Tulip poplar

Basic Information
Tree ID: 
Genus and species: 
Kirin Mueller, Emilie Ma
Collected Data
Date of tree entry: 
34.50 m
Diameter at breast height: 
1.15 m

Older tulip poplars have thick, gray bark with very deep furrows that are intertwined, while young bark is smoother with smaller furrows.
Twigs & branches
Branches and twigs range in gray shades from olive to reddish and are somewhat stout. They are smooth in texture and appear lustrous.
Tulip poplar leaves have four lobes and flat tips, ranging from 3 to 8 inches in length. The green leaves are glossy on top and pale on the bottom.
Reproductive Structures
Tulip poplar flowers are greenish-yellow and are approximately 2 inches tall. Each petal has an orange strip on the bottom. The shape of the flower resembles a tulip, a resemblance to which the tulip poplar owes its name. Image source: https://www.phipps.conservatory.org/blog/detail/biopgh-blog-tulip-poplar
Fruit are indehiscent, of the samara type, and are found in cone-shaped clusters. Image source: https://extension.usu.edu/treebrowser/catalog/yellowpoplar-tuliptree-tulippoplar
  • Spring
  • Winter
Natural range of distribution: 
The tulip poplar is native to the Eastern and Southeastern United States and Southern Ontario.
Origin, history, and uses: 

Tulip poplar is used for its easly workable, light and soft wood for furniture, pulpwood, and veneer. The tree is also a popular ornamental tree because of its large size, pyramidal shape, rapid growth, beautiful and unique flowers and leaves. Tulip poplar fruit are eaten by squirrels, and its twigs may be eaten by deer. Finally, the tulip poplar is often planted for reforestation because of its ability to grow rapidly.

Tulip poplars are deciduous; their leaves turn yellow in the fall and fall off during the winter. Trees bloom in mid-spring and late spring, with fruits ripening in the late spring. The lifespan of tulip poplars can be over 200 years.
Media and Arts

Original Poem

The Tulip Poplar, by Kirin Mueller and Emilie Ma:

Oh tulip poplar, we admire your flowers
Yellow-green-orange and one of a kind
Tricked us into thinking you were a true Tulipa
While your Magnolia identity, we did not find
Your four-lobed leaves and their flat tips
We used as a mirror for their glossy face
In your bark’s deep furrows and ridges, however
We saw long rivers, as intertwined as lace
As helicopters see we your fruit, flying and free
Angels of nature, falling down to earth
Feeding squirrels and their nutritional plea,  
As your twigs give deer sustenance with mirth 
Quick as your leaves turn yellow in the fall 
Do we await your deciduous return, us to enthrall
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