The growth, returns and uses of planted cottonwood in Iowa
Cottonwood is one of the fastest wood producers grown in Iowa.
A fair yield from 35 year old cottonwood plantations is 30,000 board feet of lumber and 50 cords of fire-wood per acre.
The average production found in single rows one-half mile long was 71,000 board feet, and 274 cords of fire-wood.
When growing fence posts cottonwood will produce over 600 first class posts in 6 years, or over 1,400 in 12 years, per acre.
Cottonwood posts untreated last about three years and should not be used until treated with creosote or some other preservative. Creosoting cottonwood posts costs about 15 to 20 cents each. After treatment they will last 20 to 25 years.
On overflowed land unsuited for agricultural crops cottonwood plantations 35 years old will produce in lumber and cord-wood an average annual return of $10.09 in addition to six percent compound interest on the money invested.
On waste land cottonwood fence posts produce an annual profit of $5.67 to $7.39 an acre in addition to six percent compound interest on the investment.
Cottonwood fence posts for local farm use can be grown profitably on land valued as high as $100 an acre.
Cottonwood lumber is very serviceable for rough construction work in barns, sheds, and similar uses, especially in places protected from the weather and contact with the ground. This lumber on the farm takes the place of other lumber which costs $30 to $50 per M.
When planted, the trees should be spaced about 6 by 6 or 7 by 7 feet apart.
The number of trees in the stand should be reduced in about three thinnings from approximately 900 per acre at the start to between 125 and 175 at the end of the 35-year rotation.