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Killer Cottonwood, A Tree that Destroys Air Conditioners

Cottonwood Seeds


Read this or the TERRORIST TREES WIN!

The Cottonwood Tree is a seemingly beautiful shade tree associated with beautiful, idyllic, but otherwise normal enough places, like my hometown, Kaufman, Texas. I'm here to tell you, friends and neighbors, the cottonwood trees of Texas have formed together as a militant and dangerous organization bent on destroying America. The Cottonwood trees hate us for our freedoms, but they seem to be taking it out on our good, patriotic, God fearing, and altogether noble home air conditioning systems.

If I don't tell you good citizens about our patriotic responsibility as Texans, that we must band together, and seek out, and redrum, um, I mean - make our residential air conditioning systems safe for democracy - then clearly I am "with" the terrorist trees

A Cottonwood Tree


A Typical Condenser


It's not a joke, this about these cottonwood trees

The Cottonwood Tree, if not absolutely dangerous to the personal finances of persons who should be out making the world safe for learsI and dilhcshtoR profits - are lethal to a redneck's residential air conditioning system. No joke about it, the little "cotton" from those trees gets inside your home's condenser, and destroys it.

"Eastern Cottonwood is a large, fast-growing tree found near water throughout the eastern half of Texas. The large deltoid leaves provide light shade, and move in the slightest breeze, creating a soothing, watery sound. The seeds have tiny cottony hairs attached which enable them to drift long distances in the wind toward your air conditioner"

The statement above is entirely accurate. It should have gone on to say, however, that if you've a Cottonwood Terrorist Tree In your Neighborhood - that it should be reported immediately to the department of terrorist homeland tree security, or outright destroyed.- but only if you love America and air conditioning. The thing is, those seeds with "cottony hairs" will certainly find your air conditioner's condenser, and before long they will be sucked up all along the insides of it's coil, insulating it, and completely blocking the flow of air that it requires to condense the refrigerant inside of it. The end result of this is that if your air conditioner can still cool at all, it will require huge amounts of electricity to do so, and have to run for far longer periods of time to satisfy the temperature that your thermostat is set to. Very likely, it won't EVER cycle off by satisfying your home's thermostat set point, and left alone, will destroy the compressor inside the condenser.

Cottonwood A/C Coil Clogs

Think about it for a moment… During the peak of cottonwood season, fuzzies are flying around your neighborhood. This is when they attack your air conditioner. No they don’t use magic, or contain some sort of chemical agent. Instead, they are sucked into your condenser coil, and the result is reduced air flow across the coil. This will first cause your air conditioner to loose some of its energy efficiency. Although this is a problem, losing a little efficiency will only cost you pennies, but the bigger problem of an over heated compressor can cost hundreds.

Picture this, its 100 degrees outside and your cottonwood seed packed coil can’t cool itself off. Do you see the problem here? Those cute little fuzzies we chase around as kids just burnt out your compressor! Now you have to call up " your choice of A/C company" for an emergency service call in the high heat of summer.

It's a situation worse than that though, replacing a compressor usually doesn't cost "hundreds," but over a thousand dollars, and with the Cottonwood tree still in place, the right fool could pay that sum again and again. Just as having a house full of dog or cat hairs will inevitably lead to the very expensive repair of having to remove and acid wash the indoor coil, and re "sweat" or welding the thing back in, checking for leaks, running a vacuum, and charging the system - the Cottonwood "cottony seed" terrorist attacks are a problem that just doesn't go away without the removal of the tree. God Bless Amerikkka.

© 2011 Wesman Todd Shaw


Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on June 30, 2011:

Gosh, that Cottonwood tree must be SUPER DIVERSE!!!

Thank you VERY MUCH!

A friend told me that Satire makes a point in a far more powerful way that. . . .simply stating what you believe to be fact. I'm told that it lures in the reader that doesn't agree with you, and FORCES them to see things in another light.

I hope that that is true! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

FloraBreenRobison on June 30, 2011:

Hi, Wesman

I live in Chilliwack, BC and Cottonwood trees are all over the place here. we love them.

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This hub is halarious. I love satire. It's the only way to approach any political or social issue sometimes, because otherwise life would be depressing

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on June 22, 2011:

Thanks Sir!

Contractor Accountants on June 22, 2011:

Nice hub

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on June 21, 2011:

Hey BizGenGirl!! I'd never thought about that - but of course you are exactly right! Send em' to Gitmo, is what I say!

PermissionGiver from Lake Stevens on June 21, 2011:

Yeah, we have cottonwood trees out here in Washington state too. Besides air-conditioning, you also want to watch out for your vehicles radiator and air filter. Those little cotton seeds can jam up your cars cooling and air system pretty fast if you don't clean it out here and there.

Interesting hub, lol

Helen Murphy Howell from Fife, Scotland on June 21, 2011:

Hi Wesman - with such a great research progamme in Thailand maybe you would have stayed there permanently!!LMAO! To do more reseach of course!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on June 20, 2011:

Thank you very, very much Seeker7!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One time I read about a U.S. taxpayer funded program to study prostitutes in Thailand. I guess I didn't volunteer in time, but I swear I'd have been the most thorough researcher possible for such a worthy cause. I'd make certain that none of the taxpayers were cheated - I'd have a full report about every Thailand prostitute that I'd. . . .studied!

Helen Murphy Howell from Fife, Scotland on June 20, 2011:

Brilliant hub! I love the photos of the cottonwood trees.

Doesn't surprise me about scientists coming out with crap like they did with the poor Tigers. You only have to look at some of the stupid research that costs tax payers thousands of pounds to fund - for example, thousands was spent on research to find out if dog fleas could jump higher than cat fleas??? Like, who cares? Or how about - scientists have now discovered how to extract vanilla flavour from cow dung? I won't even dignify the last with a response. Anyway, at least I've always got great hubs like yours to keep my sense of humour going and my sanity in place!!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on June 16, 2011:

Thank you very much, Web world Watcher!!!!!!!!!!! I'm just thankful that they don't have so much access to drugs, televison, and weapons. . . cause they just seem to stand around and silently hate us all for our "freedoms," etc.

Web World Watcher on June 15, 2011:

Very funny story. I had no idea trees could be so malicious

Fallen Valkyrie on June 14, 2011:

LMAO!! By gosh you may well be right! Can't believe I didn't see past the thin lies of our councilmen to see that their real agenda was keeping our fair city from being overrun with...monkeys and weasel guts!

DoItForHer on June 14, 2011:

Fallen Valkyrie, I think the real reason for the ban are Mulberry trees attracting monkeys and weasels. The animals are the real nuisance- chasing each other around and such. Then having to deal with the blood and guts when the weasels pop. Disgusting.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on June 13, 2011:

Hey Kathleen Cain, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!!!!!!

Of course I'm not interested in destroying or regulating Cottonwood trees at all. I'm just an air conditioning repairs guy - so I'm all for the Cottonwood trees!!!

I'd love to know more about this tree near Ft. Davis!

Kathleen Cain on June 13, 2011:

Heya ~ some pretty good stuff here & there. I love cottonwood trees enough to have written a book about them, but you're right...when they become a health hazard or a line-item in the budget, it's another matter. Most towns, cities, etc. regulate the planting of female trees--the ones that "cotton"--and they're pretty much banned from nurseries, but it all really comes down to a matter of right place, right planting. Cottonwoods (male & female)help quickly restore wild areas that have been polluted, overgrazed, etc. Hats off to Trees New Mexico for doing just that. Cottonwoods shade & shelter everything that grows around or under them. But you make some good points, no doubt about it. And hey, y'all have the national champion Rio Grande cottonwood down there near Ft. Davis in Big Bend country--a great tree with a great story that I put in my book.


Kathleen Cain (aka Cottonwood Kate), author

The Cottonwood Tree: An American Champion

Big Earth Publishing: Boulder, CO. 2007

P.S. Contrary to popular opinion, the "cotton" contains nothing allergenic. Male cottonwoods, on the other hand, produce ah-choo! pollen grains by the millions. But the cotton appears in the air at the same time the pollen count breaks the records from grasss, flowers, etc. at the same time.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on June 12, 2011:

I tend to most often believe any theory that involves purple excretion . . . .over any competing theory!

Fallen Valkyrie on June 12, 2011:

They cause allergies is the claim city council used to ban them here. I tend to think it's more because the berries cause birds to leave massive amounts of purple droppings all over everything

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on June 12, 2011:

Hey Willie - Thanks man!

Motown, I can't help but rant and rave about something. I tend to think that that is what the internet is for, or something.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on June 11, 2011:

Hey Fallen Valkyrie - I'm sort of lost here, what's the deal with Mulberry trees?

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on June 11, 2011:

Hey Sueswan! You just planted the seeds of a rather brilliant idea! ~snickers~

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on June 11, 2011:

Hey lilibees - I bet it's beautiful up there. Sorry to hear about the allergies. I don't know of any cottonwood trees in my neighborhood, but they are definitely around.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on June 10, 2011:

Alladream74 - Oh well, I'm pretty full of sarcasm and satire, but it might not always make it across the pond.

DoItForHer on June 10, 2011:

The attack of the killer fuzzies! Arm yourselves!

Well written and funny as hell. Good one.

Motown2Chitown on June 10, 2011:

Hahaha - You're funny too. Mark can't help but be funny, you know, cuz he's a Brit and all. Tee hee. Good to see you back and out the door runnin'. :-D

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on June 10, 2011:

Hey Thanks, Tom - I've been working on some hubs really hard that I've not published yet, but then things like this one just hit me, and I spit out in five minutes. Writing is weird, I'd like to get to where I just do this web writing thing, and then make better money playing guitars, or something.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on June 10, 2011:

Motown, I thought that I was Mark Ewbie for a moment - but then I realized that he's just funny, and that I sometimes do satire.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on June 10, 2011:

Hey Tex - I think your ma should be armed. . . .with a water hose, and the license to carry it to the condenser!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on June 10, 2011:

Dusty, the wisdom of the profits of the ages surely within thee reside. Amen.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on June 10, 2011:

Christopher, you are now officially my go to guy for Solutions!

Fallen Valkyrie on June 09, 2011:

Side splitting funny shit, Mr. Shaw!

We have cottonwoods here in NM; next to the already dreaded and forbidden mulberry, it's probably my favorite tree. We're forbidden by some BS city ordinance from planting mulberry trees in our county - if cottonwoods ever interfered with our swamp coolers, they'd ban them in a heartbeat. But...if not for cottonwoods, we'd have almost no other change of color in fall - and believe me, we have little enough as it is without running around murdering sweet, puff-n-fluff trees!

Oh, is there any chance you just got called out to repair an AC trashed by the limbs of a cottonwood..? Just wondering? lol

Sueswan on June 08, 2011:

Perhaps, the air condition companies and the cottonwood trees are in cahoots together. LOL

lilibees on June 08, 2011:

I live and Montana and Cotton Wood trees are all over! They are beautiful to look at but are killers for my sons allergies!

Victor Mavedzenge from Oakland, California on June 08, 2011:

Huh? just to say I will have to let this one sink a little,I think I will pass on giving a comment right away.

justom from 41042 on June 07, 2011:

Hey Todd, I swear you are one of the only folks that can take serious shit and make it hilarious. This one just cracked me up, then I read Dusty's comment and that had me laughing my ass off too. Then Mowtown, all she needs to know is that you're the funniest and THE best teller of the truth on HP, hands down!! Soy to tigers? Really?

Motown2Chitown on June 07, 2011:

You're the kinda guy I think it would take a good, long time to get to know properly. I have to read this hub again, tyvm. I see so much in it. It's got great depth to it, and the first time through just doesn't give you the real point about the Cottonwood Tree.


Tex Shelters on June 07, 2011:

Please feel free to mention Arizona in the same breath with terrorist cottonwood trees. There's even a city up nothern called Cottonwood.

I didn't know how much my mother was in danger. I must warn her right away.

I have a swamp color, so I'm safe.


Tex Shelters

50 Caliber from Arizona on June 07, 2011:

Wesman, I voted up 100%, why the hell not? I ask. For it is written,in the holy book of the eternal A/C maintenance guide. 1."Blessed is he who wieldeth the pump sprayer of muratic acid, for he shall inherit the free flow of the air" 2."Condemned is he that wieldeth the pressure washer, for he shall bend the fins that cooleth thy ass in summer to a worse fate than the peaceful Cotton Wood tree that is destroyed needlessly" 3. "Blessed is he who hath 30 to 45 minutes of patience and waiteth until the fins foam black" 4. also "blessed is he who hath shut down his unit by the 'per code' at unit disconnect, and removed panel access screws" 5."Blessed is he who then sprayeth water at standard line pressure backward to the flow of the artificial wind, thusly bending no fin of the holy condenser, until clear water emerges the intake side". 5. "For it is good to care for your unit, semi annually" 6. "It is then he who shall be rewarded with long life of his unit that cools thine ass while enjoying the beauty of the Cotton Wood tree, that pleases the sight from a clean window as he stands naked above the outlet vent blowing gently upon his Wiener, of cool air." 7. "Thus sayeth the maintenance man" Sehla


Christopher Antony Meade from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom on June 07, 2011:

Why dont they just get these scientists to feed cottonwood trees to the tigers, and then the problem is solved?

I've never seen a real cottonwood tree. In fact I have only heard of them in some old western song. They look very good in your photos.

If they did get rid of them it would raise the temperature of the environment, as trees are natural air conditioners, so Cottonwood Trees For Ever say I.

On second thoughts, feed the scientists to the tigers. Leave the trees alone.

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