Friday, November 30, 2012
Fremont Cottonwoods at San Pedro
Riparian areas in Arizona are few and far between but they are easily spotted from a distance thanks to the presence of the Cottonwood trees. Cottonwoods can thrive only when there is an adequate supply of water which is why they look very much like a ribbon crossing the desert growing as they do along rivers and streams with a constant flow. Taller by far than all other surrounding vegetation Cottonwoods can be seen sometimes from miles away.
Fremont Cottonwoods growing along the banks of Green Kingfisher Pond. Green Kingfisher Pond was created by sand and gravel operations many years ago and has no inlets or outlets but is filled by ground water. Very young Cottonwoods can be seen along the banks and on the far shore an older but still very young specimen.
The trees surrounding the San Pedro House vary in age with the largest one up to 130 years old. Below Nan is standing on a piece of limb limb and is still dwarfed by the amazing tree.
I have photographed this tree a few times and none of my efforts ever showed it's immense size until I put humans next to it. You can read about Fremont Cottonwoods here: www.arizonensis.org/sonoran/fieldguide/plantae/populus_fremont.html