How to Draw a Cottonwood Tree

In this quick tutorial you'll learn how to draw a Cottonwood Tree in 6 easy steps - great for kids and novice artists.

The images above represents how your finished drawing is going to look and the steps involved.

Below are the individual steps - you can click on each one for a High Resolution printable PDF version.

At the bottom you can read some interesting facts about the Cottonwood Tree.

Make sure you also check out any of the hundreds of drawing tutorials grouped by category.

How to Draw a Cottonwood Tree - Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step 1: First, draw the roots. Draw a small curved line going out toward the left, leave a few spaces, and draw a small curved line going out toward the right. Fill in the middle with curved lines that go downward.

Step 2: Now, draw the trunk. Draw a straight line going up from the left side of the roots. Do the same on the right side.

Step 3: Next, draw the branches. From where you left off drawing the left side of your trunk, continue your line by curving it outward. On the right side of where you left off drawing your trunk, draw a small slanted line going out. In the middle of the lines you just drew, draw a wide “V”.

Step 4: Then, draw the twigs. Draw a small “V” off of your small branch on the right side. At the top of that branch, draw a slightly wavy line coming out with two slanted lines on the side. At the top of your branch on the left side, draw a very big, wide “V” out of the top with a straight line in the middle and another straight line on the right side. From where your trunk ends and branch begins on the left side, draw a slanted line coming out with another slanted line in the opposite direction coming out of the top.

Step 5: Now, draw the leaves. Slightly below where you started drawing your branches, draw a long humped line straight across. On the left side, continue where you ended your line and draw a half circle of humps. Do this all along the left side of your tree and stop where you want the top to be. At the top, draw one big curved line of humps. On the right side, draw half circles of humps all the way down until you reach the end of your humped line at the bottom.

Step 6: Finally, draw the cotton. Throughout your tree, draw a medium size curved line, with small circles along both sided of your line. Draw as many of these cotton bundles as you want.

Interesting Facts about Cottonwood Trees

Cottonwoods are prairie trees that grow into wide cooling shade spots. They can grow to 100 feet tall and 100 feet wide. Cottonwood Trees have are emerald green tear drop shaped leaves. In the spring female trees release fluffy white seeds that drift on the wind. Cottonwood Tree trunks are about 5 to 6 feet around; they are gray in color with deep grooved bark. There are 3 types of Cottonwoods: a Quaking Aspen (found in mountains), the Plains Cottonwood (found on the Great Plains), and the Eastern Cottonwood (the one that looks the most like a leaf-bearing tree.)

Did you know?

  • The Cotton Plant that is a popular cash crop in the American south is not the same plant as Cottonwood Tree. The seeds of a Cottonwood cannot be spun into fabric.
  • Cottonwood Trees can live only 50 years.
  • Early settlers used Cottonwood Trees as signs of water. Since Cottonwoods prefer damp soil, they usually found a river or a stream nearby.
  • Cottonwood leaves were used to make tea during the pioneer days.
  • The trunk of a Cottonwood rots easily so many tree dwelling animals take advantage of the hollow space.

Theme: Turn your classroom into an old fashion one room school house. Hand out slates and chalk for students to take notes and teach curriculum on the American movement out west.