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Look before you plant

Making It Grow Radio Minute
SC Public Radio
Making It Grow, with host Amanda McNulty

Hello, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Recently, someone asked us if there were laws that would keep your neighbor from cutting down trees, and some cities and towns do have rules about removing them. But here’s a twist -- our eastern cottonwood is illegal to plant in some places. Cottonwoods are male or female, both flower before the leaves emerge and are an important source of nectar and pollen for insects. The seeds from female plants have a cottony covering and they produce a gazillion seeds – they can cover a lawn and supposedly clog up your A/C unit. I’ve only seen the seeds once in my life on a botany walk with John Nelson; it was in a wooded area and I remember it being super cool. Apparently, there are male cultivars in case you want a cottonwood tree but not the cotton.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.