
Oh, well suffice it to say they are here because they are here. And we have noticed them more this year than any other simply because we are enjoying the most unusual June for the Pacific Northwest ever. And trust me this is no complaint whatsoever!
What a friend of mine calls the "May-June Gloom" seems to have taken a break from us and gone somewhere else. So instead of a constant shower during the cottonwood bloom we have had nearly clear blue skies and only one or two showers that have only lasted an hour or two.
Consequently the outdoors looks as if it has snowed and it has even gotten into the house, the screen porch is socked in with fuzz nearly making the screen opaque. In the following pictures then don't be surprised if it looks as if it has snowed.