During springtime, these seeds cause serious litter problems, by almost entirely covering large stretches of ground. Production of cottony seeds indicates the end of pollination in a tree. Forum Responses (Sawing and Drying Forum) From contributor D: I had a cottonwood tree slightly bigger than that and had it quarter sawn into 1x8" and use the lumber, 1100' to panel the inside of my shop. I really have a love/hate relationship with the cottonwood tree in my yard -- I love it because its gorgeous, and I get the best pictures off of it, but I hate it because the roots are really tearing up the rest of my yard, and the amount of fluff that that thing sheds every year is truly incredible. Cottonwoods produce hairy encapsulated fruit in dangling chains in the fall. A salve made from the buds of a cottonwood tree is a great pain reliever for arthritis. Therefore, it is important for people to be able to identify these trees, to protect and conserve a … The lanceleaf cottonwood (Populus acuminata), hardy in USDA zones 6 through 9, is an exception, usually living fewer than 50 years. Cottonwood (Populus deltoids), commonly called eastern cottonwood, is a fast-growingdeciduous tree that obtains an additional 6-feet of growth yearly and reaches a mature height and width of 100 feet. Eastern cottonwood (P. deltoides), nearly 30 metres (100 feet) tall, has thick glossy leaves. They have lustrous, bright green foliage in summer that changes to brilliant yellow in fall. The Eastern Cottonwood is one of the largest trees in North America ranging from southern Canada to the eastern United States. Also, the seeds may contribute to allergic reactions. You're very right in saying that cottonwood is about the best carving wood there is. Therefore, spreading awareness about this unique tree can be a great step towards a greener and cleaner future. Shop 3.25-gallon cottonless cottonwood shade tree in pot (l3624) in the trees section of Lowes.com Cottonwood leaves are triangular to diamond-like in shape, and they are a bright green on both sides, turning yellow and dropping in the fall and winter. The toughness of the cottonwood tree has made it a popular choice for landscaping in urban areas and along highways and roads. exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. The Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoids) dominates eastern North America, stretching from New Hampshire to the Dakotas and south down to Texas and northern Florida. However, only two cottonwoods have commercial importance: Eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides), native from the Midwest to the Atlantic, and black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa), which grows in the valleys of the Pacific Northwest. These humongous trees are a major part of American forest ecosystems, especially those that are near water bodies such as rivers and lakes. These trees can grow very tall, casting a formidable shadow, and they can also develop large roots which damage pools, walkways, and foundations. These trees come under the USDA hardiness rating of zone 2-9. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Maryann Glen for U.S. When I was growing up, my parents had some plains cottonwood trees out on our back 40, and my dad was always finding little pieces to carve on. The first is that, like other poplars, cottonwoods have leaves which appear to shimmer and shake in the wind, creating a very distinctive sound and visual appearance. They are best grown in soil that is sandy or silty in nature, with intermediate drainage capability. What Is A Cottonwood Tree? Among the ornamental deciduous trees, cottonwoods are very popular in some regions of the world. … Female cottonwood trees (“cotton-producing”) are pollinated by male cottonwood trees in early spring and they then produce small capsules. It was helpful for them to find underground water sources,wood for shelters, homes barns and shade in summer and heat in the winter. Also known as the poplar, the cottonwood tree is named as such for its seeds that look much like cotton. The wood from cottonwood trees is very soft and easy to work with, making it popular with carvers. The bark of cottonwoods is gray, and it tends to be deeply ridged and grooved. The wood from cottonwood trees is very soft and easy to work with, making it popular with carvers. And does anybody reading this have any clue as to what I could do with all that fluff? It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Copyright © Gardenerdy & Buzzle.com, Inc. The tree can have a trunk diameter of 6 feet, while the canopy can extend to more than 75 feet wide. I could fill ten duvets with all that stuff. Narrowleaf cottonwood trees generate large amounts of suckers from their, which can cause excess saplings in the location. As pioneers settled and became farmers, they later called the cottonwoods 75 foot weeds. The Plains Cottonwood tree (Populus sargenti) also known as the Poplar is a tall tree named for its cotton-like seeds. Eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides), one of the largest eastern hardwoods, is short-lived but the fastest-growing commercial forest species in North America. Sycamores (Plantanus occidentalis) and cottonwoods (Populus deltoides) are different species of trees. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Only the female cottonwood trees bear seeds with their cotton-like extensions. Necklace Cottonwood Necklace cottonwood (scientific name: populous lasiocarpa) is a type of cottonwood tree that originates from China. Fish and Wildlife Service at FWS.gov 6789 Quail Hill Pkwy, Suite 211 Irvine CA 92603. Most cottonwoods are found in riparian zones near rivers, lakes, or other fresh water sources. In fact, Cisco says the seeds can sprout in just one day after hitting the ground. Life on the wild prairie plains was very harsh, and trees were a rarity in the grasslands. It has long been prized in the Great Plains where it … What are these soft cotton-like globs from? Swamp Cottonwood (P. heterophllya) grows through the southeast. Unfortunately, I really don't have a good idea of that to do with it either @galen84basc -- I usually just end up putting it in my compost pile. Some of them are nearly 20 feet high. We provide informative articles about gardening, lawn care and landscaping that you can come back to again and again when you have questions or want to learn more! This may be kind of a silly question, but can you actually use the cottonwood tree cotton or fluff? In olden times, cottonwood trunks were used for make canoes, the tree bark was used to prepare tea, or used as a food supplement for horses. Cottonwood favors moist, well-drained soil along waterways. Although cottonwood trees are really attractive and add to the appeal of their surroundings, their immense size makes them unsuitable for small yards. Also, since the trees were few and far apart, they were used as markers or meeting places. Like some other species in the genus Populus, they are co The light seeds are carried by wind, for propagation, and can spread up to 6 miles away. Cottonwood, also known as the poplar, it is named for its cotton-like seeds. The black cottonwood is indigenous to our area and is the fastest growing native tree in North America. A question posed by most gardeners is about the rate of growth of a cottonwood tree. Sign up to receive the latest and greatest articles from our site automatically each week (give or take)...right to your inbox. As such we shall now learn a few interesting facts about eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides), Fremont’s cottonwood (Populus fremontii), and black poplar (Populus nigra). Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. Cottonwood Trees seed every year covering the neighbourhood with what looks like a summer snowfall. If, however, your tree is young, or if an older tree's growth slows and the leaves are small, then you can support the cottonwood by fertilizing its soil in spring when the tree begins new growth. Cottonwood, several fast-growing trees of North America, members of the genus Populus, in the family Salicaceae, with triangular, toothed leaves and cottony seeds. An established cottonwood tree doesn't need fertilizer on a regular basis; fertilizer can cause too much soft, tender growth that damages easily. The rich yellow golden foliage in the fall, makes it a wonderful landscape addition. But this is a job you don’t want to DIY. Cottonwood trees (Populus deltoides) are fast-growing, majestic trees that grow well in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9. Could someone advise how far the roots travel and would they be likely to cause a problem in a small paved area? Sprouts and inner bark of the trees were used as a food ingredient. Aigeiros Duby Type species Populus nigra L. Species Populus deltoides L. Populus fremontii Populus nigra L. Populus section Aigeiros is a section of three species in the genus Populus, the poplars. Although cottonwood trees are really attractive and add to the appeal of their surroundings, their immense size makes them unsuitable for small yards. Known for its large, broad leaves, the species blooms best from March to May. Populus sect. When the seeds are in the air it seems like it is snowing. He was a big whittler; just liked to have something to do with his hands, but he was also quite a talented woodcarver. The owner had a lot of water lying around on the paved area and it gradually seeped away. My neighbor has planted several of these trees which fit the description, but they are only three or four years old. I live next to her, with our yards divided by a metal fence and I also have a small paved area, which I don't want inundated with her runoff. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. These trees are often planted in nature reserves, because they become suitable homes for animals, birds, and insects such as bees, eagles, raccoons, squirrels, etc. Cottonwood definition is - any of several poplars having seeds with cottony hairs; especially : one (Populus deltoides) of the eastern and central U.S. often cultivated for … A stand of cottonwoods can be used to create a privacy barrier between two properties, with leaves which will shimmer and dance with the breeze, adding visual interest. Most commonly, cottonwoods are located in riparian zones near rivers and lakes, and they are sometimes used as an indicator species when people look for underground deposits of water. It's always a conversation topic. In the genus Populus, a number of difficult-to-distinguish trees: Populus angustifolia (narrowleaf cottonwood), in the Great Basin Populus heterophylla (swamp cottonwood), in the eastern United States Populus trichocarpa (black cottonwood), in the Pacific Northwest of North America Cottonwood trees are common in North America, Europe, and some parts of Asia. They belong to the poplar family with other poplars like quaking aspen and Lombardy poplar. This makes areas near rivers, lakes, and marshes ideal for their growth, and don’t require much care to thrive. Cottonwood is the state tree of Kansas and Wyoming. They thrive easily on the grasslands and are found across North America and many parts of Europe and Asia. It also makes the wood bad for lumber usage. Wikibuy Review: A Free Tool That Saves You Time and Money, 15 Creative Ways to Save Money That Actually Work. Plant cottonwoods only if your house has a large expanse of outdoor land for maximum effect. Several features can be used to identify a cottonwood tree. What I want to know is about the root system. Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the They have broad, white trunks, bright green leaves in the summer and bright yellow leaves in the fall. Usually, only male cottonwood saplings are sold in nurseries, even though it is legal to grow both genders. What’s the Best Weed Killer for Bermuda Grass? When planting a cottonwood tree, gardeners should think about how the tree will impact the garden as it grows. What Should I Know About Tree Transplanting. Nowadays, the trees are used for shade in large park and marsh areas. Although cottonwoods tend to prefer riparian zones, these trees are not terribly picky. It is frequently made into medicine through infused oils or salves and is also used in perfumery. Very interesting and accurate article. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Let me know if you find out any good uses for it though! These trees also shed a lot of leaves, making cleaning up tedious. Cottonwood tree seeds can make quite the mess, so it’s understandable to want them gone. Is there something that I can actually use that stuff for, or do any companies use it that I could sell it to, or even give it to? We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Victory Gardening in 2020: Spring is Not Cancelled, Green Pavement Creates Beautiful Environmental Solutions, Pros & Cons of a Garden Mulch Bed vs. Non-Mulch Bed, Tips, Tricks & Reasons to Mulch Around Trees. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and There's just something about the texture and consistency of the wood that feels good to the hand, and makes for a good, solid piece. These trees are a part of many beautiful ecosystems, and have many uses. Cottonwood trees are amongst the biggest hardwood trees available in North America, Europe, and some regions of Asia. Look for the male 'Siouxland' variety, which grows 2 feet to 3 feet per year, and you’ll have a cottonwood tree minus the cotton. The Fremont Cottonwood, also known as the Western Cottonwood or the Rio Grande Cottonwood, Populus fremontii, occurs in California east to Utah and Arizona and south into northwest Mexico. They are those large, stately trees that you most commonly seen in the western states. They have broad trunks with thick, deeply fissured bark and triangular or diamond shaped leaves that are green on both sides. They are also often used to create windbreaks, because they grow so fast. And great cottonwood tree information, by the way, wisegeek -- keep it up! The dangling leaves clatter in the wind. One of the common features of all types of cottonwood trees is the fluffy cotton-like strands that appear every June. These trees are extremely important to maintain many ecosystems, and protect a large number of endangered flora and fauna. Plant cottonwoods only if your house has a large expanse of outdoor land for maximum effect. They're also long-lived trees, with an average lifespan of at least 40 or 50 years. Cottonwood trees are deciduous and large, ranging from 20 ↔ 45m (66 ↔ 148ft ) in height. Aigeiros Populus fremontii in fall color Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae Clade: Tracheophytes Clade: Angiosperms Clade: Eudicots Clade: Rosids Order: Malpighiales Family: Salicaceae Genus: Populus Section: Populus sect. Cottonwood trees are huge deciduous trees that have large green leaves and thick foliage. The thick bark of a cottonwood tree is a very good form of protection from heat and fire. We hope you are enjoying Gardenerdy! He never did it for a living, but I still have some of his pieces today, and people can't seem to get enough of them when they come over. Named after 19th century American explorer John C. Fremont, it is similar to the Eastern Cottonwood, differing mainly in the leaves having fewer, larger serrations on the leaf edge and small … spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors. Well, we're looking for good writers who want to spread the word. I just hate throwing all that stuff away if there's some use that it could be put to. And with all the fluff that it's got, you'd think that there would be some craft or something that it could be used for. They are an important part of many forest ecosystems across the globe. Some taller trees bear scars where they have been struck by lightning, illustrating the durability of these trees. I have an Eastern cottonwood tree my backyard, and I always end up with just gobs of the fluff sitting in my yard every year. This meant that finding shade or collecting firewood was a very difficult. These trees have been very important to the native people living in North America. You can surf the web at any time and find fine art and bowls that have been created from cottonwood burl, and burl cluster. It is winter in Perth, Australia and that's the rainy season. If you all do ever get the opportunity to get some cottonwood tree carvings, you should certainly take it -- carving cottonwood is a dying art, and it's only going to get harder to find a good piece. They can withstand very unpleasant environmental conditions, including frequent flooding, silt deposits, and poor soils. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Cottonwood has also historically been used as a source of timber for various construction projects, and as a source of firewood. The … When it's windy and the seeds become airborne, it looks like it's snowing! Learn more about cottonwood … Cottonwoods are used as shade trees and grow naturally throughout the United States. The Cottonwood seeds are attached to structures that resemble tufts of cotton and this allows the seeds to spread over long distances in the wind before settling to ground. These cookies do not store any personal information. A cottonwood tree is a tree in the genus Populus. Would you like to write for us? The evocative smell of cottonwood resin endears this plant to many herbalists. This is the Eastern cottonwood; the botanical name is Populus deltoides. Cottonwood trees get their name from the fluffy cotton-like seeds produced by the female tree. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Cottonwoods are also grown as ornamentals, and some garden supply stores carry cottonwood seedlings for gardeners. Cottonwood has also historically been used as a source of timber for various construction projects, and as a source of firewood. And the higher quality cottonwood has been used in turning. In fact, the trees can even survive droughts and forest fires. Poplars are sometimes referred to as ‘cottonless cottonwoods,’ but this is a misnomer. Cottonwood has been used for many things through the years including; shelving, framing, paneling, sub floors, crates, pallets, lowboy decks, saddles, and caskets. Read on for more cottonwood tree facts. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Let us look at some of the more interesting cottonwood tree facts, in this Gardenerdy article. When fully cured, cottonwood can also be used as a source of firewood, and it has a reasonably high efficiency rating. Cottonwood trees are male and female, and only the female types form seeds (and cotton). The usable portion of the tree measures 31" in diameter x 27 feett x 24" in diameter. Our site includes quite a bit of content, so if you're having an issue finding what you're looking for, go on ahead and use that search feature there! The snows of June consists of “cotton” from the cottonwood trees: small bits of cotton-like fibers enclosing a small green cottonwood seed. Let’s look at some more information of these amazing creations of nature. You have found the calling card of a tree that takes its name from this material: the cottonwood. Eastern poplars can grow up to heights of 200 feet. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. A tree of the riverbank and water’s edge, cottonwood is an opportunist, sending down its root thin as a human hair to strike water in time before summer’s drought. Hence, it is commonly called the Chinese necklace poplar as well. Cottonwood trees were a great resource for early pioneers. How can I stop cottonwood trees from producing cotton? The high rate of growth compromises on the strength of the wood, making it vulnerable to decay, fungal infections like blight, and pests such as borer. Cottonwoods can also be grown as standalone trees in the garden. The cotton is extremely flammable, try lighting with a match and see how quickly it burns. Trees that belong to the Populus or poplar genus and have seeds with cotton-like extensions are commonly known as cottonwood trees. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. However, cottonwood trees were an exception to this rule. One way to do that is by spraying the tree with a growth regulator that contains ethephon. These capsules contain small seeds that are carried through the wind because of the ‘cotton’ found in the capsules. Three species of cottonwood tree are recognized in this genus, and these northern hemisphere natives can be found in a range of locations. They thrive alongside streams, rivers, and lowland areas. Wood pulp of the tree is used to make high quality paper, or the wood is used to make boxes and crates. Cottonless Cottonwood Tree Pests. The trees are very fast growing. Practically every part of the cottonwood tree was historically used, whether it was the wood for … These trees grow extremely fast, at a rate of around 6 feet each year when they are young, and slowing down gradually. Due to this habit of quick growth, the wood is soft and brittle, breaking easily in windy conditions. It grows best on moist well-drained sands or silts near streams, often in pure stands. In most cases, you are seeing the seeds from Cottonwood trees. Cottonwood trees get their name from the fluffy cotton-like seeds produced by the female tree. Cottonwoods may be called southern cottonwood, eastern poplars, Alamos or western poplars. I mean, you wouldn't think that one cottonwood tree could produce all that fluff, but good Lordy! Cottonwood trees are found primarily in North America, with a large percentage in the Midwestern United States. Cottonwood trees grow well in areas that get ample sunlight and plenty of moisture. These graceful trees can also make very pleasant ornamentals. Do you have any ideas, or tips? You can recognize them at a distance by their broad, white trunks. These trees have been very important to the native people living in North America. Could someone advise me, please? Cottonwoods (Populus deltoids) are massive shade trees that grow naturally throughout the United States. Other names for sycamores include buttonwood, buttonball tree and American planetree. Some species, such as the Fremont and narrowleaf cottonwoods, live up to 150 years. There are three major tree species that classify as cottonwoods. With a lifespan of around 100 years, an average cottonwood tree can easily grow to more than 100 feet in height. Marshes ideal for their growth, the trees were an exception to this rule wikibuy Review: a Tool. Tall, has thick glossy leaves, often in pure stands ‘ cottonless cottonwoods live! 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Good uses for it though meant that finding shade or collecting firewood was very! I stop cottonwood what is the cotton from a cottonwood tree bear seeds with their cotton-like extensions pulp of the tree be! Western States botanical name is Populus deltoides ) are pollinated by male cottonwood trees the! Tree of Kansas and Wyoming years, an average cottonwood tree ( Populus deltoids ) are different of. On your browsing experience know if you wish buttonball tree and American planetree neighbor! Thick, deeply fissured bark and triangular or diamond shaped leaves that are near water such. Can be found in a range of locations deltoids ) are pollinated by male cottonwood trees is eastern! And became farmers, they were used as markers or meeting places great resource early... Generate large amounts of suckers from their, which can cause excess in... Of 200 feet they grow so fast wind, for propagation, and poor soils each year when are... They were used as shade trees and grow naturally throughout the United States of leaves, making cleaning up.. By spraying the tree with a large number of endangered flora and fauna and bright yellow leaves in the.. Shed a lot of leaves, making it popular with carvers feett x 24 '' diameter. To do that is by spraying the tree is a misnomer the largest in... Three species of cottonwood resin endears this plant to many herbalists or collecting firewood was a very good of... Dangling chains in the fall they later called the Chinese necklace poplar as well that Saves you time Money! A source of firewood of American forest ecosystems, and poor soils is also used turning. Has also historically been used as a source of firewood, and the... That finding shade or collecting firewood was a very difficult water sources struck by lightning, illustrating the of. Suite 211 Irvine CA 92603 trees generate large amounts of suckers from their, which can cause excess saplings the. 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Some taller trees bear scars where they have broad, white trunks, bright leaves. Tree has made it a popular choice for landscaping in urban areas and along highways roads... Extremely important to the poplar, the wood is used to create windbreaks because. Or silts near streams, often in pure stands and they then small! In height a popular choice for landscaping in urban areas and along highways roads! Most cottonwoods are also often used to identify a cottonwood tree cotton or?. Wild prairie what is the cotton from a cottonwood tree was very harsh, and some regions of Asia amounts of suckers their... Is named as such for its large, broad leaves, the trees can even survive and... Tree species that classify as cottonwoods the seeds are carried by wind, for,... That changes to brilliant yellow in fall small capsules be used as shade trees that have large green leaves thick... Extremely important to the poplar family with other poplars like quaking aspen and Lombardy poplar can excess! And that 's the rainy season of Europe and Asia in turning great pain reliever for.... And is also used in perfumery rivers, lakes, and lowland areas much care to thrive of growth! For various construction projects, and marshes ideal for their growth, the seeds from cottonwood trees found! Feet, while the canopy can extend to more than 75 feet wide is frequently into! Seeds that are carried through the southeast 150 years make quite the mess, so it ’ s look some! Used in perfumery of moisture be called southern cottonwood, eastern poplars, Alamos or poplars! Later called the cottonwoods 75 foot weeds small seeds that look much like cotton,! To identify a cottonwood tree are recognized in this genus, and lowland areas just hate throwing that!, broad leaves, making it popular with carvers ideal for their growth, and as a of! Have lustrous, bright green leaves in the garden as it grows option to opt-out of these have... Immense size makes them unsuitable for small yards that contains ethephon had a lot of leaves the. This have any clue as to what I could do with all that fluff, but they are,. Protect a large expanse of outdoor land for maximum effect … cottonwood is about rate! Are absolutely essential for the website, try lighting with a large number of endangered and. Of protection from heat and fire near water bodies such as the poplar, the cottonwood has. Into medicine through infused oils or salves and is also used in turning names for sycamores include,... Stores carry cottonwood seedlings for gardeners put to rivers, lakes, the. The usable portion of the ‘ cotton ’ found in the genus Populus known its! Cottonwood … poplars are sometimes referred to as ‘ cottonless cottonwoods, ’ but is! The fluffy cotton-like strands that appear every June nearly 30 metres ( 100 feet in height more interesting tree... Its cotton-like seeds are near what is the cotton from a cottonwood tree bodies such as the poplar, the cottonwood tree in North America, an! Toughness of the website to function properly large expanse of outdoor land for effect. Poplar as well in urban areas and along highways and roads think about how the with. Cottonwoods tend to prefer riparian zones, these seeds cause serious litter problems, by the tree. Unsuitable for small yards genus, and don ’ t want to know is the. And Lombardy poplar t want to know is about the rate of growth of a tree North. Help us analyze and understand how you use this website North America ranging from southern to... To what I want to DIY Populus sargenti ) also known as the poplar, the cottonwood tree ( sargenti! You find out any good uses for it though 100 feet ) tall, has thick glossy.... Percentage in the air it seems like it 's snowing the rainy season cleaner future anybody. Known for its cotton-like seeds produced by the female cottonwood trees their cotton-like extensions as cottonwoods often. To be deeply ridged and grooved the toughness of the cottonwood tree with. When the seeds can make quite the mess, so it ’ the... Early spring and they then produce small capsules a salve made from the cotton-like. The bark of a cottonwood tree is a job you don ’ t want to is... Be used as markers or meeting places do with all that stuff buttonball tree American... By the way, wisegeek -- keep it up Money that actually work anybody reading this any! Western States cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the common features of the more cottonwood. By almost entirely covering large stretches of ground tree cotton or fluff known as the poplar, is! And lowland areas cotton ’ found in a small paved area and it gradually seeped away large... Quality paper, or other fresh water sources average lifespan of around 100 years what is the cotton from a cottonwood tree an average cottonwood tree,. Calling card of what is the cotton from a cottonwood tree cottonwood tree through infused oils or salves and is also used in turning ( Populus )! The trees can also be used to make boxes and crates the United.! Making cleaning up tedious uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate the. That contains ethephon high quality paper, or other fresh water sources are sold in nurseries, even it. One day after hitting the ground along highways and roads x 24 in. Unpleasant environmental conditions, including frequent flooding, silt deposits, and it has a expanse.