Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Liriodendron - Tulip Tree

Giant hardwood timber trees, related to the Magnolias; they come in only 2 species listed below

Liriodendron chinensis ( Chinese Tulip Tree )
Nearly identical to the North American Tulip Tree other than its deeper lobed leaves. Grows very vigorously at U.S. National Arboretum as well as being outstanding in appearance. It is rare in the wild where it is a relic from the last Ice Age. Fossilized evidence shows that in prehistoric times it grew in Greenland and also in Europe. It is a broad columnar fast growing tree to 25 x 15 feet in 7 years and eventually over 100 feet. Data is sparse on mature trees however in the Mid Atlantic U.S. it seems equal in vigor to Liriodendron tulipifera and will likely reach the same sizes. It also grows well in the warmer parts of England and has reached 62 feet at Kew.
The leaves are orangish at first turning dark green to 10 inches or rarely even to 14 inches long and wide.
Hardy from zone 5 to 8b. It should be tested more in the U.S. but is reported to grow well in zone 6 parts of Illinois as well as Savannah, GA.

* photos taken on May 8 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photo taken on Sep 3 2017 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

Liriodendron x hybrida ( Hybrid Tulip Tree )

Faster growing with larger flowers than both species.

Liriodendron tulipifera ( Tulip Tree )

A tall handsome tree often over 100 feet tall and 4 feet in trunk diameter. This is the tallest hardwood tree in Eastern North America ( from south-central Missouri to northern Illinois to southern Michigan to Bayfield, Ontario to Hamilton, Ontario to northern Vermont to New Hampshire; south to eastern Texas to northern Florida ). In the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it was locally common in southern Essex County from Amherstburg to Leamington and Wheatley as well as on the Ohio shore during the 1800s. It also occurred sporadically at Detroit during that time. In the original hardwood forests this tree upon discovery of America was among the largest hardwood trees in the world. Some grew to 270 feet tall and 80 feet wide and had trunk diameters up to 16 feet. This tree was commonly used for dugout canoes by the natives. The Tulip Tree is widespread East of the Mississippi and grows in forests from Michigan and Ontario, to Massachusetts; south to Florida and the Gulf Coast. It is frequently planted in western & central Europe. Living up to 600 years, this tree is also very fast growing. It can grow to 8 feet in height growth and 2" in trunk diameter growth per year though in the very first year it only grows to 15". In 6 years it can reach 30 feet tall, 65 ( rarely over 50 ) feet in 11 years, 90 x 50 feet with trunk diameter of 1.9 feet in 25 years, 135 feet in 35 years; trunk diameter of 3 feet in 40 years, 160 ft. tall in 66 years and trunk diameter of 6 feet in 100 years; 178 years - 7 feet diameter. In the 1870s many great trees grew in the Wabash River Valley in Indiana. The trunks of 18 trees cut averaged 143 feet long and 6.2 feet in diameter. Many large trees still grow today. One such tree ( 135 x 85 x 6 feet ) stands at the entrance of Tyler Arboretum near Philly and an even larger one grows at Monticello near Charlottesville, Va. Another massive tree grows along a hiking trail in Columbia, MD.
The leaves are large, around 7 x 7 inches in size, though sometimes double that on rapid growth. The leaves emerge very early in the spring as light green turning lush shiny dark green above and blue-white below during the summer. The foliage turns gold and orange during late autumn before falling. The leaves resemble that of the Poplar in the way they flutter in the breeze.
The flowers are 2.5" and yellow-green marked orange, produced in late spring. They resemble a cross between the tulip and the magnolia it is.
The tulip tree is also a prolific seed producer and its cones are an important food source for wildlife during the winter. One 20" diameter tree had an amazing 3250 cones.
The Tulip Tree is hardy from zone 3 - 9 ( rarely produces seed and naturally reproduces north of 6 ) and prefers a deep, fertile, moist soil. At Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa, Canada ( zone 4b ), hardiness varies with seed source as one tree exceeded 50 feet yet others die back to ground level each winter. It is pest and disease free but hates salt, compaction and pollution. It also tends to drop leaves early during drought. Reported to grow well in Minneapolis outside its native range.
The Gypsy Moth does not eat the Tulip Tree. It is recommended to install Tulip Trees when they are young as older plants do not enjoy root disturbance and transplant poorly. Propagation from seed is easy if the seed is collected upon ripening then planted in trays of peat or sand then cold stratified at 40 F ( the refridgerator is perfect ). Use alot of seed for this as there are always a large percentage that are not viable.

* taken on December 2005 in Ellicott City, MD

* taken on April 2005 in Catonsville, MD

* taken on April 2002 in Laurel, Maryland

* 6 year old Leamington, Ontario tree

* photos of unknown origin on internet

* photos taken on April 6 2010 in Clarksville, MD

* photos taken on April 18 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum

* photo taken on May 8 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photos taken on May 16 2010 @ Cylburn Arboretum, Baltimore, MD

* photo taken on June 1 2010 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on August 3 2010 @ University of Guelph Arboretum, Ontario

* photo taken on August 4 2010 @ Birnam Woods Arboretum, Stratford, Ontario

* photos taken on July 31 2011 in Hyde Park, NY

* photos taken on Aug 20 2011 @ Audubon Sanctuary, Montgomery Co, MD

* photos taken on Aug 25 2011 @ Scott Arboretum, Swarthmore, PA

* photo taken on Oct 23 2012 in Harford Co., MD

* photos taken on Sep 3 2013 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken on May 21 2014 @ Hampton Ntl Historical Site in Towson, MD

* photos taken on Aug 15 2014 @ Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD

* photo taken on Apr 23 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Apr 24 2015 in Clarksville, MD

* photo taken on May 6 2015 in Ellicott City, MD

* photo taken on July 27 2015 in Bayfield, ON

* photos taken on Oct 19 2015 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on Apr 6 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 12 2016 in Howard Co., MD

* photo taken on Aug 20 2016 in Olney, MD

* photo taken on Jul 18 2017 @ Dominion Arboretum, Ottawa, ON

* historical archive photos

Similar to 'Fastigiatum'. It is narrow and columnar in habit, reaching around 70 x 25 feet. It can be used as a substitute for Lombardy Poplar in the eastern U.S.

* photo taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photos taken on Aug 24 2017 @ U.S. Botanic Garden, Wash. DC.

The spring foliage is green with a very broad, bold, bright yellow margin.
Later in summer the summer turns to all green or mid green with a brighter green margin.
Somewhat less vigorous, rarely exceeding 70 x 30 feet.

* photo taken by Milan Havlis, owner of central Europe's premier plant nursery

Columnar and narrow in habit, making a great substitute for Lombardy Poplar.

* photo taken by Milan Havlis, owner of central Europe's premier plant nursery

* photo taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on July 11 2014

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