Liriodendron tulipfera
lir-ee-oh-DEN-dron too-lih-PIF-er-uh

Tulip Tree, Yellow Poplar
Magnoliaceae (Magnolia family}
Origin: Eastern U.S., 1688

 

 

©Street Tree Division
City of Los Angeles - Department of Public Works
Bureau of Street Services

Species characteristics:
Form - Deciduous. Symmetrical tree of oval upright fonn, fast growing to 80', with an eventual spread to 40'. Formal trees in foliage with strong, symmetrical branching pattern, most evident when deciduous.

Trunk -Straight, columnar. Deeply fissured, medium gray to dark brown bark. .

Foliage - Leaves are simple, alternate and long-stalked. Shape is ovate to squarish, 2 - 3" long and as wide, 2 - 4 paired lobes, with the tip appearing almost blunt. They are shiny dark green above, paler beneath aId glabrous on both surfaces. Yellow fall color. Readily identified when deciduous by the somewhat flattened, two-edged leaf buds.

Flowers/fruit - Chartreuse 2" tulip-shaped, 6-petaled flowers with orange bases, bloom in late spring well after the leaves develop, and may be hidden among them. Flowers usually begin blooming on 10 -12 year old trees. The fruit is a 2 1/2 - 3", light brown cone, composed of many overlapping, 1 - 2 seeded, 1 1/2" long samaras which ripen and are released in the fall.

Cultivars - 'Arnold' is useful for narrow planting areas; blooms 2 - 3 years after planting. 'Majestic Beauty' has leaves edged with yellow and a more moderate growth rate and size.

Significant pest problems are aphids and powdery mildew.

Site suitability:
Sunset zones: 1 - 12, 14 - 24.

Clearances - Suitable for 5 - 6' parkways or 5 x 5' cutouts.

Good for streetsides, medians, parks and lawns

Culture considerations:
Does best in deep, rich, well-draired neutral or slightly acid soil with plenty of summer water. Honey dew problems can be significant.