In some areas of Montreal, you might have noticed this “fluff” that has been falling up and down for at least the past three weeks. On my street, Ste-Famille, in the far McGill ghetto, these flying cotton balls have taken epic proportions, accumulating as snow would in late Fall. The only difference is that it’s 27℃ and it won’t “melt” until the next rain.
Samedi, Pierre Gingras (editor’s note: another La Presse reporter) a répondu à ma question: c’est le peuplier deltoïde. De delta, en forme de triangle, à cause des feuilles. Les français ont dû le nommer avant qu’il ne produise sa semence, sinon ils auraient fait comme les Américains et auraient retenu le plus spectaculaire, eux qui l’ont appelé Eastern Cottonwood.
It comes indeed from a tree, namely a kind of poplar! According to Boisvert’s post, three such poplars (or cottonwood trees) in Repentigny made so much “minous” that a neighbor dragged the trees’ owners to court, in the Lapointe v. Desgrobois case. The demand was rejected by the judge, who said that tree seeds don’t cause horrible inconveniences and that while one doesn’t like them, he should at least be able to tolerate them.
Maybe it’s an optical illusion, but I thought I did see this following tree on my street shedding the white puffs, which had the characteristics of a poplar: