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Growing on the High Plains: Cottonwood Tree

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To continue our series of honoring state trees of the High Plains, today Growing on the High Plains has a tidy two-fer in the Eastern Cottonwood, which holds the title for both Kansas and Nebraska. A symbol of survival, these gentle giants often signified the hope of nearby water, a bounty of firewood, and potential wildlife in the area. Today, most are familiar with the cottonwood as a source of fluffy white floaters from the female trees, downy puffs clogging up curbs and tickling our noses. These long-living landmarks offer so much to our region, though they're under threat as water becomes more and more scarce across the Plains.

 

Years ago Skip Mancini left the rocky coast of Northern California to return to her roots in the heartland. Her San Francisco friends, concerned over her decision to live in a desolate flatland best known for a Hollywood tornado, were afraid she would wither and die on the vine. With pioneer spirit, Skip planted a garden. She began to learn about growing not only flowers and vegetables, but hearts and minds. If you agree that the prairie is a special place, we think you'll enjoy her weekly sojourns into Growing on the High Plains.