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Tuliptree

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Tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera) – The Liriodendron tulipifera, also known as the tuliptree, is a great shade tree for urban areas with limited space. This tree is low-mess and tolerant of adverse conditions like high soil pH and limited space. Its flowers offer very nice late spring interest, and the quantity of flowers will increase with maturity.

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Characteristics

Average Landscape Height:
50 feet
Average Landscape Width:
25 feet
Growth Rate:
fast
Genus:
Liriodendron
Species:
tulipifera
Flower Color:
butter
Flower Period:
from mid to late spring
Summer Foliage Color:
lawn green
Fall Color:
gold
Minimum Light:
full sun
Maximum Light:
full sun
Minimum Moisture:
average
Maximum Moisture:
moist
Plant Form:
pyramidal
Canopy:
high
Pruning:
late winter pruning
Other Species Names:
Tulip Magnolia, Yellow Poplar, Whitewood
Branching:
excurrent
Density:
dense
Flower Eye Color:
yellow
Flower Form:
cup

Ornamental Features

Tuliptree has buttery yellow cup-shaped flowers with yellow eyes and orange centers held atop the branches from mid to late spring. It has emerald green deciduous foliage. The square leaves turn an outstanding gold in the fall. The furrowed gray bark is extremely showy and adds significant winter interest.

Landscape Attributes

Tuliptree is a dense deciduous tree with a strong central leader and a distinctive and refined pyramidal form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

Planting & Growing

Tuliptree will grow to be about 50 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 25 feet. It has a high canopy with a typical clearance of 6 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. As it matures, the lower branches of this tree can be strategically removed to create a high enough canopy to support unobstructed human traffic underneath. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 90 years or more.

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided. This species is native to parts of North America.

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