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Tuliptree (Yellow Poplar) Liriodendron tulipifera

Tuliptree - Liriodendron tulipifera
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A fast-growing tree with bright green leaves that resemble tulip flowers in profile and turn golden yellow in fall. Greenish-yellow flowers are carried high in the tree. Stems are aromatic. Likes full sun. Grows to 70' to 90', 40' spread. (zones 4-9)

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Zones 4 - 9 Zones 4 - 9
Hardiness Zones 4 - 9
The Tuliptree (Yellow Poplar) can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the arborday.org zone map. View Map
Ornamental Tree Ornamental Tree
Type of tree
Ornamental Trees, Shade Trees
70' - 90' High 70' - 90' High
Mature Height
The Tuliptree (Yellow Poplar) grows to be 70' - 90' feet in height.
40' Spread 40' Spread
Mature Spread
The Tuliptree (Yellow Poplar) has a spread of about 40' at full maturity.
Fast Growth Fast Growth
Growth Rate
This tree grows at a fast growth rate. More about this.
Full Sun Full Sun
Sun
This Tuliptree (Yellow Poplar) does well in full sun.
Various Soils Various Soils
Soil
The Tuliptree (Yellow Poplar) grows in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well drained, clay soils.
Oval Shape Oval Shape
Shape
This Tuliptree (Yellow Poplar) has oval, rounded shape.
Attributes

The Tuliptree is the state tree of Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee because of its majestic beauty. It is a fast-growing shade tree that displays colorful yellow flowers in the early summer, replaced by equally colorful seeds held upright in the tree throughout the summer and into autumn.

Description

A fast-growing tree with bright green leaves that resemble tulip flowers in profile and turn golden yellow in fall. Greenish-yellow flowers are carried high in the tree. Stems are aromatic. Likes full sun. Grows to 70' to 90', 40' spread. (zones 4-9)

Wildlife Value

Tuliptrees provide food in many forms for many animals. In fall and winter, young trees are browsed by whitetail deer and rabbits. The spring flowers provide nectar for ruby-throated hummingbirds. Tuliptree seeds, maturing in summer and persisting into winter, provide food for both birds and mammals, including finches, cardinals, quail, mice, red squirrels, gray squirrels, and rabbits.

History/Lore/Use

Once plentiful in their natural habitat in eastern America, Tuliptrees, with their tall, straight trunks, lack of lower branches, and hard wood, were favorites of loggers for railroad ties and fence posts. George Washington planted Tuliptrees at Mount Vernon which are now 140 feet tall and Daniel Boone favored the wood of this tree for his 60-foot dugout canoe.

Moisture

It has normal moisture requirements, and can withstand some drought in humid regions only.

Leaves

The leaves alternate, 3 to 6 inches long with distinctive lobes, a flat base, and two ear-like tips. Leaves are light green in summer and bright yellow in autumn.

Flower Color

Flowers are tulip-shaped, 1-1/2 to 2 inches in diameter with 6 greenish-yellow petals, each with orange at the base.

Bloom Time

May to June.

Fruit Description

The fruit is a cone-like aggregate of long, narrow, winged seeds. They are held upward on the tree and remain long after the leaves have fallen.