USA Official State Tree of Kansas
(Salicaceae Populus deltoides)
Adopted in 1937.
Eastern cottonwood, Salicaceae Populus deltoides,
one of the largest eastern hardwoods, is short-lived but
the fastest-growing commercial forest species in North
It grows best on moist well-drained sands or silts
near streams, often in pure stands. The lightweight,
rather soft wood is used primarily for core stock in
manufacturing furniture and for pulpwood. Eastern
cottonwood is one of the few hardwood species that is
planted and grown specifically for these purposes.
Besides the typical eastern variety (var. deltoides),
there is a western variety, plains cottonwood (var.
occidentalis). Its leaves, more broad than long, are
slightly smaller and more coarsely toothed than the
Article 10.--STATE TREE
KSA 73-1001. Designation. The tree known as
the cottonwood is hereby designated and declared to
be the official tree of the state of Kansas.
History: L. 1937, ch. 318, sec. 1; June 30.
- Size: 80 - 100 feet with 40 - 60 ft.
- Growth: Rapid; moderate to long life
- Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately
veined, 3 to 6 inches long, triangular (deltoid) in
shape with a crenate/serrate margin. The petiole is
flattened and glands are present at the top of the
- Flower: Dioecious, male and female as
pendulous catkins, appearing before the leaves.
- Fruit: Cottony seeds, 1/4 inch long borne
in a dehiscent capsule. Maturing over summer.
- Twig: Stout, somewhat angled and
yellowish. Buds are 3/4 inch long, covered with
several brown, resinous scales. Has a bitter aspirin
- Bark: Smooth, gray to yellow-green when
young. Later turning gray with thick ridges and deep
- Form: A large tree with a clear bole and
an open spreading crown resulting in a somewhat
||Plantae -- Plants
||Tracheobionta -- Vascular plants
||Spermatophyta – Seed plants
||Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
||Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
||Salicaceae – Willow family
||Populus L. – cottonwood
Populus deltoides Bartr. ex Marsh. –
Dendrology at Virginia Tech
U.S. Department of Agriculture