The sapwood is white and may contain brown streaks while the heartwood may be pale to light brown. It is a diffuse porous timber with a coarse texture. The wood is generally straight grained and contains relatively few defects. As a true poplar cottonwood has similar characteristics and properties to American aspen and European poplar.
Other Common names
Eastern cottonwood, Eastern poplar, Carolina poplar
Distribution & Availability
Cottonwood is a true poplar and grows commercially in the Central and Southern States, where it is widely available in lumber and veneer. This species may be limited in some export markets where demand is low.
From the Image Library
Physical & Mechanical Properties
Cottonwood is relatively light in weight. The wood is soft, and weak in bending and compression, and low in shock resistance. It has no odour or taste when dry.
American cottonwood - Physical & Mechanical Properties
|Specific Gravity (12% M.C.):||0.4|
|Average Weight (12% M.C.):||449 kg/m3|
|Average Volume Shrinkage (Green to 6% M.C.):||11.30%|
|Modulus of Rupture:||58.608 MPa|
|Modulus of Elasticity:||9466 MPa|
|Compressive strength (parallel to grain): ||33.854 MPa|
General machinability is fair, although tension wood is frequently present and can cause a fuzzy surface when cut, if machine blades are not very sharp or set at correct angles, which in turn will require additional care when finishing. The wood glues well and has good resistance to splitting when nailing and screwing. It dries easily but may still have a tendency to warp, with small movement in performance.
American cottonwood - Working Properties
Furniture, furniture parts, interior joinery and mouldings, toys and kitchen utensils. A specialised use in America is Venetian blinds and shutters. Some export markets in Asia and Europe, especially Italy, use this cost effective, light coloured species for dark staining in reproduction furniture.
American cottonwood - Main Uses
|Mouldings and |
Occasionally referred to as white poplar and is not to be confused with American tulipwood which is known as yellow poplar in the USA. Sometimes sawn into 9/4 (57.15mm) thickness for Venetian blinds.
Select your species
- American alder
- American ash
- American aspen
- American basswood
- American beech
- American yellow birch
- American cherry
- American cottonwood
- American elm
- American gum
- American hackberry
- American hickory & pecan
- American hard maple
- American soft maple
- American red oak
- American white oak
- American sycamore
- American tulipwood
- American walnut
- American willow
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