The Tulip Tree

Liriodendron Tulipifera

Image 2: Tulip Tree In the fall.

Received 6/26/07






The leaves of f tulip tree are alternate, simple, and palmate. They are orbicular  and 4-lobed,and somewhat shaped like a tulip or saddle. They are light green to dark green, and have an entire margin, 4-8 inches long, and turn yellow in the fall. 


Image 1: Tulip Tree Leaf

Received 6/27/2007

Image 3: Tulip Tree Flower

received 6/26/07


The flowers of a tulip tree (like the common name suggests) resemble a tulip.  They are perfect, showy, Monoecious, but high in the tree. They are usually about 2.5 inches long, and have yellow green petals and an orange corolla. 

The tulip tree blooms in late spring or early summer, and it has a very pleasant fragrance.  The trees usually will not bloom until they are 15-20 years old.


The bark is usually a light gray and green color.  It is smooth on young trees but starts to develop flat topped ridges and white colored ridges as it matures. Sapsucker holes are common on old trees. 

Image 4

Received 6/26/07

Image 5: Tulip Tree fruit

Received 6/26/07


The fruit of a tulip tree or yellow poplar is elongated, 1-3 inches long, and brown with a dry and hard covering.  The fruit is not showy, but it attracts birds and may cause significant litter.


Tulip trees are VERY large in size; large trees of 150 feet or more are very common, and they are known as one of the tallest of all broadleaf trees in the eastern United States.  They have very massive trunks and are ovate or pyramidal when young. However, older trees are more irregular and are branchless until 'quite some distance up.'

The word "Liriodendron" comes from the Greek word meaning "lily tree."   "tulipifera"  Comes from the word meaning "tulip bearing."


Image 6: Tulip tree

Received 6/27/07


Image 7: Tulip Tree Range

Received 6/27/07



Tulip Trees are grown in a variety of regions and climates.   It can tolerate different climates and amounts of rainfall. It grows best when 'rainfall is well distributed over a long growing season.'

It grows in a range from southern New England all the way into northern Florida, and westward from the east coast into some parts past the Mississippi river into Louisiana.




Pests and diseases

Aphids can cause cosmetic problems; their honeydew secretion can build on the tree and other nearby structures and, although the mess will not harm the tulip tree, it is an annoyance.

Tulip Tree scales are brown and oval shaped. They also secrete a honeydew which may cause a sooty mold to build. 

The Tulip Tree is attacked by many different forms of the Canker Disease.  By pruning out infected branches and keeping the tree well maintained you can prevent cankers.  





Image 8: Tulip Tree Scale

Received 6/27/07



Other names: Tulip tree, Tulip Magnolia, Tulip Poplar, Yellow Poplar, Whitewood



Beck, Donald. "Tulip Tree." Trees Of Western North Carolina. USDA Forest service. 27 Jun 2007 <>.


Bourdo Jr., Eric. "Tulip Trees (Liriodendron)."The Illustrated book of Trees. 2003.


Gilman, Edward and Watson, Dennis. "Liriodendron Tulipifera Tuliptree." Fact SheetST-363Nov. 1993 --. 26 June 2007 <>.


"Liriodendron tulipifera ." Plant Database. UConn. 26 Jun 2007 <>.


Rhodus, Tim. "Liriodendron tulipifera." OSU pocket gardener . Ohio State University . 27 Jun 2007 <>.


"Yellow Poplar." VTree ID. (2007). Virginia Tech Forestry Department. 26 Jun 2007 <>.




This page was Created by Katie Hogan and was last edited June 27, 2007, at the commonwealth Honor's Academy of Murray state university.

It is intended purely for educational purposes. 

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