Liriodendron tulipifera (Tulip-Poplar, Tuliptree)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Common throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region, Tuliptree is aptly named from the shape of its flowers and leaves to the samara whorls persisting like wooden tulips until spring. It is an excellent shade or ornamental tree for a large property, sited best on lower or concave slopes. It is the favorite tree of Mr. President and the First Lady, bald eagles nesting 80 feet high in a Tulip-Poplar in the U.S. National Arboretum.

Print Version (Legal Size): Liriodendron tulipifera (Tulip-Poplar)
Tree Height: 70–100 feet; Spread: 35–50 feet; Bloom Color: Greenish-yellow Characteristics Long-lived, fast-growing, tall and straight-trunked deciduous tree with pyramidal shape when young; Alternate, smooth, shiny green, tulip-shaped leaves, paler green beneath; yellow fall foliage; Showy, tulip-like flowers blooming April to June; Fruits (samaras) aggregated in a cone-like structure that breaks apart Oct–Nov leaving a tulip-like whorl in bare branches until spring; Shallow, longitudinal, whitish furrows become deep and interlacing on mature bark Attributes Tolerates clay soil, black walnut; sensitive to heat (esp. radiated from structures), drought; susceptible to wind/ice damage in exposed areas; no serious pests (aphid secretions can be a nuisance and lead to sooty mold growth) or diseases (canker most serious); deer seldom severely damage; Sheds small and lower branches as it grows; Attracts yellow-bellied sapsuckers to phloem, song birds & small mammals to fruit, hummers to flowers Growing and Maintenance Tips Soil Requirements: Well-drained, organically rich; Light Requirements: Sun, Partial Shade; Water Requirements: Moist; Prune to ground every 2–3 years to grow as shrub; Use as shade or ornamental tree on large property; Hardiness: USDA Zones 4-9 Excellent Replacement for Ailanthus altissima - Tree of Heaven; Alnus glutinosa - European Alder; Quercus acutissima Carruthers - Sawtooth Oak; Ulmus pumila L. - Siberian Elm

Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets