Whether you know it as tulip poplar, whitewood, tulip tree, yellow poplar, or simply poplar, it is the same handsome giant, straight as a flagpole, with yellow-green and orange tuliplike blossoms nestling in June among big four-lobed leaves that turn to glow yellow when autumn comes.
It has been rightly said that a tulip poplar needs a circle of ground space 75′ feet across to develop its potential height of 100′ feet or more and a branch spread of 60-odd. It is not a tree for small properties, even though it is remarkably trim and free from littering habits for its size.
Usually, too, its lowest branches are far enough from the ground to permit a good lawn turf beneath them.
It requires little save a moderately rich, dampish soil and an average climate with a winter minimum temperature never lower than 10-15° below zero.
The trait of speedy growth is essential if you are thinking of bringing in a seedling tulip tree from the fields or woods. This opportunity frequently arises within the tree’s natural range, for it is a generous self-sower.
The operation’s success can be almost guaranteed in early spring if you select one not over a couple of feet tall and are careful to keep its deep-striking taproot intact.
The nature of the tulip poplar is symmetrical despite its size and the heavy burden of leaves it carries, for its wood, though somewhat soft, is tough, and the limbs are well designed and firmly anchored.
While a tulip tree is at its best during the foliage season, there is no time of year without specific interest because of its flowers, branch pattern, and the whole tree’s color changes.
44659 by Robert S. Lemmon.