Close-up image of cottonwood tree canopy. Leaves are changing from bright green to yellow.
Cottonwood tree canopy with leaves changing color during the Fall season

NPS Photo

Cottonwood trees have long been a universal symbol of desert water. These tall trees with bright green, shimmering leaves need to "keep their feet wet" -- that is, their roots must always reach into groundwater for them to survive. In the Rincon Mountain District of Saguaro National Park cottonwoods are abundant in Rincon Creek and are scattered throughout the tributaries of Tanque Verde Creek.
A large, mature cottonwood tree. Its canopy casts precious shade in an arid desert landscape
Mature cottonwood tree

Photo: Bob Miller

Last updated: April 12, 2021

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