Little Volunteer Tulip Tree

Big Beauty for Small Spaces

This well-proportioned miniature comes from Tennessee’s beautiful state tree, the Tulip Poplar, so its nickname is ‘Little Volunteer’. The all-American gem is native to the eastern USA and grows just one-third the size of its relative: 35 feet tall and 20 feet wide.

Benefit from Instant Curb Appeal

Because of its small stature, the miniature Tulip Poplar is ideal for landscaping in city front yards, back yards and gardens. You’ll appreciate how it doesn’t dominate visitors’ view of your home. No matter where you decide to plant the Little Volunteer, you’ll benefit from all the best features of a large tree adapted to a smaller size.

A Convenient and Easy-Going Grower
This tulip poplar is known to “keep its branches to itself” and maintain its central leader better than similar varieties. The tidy, upright habit means less fuss, with ascending branches that don’t require much pruning. As your tree matures, it won’t extend its branches close to your windows and siding.

Plant this tree in moist, well-drained soil and watch it grow up to 12 feet tall and six feet wide in its first four years.

Superior Foliage, Without Much Fall Cleanup

This poplar’s leaves look like silhouettes of violins and are very handsome close up. Its deep green leaves change to a soft, butter yellow in the fall. As the leaves begin to fall during the autumn months, you’ll appreciate your Little Volunteer tulip poplar because raking is never as much work when you’re cleaning up after a miniature tree! It won’t have you toiling over enormous piles of heavy foliage.

Yearly Flowers Add Visual Interest

Blooming between May and June each year, the Tulip Poplar’s abundant flowers are yellow backed by deep orange bands. Look out the window at the nectar-rich flowers and be reminded that great beauty can sprout from places that were once just ordinary.

Order Tulip Poplar ‘Little Volunteer’ today and add this eye-catching miniature tree to your landscape!

Planting & Care

Location: The Liriodendron tulipifera ‘Little Volunteer,’ also called the “Tulip Tree,” requires a planting location to accommodate its size. Unlike other varieties of tulip trees, the Little Volunteer grows to a height of only around 30 feet with a canopy width of 15 feet, its compact size makes it suitable for even small gardens. The Little Volunteer grows well in USDA Plant Hardiness zones 4 to 9.

Planting Instructions: Choose a planting location in full sunlight for best growth results, it will not perform well shaded areas. The Little Volunteer will tolerate partial shade but its growth might be slowed. The tree withstands a wide variety of soil pH levels which allows it to be a street tree or a decorative residential tree. It grows in clay, sandy soil, and loam. The planting location should have well-draining soil because the Little Volunteer does tolerate continuously water saturated roots.

Dig a hole that is twice the diameter of the tree’s roots. Mix an adequate amount of organic material into the soil at a ratio of 50 percent organic hummus with 50 percent garden soil. Place the tree into the hole and gently spread the tree’s roots out. Firm the soil around the tree’s roots so that all air pockets are removed. The soil should sit at least one inch up the tree’s stem from its root system.

Watering: Water the Little Volunteer tree after planting. Keep the soil moist around the newly planted tree but not overly saturated. Once established, the tree can withstand periods of drought, but for the first year the tree should have moist soil conditions to develop a strong root system. Use bark mulch to conserve moisture and protect the shallow root system. Spread an even layer out to the tree’s drip line.

Fertilizing: Fertilize the Little Volunteer in the spring. Use a general purpose, slow release fertilizer. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer for application ratios. The Little Volunteer is a fast growing tree and will also benefit from a summer application of fertilizer. In the spring and summer, the Little Volunteer will enjoy having two or three inches of organic fertilizer spread on the soil beneath the tree to add organic matter. The tree will not require fertilizing past its third year of being established.

Pests and Diseases: The Little Volunteer is a hardy tree and rarely suffers from diseases or pests. On rare occasions, fusarium and nectria canker or yellow-poplar weevils may plague the tree. If the tree starts to exhibit signs of fusarium, sooty mold or nectria canker fungus, treat the tree with a fungicide. The yellow-poplar weevil or aphids can be treated and controlled with an insecticide. Follow the manufacturer’s directions when applying a fungicide or insecticide.

Pruning: The Little Volunteer does not require pruning until it is at least two years old. Generally, low growing branches or branches that cross are pruned away. Often additional branches are removed to thin the tree’s dense canopy out and allow more sunlight to reach the tree. The Little Volunteer tree grows in an eye-pleasing cone shape and should never have the central leader pruned back or the tree’s overall symmetrical beauty is marred. The limbs of the Little Volunteer are brittle and often sustain damage in high winds. If limbs are damaged, they should be promptly pruned away and discarded. Only prune the Little Volunteer tree every two years in the late winter to spring.