When the cotton from the cottonwoods begin to fill the air in Colorado, you know that spring is here.

This may mean different things to you. I don’t have allergies, but when I first saw the air filled with fluffy white stuff, and it wasn’t winter, I couldn’t help but wonder what it does to the allergy sensitive.

I had to go to a grove of plains cottonwoods to really experience the way the cotton can pile up, almost cover the grass and roll down the street the way you can see it doing in the video above.

I was curious as to whether or not this was simply a seeding and germination activity, or if something more was going on, so I reached out to my friends at Colorado State University for an explanation. They connected me to Vince Urbina of the Colorado State Forest and he gave me the skinny on Colorado cotton.

The good news, cotton is only moderately allergenic, since the fluffy stuff is not technically pollen. Once the cotton starts to fly, pollination has already occurred, and what the cotton is seeking is germination.

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