FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Adapted to thrive on Colorado’s Eastern Plains, in mountain valleys and along riparian areas throughout the state, cottonwoods represent the largest native broadleaf trees in the state, and the most pervasive deciduous trees found at lower elevations. Colorado cottonwoods can grow to more than 80 feet in height, flourishing in wetter soils near rivers, lakes, irrigation ditches and other lowland areas.

Managing these natives can help ensure numerous benefits that include wildlife habitat, recreation, stream bank stabilization and stormwater uptake.

Read about cottonwood ecology, the benefits of cottonwoods and riparian vegetation, competition from invasive species, fuels management recommendations to reduce fire risk in cottonwood groves, and more in this new Quick Guide.