What Kind Of Leaf Is This?

Asked October 22, 2016, 12:55 PM EDT

We found several leaves like this. Is it a normal leaf?

DeKalb County Tennessee

3 Responses

Dear DeKalb Co., TN, Thank you for writing to Extension with your Natural Resource questions. The leaf in question belongs to the Eastern Cottonwood tree. Eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides) is a large tree growing to 130 feet tall and with a trunk up to 6 feet diameter. It is one of the largest North American hardwood trees. Cottonwood, as we typically call it, tends to grow in the wetter locations. You will find it along your creeks and stream, and around the Caney Fork River. I trust this helps. Blessings. - Andy

Thanks, Andy!
Cottonwoods seem like fun trees. I once saw their seeds floating around a parking lot in Cookeville.
Are the lumps on the leaf stems a normal thing? We saw lots of them on the leaves. (Most of them made pretty cool faces)
Thanks, Laurie

Hey Laurie, Yes, the lumps are fairly normal. A whole host of creatures eat on trees, just like they do with all green plants. The lumps are insect activity. Attached is a webpage from the University of Minnesota: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/insect-and-mite-galls/.

The insect that is affecting the cottonwood is an aphid. Blessings. - Andy