One can argue about whether the “tulips” are the outline of its leaves or its cup-shaped flowers. But both undoubtedly contributed to the fanciful name given to this tree by early settlers. And the tuliptree is still beloved for its beauty today, serving as the state tree of Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee. It is the tallest of the eastern hardwoods — and a rapid grower when conditions are right.
- Features bright green leaves that resemble tulip flowers
- Blooms in May and June, producing tulip-shaped flowers with aromatic stems
- Provides vibrant yellow color in the fall
- Will be delivered at a height of 3’–4′ for bare-root; a height of 1 3/4′ – 3 1/2′ for 1-gallon pot
- The Tuliptree grows in zones 4-9
- Mature Height: N/A–N/A
- Mature Spread: N/A–40′
- Growth Rate: Fast
- Shape: Oval
- Sun Preference: Full Sun
- Soil Preference: Acidic, Clay, Loamy, Moist, Sandy, Well-drained
- Wildlife Value: This tree provides food in many forms for many animals. In fall and winter, young trees are browsed by white-tailed deer and rabbits. The spring flowers provide nectar for ruby-throated hummingbirds. Tuliptree seeds, maturing in summer and persisting into winter, provide food for both birds and mammals, including finches, cardinals, quail, mice, red squirrels, gray squirrels and rabbits.
Once plentiful in their natural habitat in eastern America, tuliptrees were favored by loggers for railroad ties and fence posts. George Washington planted tuliptrees at Mount Vernon which are now 140′ tall. And Daniel Boone used the wood of this tree for his 60′ dugout canoe.