Oklahoma Cottonwood trees are doing their thing. It looks like little angels floating down from heaven in the sunlight, but they are the devil when your air conditioner's condenser gets plugged up with them. I'm talking about the fluffy little parachutes that drop the seed down from the eastern cottonwood tree which is also known as the Populus deltoides.
Every year, I try to wait until they have fallen to clean up our condensers so that the fluffy little buggers won't stop them back up. A lot of the time, it's very hot when it's time to complete the preventive maintenance. But even if you have home warranty
, it will not cover a plugged condenser. Usually they can be rinsed out of the condensing unit by a professional or someone who knows what they are doing.
Some years they are very sparse and hardly noticed. Other years they come down like a blizzard and pile up everywhere. Some people probably experience allergies from them. It makes my nose itch just thinking about them. They remind me of the little fluffy things in Avatar when I saw it in 3D.
The cottonwood is the Nebraska State tree. Oklahoma is fortunate to have the red bud tree for their state symbol. A lot of people don't know this, but as a small child, I was shown that you could cut a small branch of a cottonwood tree at the rigid joint and you can see a small star in the middle.
The cottonwood typically lives for 70 to 100 years, but can live up to 400 years with the right genetics and proper environment. They can grow up to 100 feet to the top of the canopy and have a trunk as big as 5 - 6 feet wide. The female trees produce the cottony seed. This of course means the males are not messy.