Habit: this fast growing single stemmed tree with upright branches forms a narrow spreading crown. The yellowish green young bark turns grayish brown, rough and somewhat furrowed with age. Leaves are narrow and willow like, dark green above, and paler below, with finely toothed margins, turning a dull yellow in the fall. Flowers appear in May in the form of catkins, female and male on separate plants.
Ecology: found in Western North America near water and along stream banks in dry mountains, prairie grasslands and the dry plains of the central states from 3000-8000 ft (900-2450 m).
Growing Conditions: full sun in moist to wet well-drained soil, cold hardy. Tolerates periodical flooding.
Excellent for erosion control near streams, not ideal near homes, as the aggressively spreading root system will find septic systems and drain fields. Narrow-leaved cottonwood provides habitat, cover, and food for a diversity of wildlife including birds, small mammals, deer and moose.