Tuliptree Fact Sheet
Family: Magnoliaceae - Magnolia family
Latin name: Liriodendron tulipifera
Common name: Tuliptree
Karren Wcisel © copyright
- In forest stands, the trunk of the mature tuliptree is very straight, tall, and clear of lateral branches for a considerable height.
- Liriodendron tulipifera is among the tallest of all Eastern United States broadleaf trees.
- On the best sites, old-growth trees may be nearly 200 ft high and 8 to 12 ft d.b.h., but more often they are from 100 to 150 at maturity, with a straight trunk 2 to 5 ft in diameter.
- Age at natural death is usually about 200 to 250 years. However, some trees may live up to 300 years. At The Morton Arboretum there are a number of trees that appear to have 2 or 3 trunks.
- On young trees, the bark on the trunk is smooth, light gray.
- Twigs are moderately stout, olive-brown, to reddish brown depending on the season. Twigs are very smooth and usually lustrous.
- The buds of Liriodendron tulipifera are valvate and look like a duck's bill. The terminal bud is significantly larger than the lateral buds. The outer scales leave stipule rings that surround the twig.
- The fruit of the tuliptree is a conelike aggregate of many winged carpels. It is an upright green "cone-like" structure during the summer and ripens and matures from early August in the North to late October in the South.
- The individual, winged samaras, which seem almost "woody" may be scattered by the wind to distances equal to four or five times the height of a tree. Yellow-poplar seeds retain their viability in the forest floor from 4 to 7 years.
- The outer scales and center spike may remain on the tree throughout the winter.
- See more spring and summer photos of Liriodendron tulipifera at Wcisel.com
Send email to Karrenw@aol.com
Please ask for permission before using my photographs. Larger sizes and additional photographs
of the tree are often available.
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