Tulip poplar leaves, shaped like a tulip

A Tulip Poplar Tree – Identified Another One

How pleased am I that I have identified a Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) as one of the large lawn trees at my new house. It is a very large tree at this time so it has probably been there for many years, if not an original planting.  This tulip poplar is just outside the family room window, so we get a good view of its higher foliage. That is one of the reasons I was able to identify it. Its blossoms occur high on the tree based on its age, but I missed getting any photo of any of them. Next year maybe.

Tulip poplar identified

Tulip Poplar Facts

Native to the Eastern United States

Flowers April to June, fall color is yellow

Yellow flower with orange spots, large 3″ flowers mostly at top of tree

Doesn’t flower until about 15-25 years old

The tree is in the magnolia family

Leaves are shaped similar to a tulip, the leaves have very long “stems” or petioles and flutter in the breeze

Long lived and average about 100 feet

Prefers sun and lots of water til mature

Hardwood tree, but it can be brittle and lose branches in storms. Our appears to have lost some branches as seen before it leafed out.

Great hardwood tree for your lawn. Tulip poplar or liriodendron tulipifera

Now that is a beautiful bloom but I wasn’t able to get so close since the tree blooms so high up. I could see the blooms from the window though. (The images of the blooms came from Pixabay.) Some blooms I have found on the ground but only managed to get a few petals with their orange inner ring showing. I understand that the flowers mature into cones and will fall in the late fall and so I will watch for those.

One petal of the flower from a tulip poplar

Those blooms are quite a site and it is easy to see why it is called a tulip poplar. See that inside ring of orange that seems almost like a ring of sunshine or even fire?

Blossom from a tulip poplar

Here is an image of our tree in the back yard. We are quite near a creek which runs along the back. This tree is known to grow near water , since it is not tolerant of drought.

Full view of the tree

I am estimating our tree to be about 20-25 years old and it appears to have had some branches damaged perhaps in a storm. You can see that in the early spring when no leaves are showing and it also is obvious in the photo that the central leader was broken and branches are coming from the sides. The long branches droop nicely so that I could get some close-ups of the leaves. Too bad the blooms are so high up.  But great that my tree is old enough to bloom!

A Tulip Poplar's age can be estimated from the density, darkness of its color, and from the amount of furrows or ridges in the surface of the bark.

Here is a close view of the bark of the tree. This one is very large in diameter and has deep furrows in the bark. Overall it is a great tree and will provide shade for us and much enjoyment over the years, I am sure.

View from below of the tulip poplar tree

Hey, just one or two more . I love taking pictures and you must enjoy this tree as much as I do. BTW, it is the State Tree of Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee and grows throughout the bottoms in those areas. My husband is originally from Kentucky and loved discovering he had this tree in his backyard.  See more info about this tree at this site from the University of Kentucky.

Underneath the tulip poplar

It has been fun trying to identify the trees in my new yard. So far, I have a Bradford Pear (bloomed in the spring and confirmed that), a weeping cherry, Japanese Maple with very red foliage, and a River Birch out back. I have one more large tree to figure out. I will let you know when I do. The unidentified one has leaves like an ash…Oh my, let’s hope it’s not that one since I have had enough of dealing with Ash Trees.

Thanks for your visit and come again for some of my ramblings. Ramping up to make some more hypertufa! Gotta have more pots!


  1. We had one of these at our last house, and I always loved it! My hubby wasn’t a fan because it is a bit sappy and it loses its leaves all summer long. I miss it because of its beauty. It’s a beautiful tree!

    1. I am looking forward to see what the tree does this year. Never had one before so I guess I will see what happens this summer and fall. Thanks for visiting and commenting. I appreciate that so much.

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