Consider Planting Tulip Poplar in Your Yard

Bi Yellow Tree in the Park Tulip Poplar in..
Kevin van der Leek Photography/Moment Open/Getty Images

Yellow Poplar or Liriodendron tulipifera:

Tulip poplar is the state tree of Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky. The genus is closely allied with Magnolia and the flower is the size of a common garden tulip with two-toned orange and yellow petals. Yellow poplar displays a prominent yellow fall color and is a major part of the fall landscape throughout eastern North America. Yellow poplar is a fast grower on optimum sites.

It quickly makes a lovely tree with some shade and without becoming brittle and messy.

One downside to the mature tree in a small yard is its craving for water and shallow-growing but large roots. It can limit the growth of most yard grasses and is destructive to walkways and paved drives. Locate the tree in an area of your landscape where you can use a non-grass cover and is away from pavement.

Habit and Range:

Yellow poplar is a flowering tree that loves deep, rich, well-drained soil. The tree grows into a tall but columnar tree of 70' to 90'. The tulip tree occupies a large eastern range in North America - from southern Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and west to the Mississippi River. The tree is very tolerant to disease and insects. The tree grows and does extremely well under most conditions.

Strong Cultivars:

Tulip tree is not know for native cultivars. Most cultivars are found in Europe that originated from the North American native.

Identification of Yellow Poplar:

Identifying tulip poplar or Liriodendron tulipifera

"More Good Trees"

Yellow Poplar Plant Hardiness Zone:

Yellow poplar is native to most North American tree and plant zones. It grows naturally from the Atlantic coast to the Mississippi river and from southern New England to central Florida.

Yellow poplar is hardy through North American plant zone 5...

See Plant Hardiness Zones

Expert Comments:

"This tree's notoriety seems to spring from its size and history...Some of the largest tuliptrees in cultivation in the East owe their origins directly to George Washington or Thomas Jefferson..." - Guy Sternberg, Native Trees for North American Landscapes

"Easily recognized because of its unique leaf, this native species enjoys near cosmopolitan distribution. It is hard not to bump into a Tulip Tree in the course of one's horticultural travels."- Michael Dirr, Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs


mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Nix, Steve. "Consider Planting Tulip Poplar in Your Yard." ThoughtCo, Mar. 22, 2016, Nix, Steve. (2016, March 22). Consider Planting Tulip Poplar in Your Yard. Retrieved from Nix, Steve. "Consider Planting Tulip Poplar in Your Yard." ThoughtCo. (accessed October 24, 2017).