The Cottonwood is a common tree out here on Canada's west coast. They grow quickly but live only about 80 years. Almost all the big dead trunks seen in our area are old Cottonwoods. In the spring these trees release their snowy white seeds sometimes causing warm blizzards and "snow" drifts. The bark of the young trees are smooth and unbroken, the rough deeply rutted bark is a sign the tree is 30 years or older.