Cottonwood is typically a light colored wood. In rainbow cottonwood, however, the heartwood of the tree is stained a wide variety of colors. Red, yellow, orange, blue, purple, grey, green and black appear in streaking patterns throughout. This sort of staining is extremely rare in cottonwood.
24 lb/ft3 -Low density
350 lbft - Soft
Cottonwood turns very easily, due to its low density and hardness. This does, however, make the wood likely to tear out when cutting across areas of end grain while turning. Sharp tools are required to produce a cleanly cut surface.
Cottonwood, in general, has a tendency to distort moderately during the drying process, but little tendency to crack or check. Rainbow cottonwood has an elevated moisture content, which will require longer drying times than standard cottonwood. For best results, this wood should be dried a bit more slowly to produce the best results.
Sands very easily. For removing tool marks, 60 grit sandpaper is recommended. Will sand to a medium luster, usually requiring grits no higher than 600 to achieve satisfactory results. As with all soft woods, care should be taken to thoroughly wipe the woods surface prior to switching to finer grits of sandpaper. This will ensure that grit from the sandpaper doesn't get embedded in the wood's surface, causing finer grits to be less effective at removing scratches from prior sanding steps.
Readily accepts most stains and finishes.
No toxicities are known to be associated with cottonwood/rainbow cottonwood.