It's June in Massachusetts and it's time to witness those flying cotton things everywhere.

We were on the way to a little league game on Saturday and there they were.

Poplar Tree Seed Pods

Poplar trees produce their seeds in catkins, which hang unpollinated on the trees in early spring.  Once they are pollinated, green seed capsules form, and when they break open the seeds are released, each carried by a tiny parachute of fluff.  This is what you see stuck in the tree, floating through the air, or lying on the ground. -seasonsinthevalley


Also over the last couple of months, I have observed these cotton-like little floaties EVERYWHERE and kind of often. They seem to collect and gather on either side of my driveway as well.

Now, I recently had my driveway resurfaced and they planted grass seed along the edges along with hay or straw to keep the seed down, and I have noticed that these "cotton balls" seem to get hung up in the straw. (just to clarify).


I have heard anything from, "Oh, that's pollen." Wrong.

"Oh, that stuff comes from trees". Yes.

It's not pollen but it does come from poplar trees!

Rebecca Reddy Facebook
Rebecca Reddy Facebook

They are actually poplar seed pods. There are roughly 30 different kinds of trees that are considered poplar trees. And it’s the female trees that release these seeds to be carried by the wind.

Cottonwood trees are to blame as well.

Is it just me, or have you seen way more of these things this year?

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