The State Champion eastern cottonwood tree located on Columbia Bottom Conservation Area in Spanish Lake as it appeared in May 2012 when it was certified. The State Championship will now be passed on to an eastern cottonwood located on private property in Platte County.
Named for the cottony fluffs of hairs attached to its tiny seeds, cottonwood thrives in moist lowlands near streams and rivers. It is Missouri’s fastest-growing native tree but pays for that distinction by being relatively short-lived.
The Missouri State Champion eastern cottonwood on Columbia Bottom Conservation Area in Spanish Lake was downed by the violent storm that drove through St. Louis County the evening of May 31. The tree was 127 feet tall with a circumference of 310 inches. It is shown here after the area flooded on June 2.
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