Fall color canopy


A tree that impresses because of its size and the familiar, beautiful flowers and leaves. The tuliptree is a fantastic shade tree that grows very quicky, has many uses, and is very pleasing to the eye.

More detail: Tulip tree’s Tree of the Month.

Common Name


Latin Name

Liriodendron tulipifera


Resembles a tulip. Alternating leaves are simple, 5-6 inches long and wide; four lobes, heart-shaped at base and with the apex cutting across at a shallow angle, making the upper part of the leaf look square


Also resembles a tulip; solitary, greenish yellow, borne on stout peduncles, cup-shaped. The bud is enclosed in a sheath of two triangular bracts* that fall as the blossom opens.


Narrow light brown cone, formed by many samara-like carpels* which fall, leaving the axis persistent all winter


Smooth and lustrous; initially reddish, maturing to dark gray, and finally brown


Brown and furrowed; bark near the trunk becomes interlaced as tree matures


Irregular oval shape, rounding out in a narrow conical crown


Normally grows to at least 80 feet tall; with the right conditions it can grow to a height of 190 feet

Native Range

Eastern North America from southern Ontario and Illinois eastward across southern New England and south to central Florida and Louisiana


Large deciduous tree

Seasonal Colors

Pale green-yellow in summer, yellow pale-orange in the fall


Prefers deep, rich, and rather moist soil


Not very tolerant of shade; prefers full sun

Similar Species

Magnolia, poplar (many times the tuliptree is incorrectly identified as a poplar)

Pests and Diseases

Aphids are the most significant pest: they secrete a sticky substance (known as honeydew) on the leaves, which serves as food for mold, which hampers the leaves but not the tree itself. Tuliptree is also susceptible to Verticillium wilt and trunk cankers.

Rebate Eligibility


Of Note

Tuliptrees, which are also commonly called yellow or white poplar, is not a poplar at all. It is instead a part of the Magnolia family.

Tuliptree is the state tree of Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Tuliptrees serve as a major honey plant in the eastern United States, yielding a dark reddish, fairly strong honey that gets mixed reviews as a table honey but is favorably regarded by bakers.

Photo Credits