Tulip Trees?

summiebee(44601)May 13, 2010

Can anyone tell me anything about them? I have been on google. I am looking for trees that grow fast, provide shade and flowering is a plus. Don't mind some clean-up. I have a large area for them (Large front yard with a home that was built up a bit) would like some trees to provide some shade before I die. We were considering two of these and a couple red maples as well?

Only issues if these are a go is that they seem hard to find anywhere in Ohio any suggestions for a good, solid mail order nursery?

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I have one in my front yard 15 years old,i will probably never see flowers on it in my life time but it's got beautiful leaves on it Sorry i'm not much help


    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 12:09PM
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Do they take a long while to flower? Did you plant it and has it grown quickly and do you like it? Is it a mess maker?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 12:48PM
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Yes, they take a long time to flower, but the leaves are interesting and lovely enough to take your mind off the fact that they're not flowering yet. Tulip trees are not generally recommended for shade. They get really really big, but their canopy is pretty high, so they're often suggested as a plant under which one can successfully garden. The GW Tree forum might be a better place to post your inquiries about specific trees. "Mess" is a pretty subjective term.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 12:56PM
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I canÂt say what they would be like in Ohio, but in Arkansas they grow fast. I gave two sprouts to my neighbor 15 years ago and now they are nearing 40 ft tall with a spread of 30+ ft. He limbed up his to about 12 and the top is a pyramid/oval shape. Some of the down side to these trees:

The shade is very dense and unless they are limbed up and allow sun from the side, almost nothing will grow under them.

They are prone to heavy aphid infestation that doesnÂt seem to bother the tree, but results in heavy honey dew droplets on anything under them. Not a good tree over a parking or patio area.

The mature trees are tall, weak, and subject to the crown breaking off in a storm.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 4:27PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

The mature trees are tall, weak, and subject to the crown breaking off in a storm.

Re. pls8xx's info on the weakness of tulip trees, ten years or so ago, my parents' neighbors had a tulip tree -- perhaps 50' tall, but narrow because of other trees in the area -- just a few feet on the other side of the property line. While I was visiting, it was hit by lightning and exploded, which reduced the middle third of the trunk to toothpicks. No, I'm not kidding: instant poplar wood mulch. The lower trunk was left standing, the top of the tree fell in my parents' yard.

The two tulip trees at the bottom of my pasture are older, taller, and still standing.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 5:05PM
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jollyrd(Richmond VA)

we have mature tulip trees on our property, We dont plant them, they just reseed themself, I keep finding new trees all over. They are very tall and dont give you large shade on the ground, they bloomed just about late April-now, if the wind blows strong - the flowers fall. The trees are VERY tall, you have to look up to see the flowers, so there is no decorative value to me on eye-level, but we like them as such, and they were there when we bought the land. I dont see how they would create enough shade unless you plant lots of them close to each other. Their top is not as wide as lets say your typical maple, - rather more like a pear tree, but very tall.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 6:06PM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

They are native to Ohio. I love mine, but you need a big space for them. They do lose twigs, branches very easily.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 9:43PM
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So they would be similar in shape to a pin oak maybe shade wise? I have one of those in my back yard that was here when we built that is mature. We had to take down three trees to get the home on the lot which was rather sad, but we tried and tried to situate the home to keep them, but it could not be done. :( The front yard for a city lot is large and they would not be near anything to drop sap or anything on. It's almost like I need something in the yard to break up the ballfield. It looks empty and bare. It's a pie shaped lot with the bulk of the lot up front. (double city lot)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 11:42PM
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Okay. I have one and I love it.

That being said, I wish it wasn't in my back yard. We've had high winds this year, more so than usual, which is saying something since the prairie is a windy place. What bothers me is that many of the branches that come down from our 40 ft tree are as big around as 2 to 3 inches. Plenty big enough to crack a head open ... but I've had to get on with garden chores in spite of the wind. A bit worrisome.

Ours was probably planted soon after the house was built, so I'd guess it to be about 35 years old. It's bloomed for the 9 years we've lived here. I know when it's blooming because the blooms are fragrant. Haven't read that elsewhere ... but it's true for ours. I was smelling it's sweet fragrance this evening. Not terribly strong, but I can always tell when the first flush of blooms have opened.

It's hard to say about mess ... Yes, it's brittle and drops lots of branches. So does our maple. Its buds, which are about 3 inches long and an inch or so thick, drop off like hand grenades when the wind blows. But the maple showers us with its whirlygigs. Oaks do the acorn thing and so on. So I sort of think that's hard to determine ...

Still, if I'd been the one choosing a backyard tree, I think I would have chosen something else.

Don't ask me what. I haven't a clue. Unless a branch knocks me senseless, I don't think my husband will entertain the notion of replacing it.

I've provided a link to the Missouri Botanical Gardens information on Liriodendron tulipifera. You might want to read the various reviews for some interesting information.

Here is a link that might be useful: Liriodendron tulipifera at Missouri Botanical Garden

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 12:46AM
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I live in Kansas, and the tulip poplar trees around here do very well. One member said something about aphid infestation. Tulip Poplars are only prone to aphid and scale infestation if the trees are stressed. If a tulip poplar is planted in a climate that is too dry, such as New Mexico or too wet, such as Oregon, then it will be under a great deal of stress and may be susceptible to aphids or scales. I don't know about Ohio. You should check with your local extension office to see if your part of Ohio has a good climate to plant tulip poplar trees in. As far as a "mess"; all trees are messy in some way, so I wouldn't even worry about that.
A good mail order and online vendor is Sooner Plant Farms at this link, http://www.soonerplantfarm.com/.

Also, a good alternative to the tulip poplar is
the Bloodgood London Plane Tree, Platanus acerifolia "Bloodgood".

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 2:21PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

My neighbor has a Tulip tree and there are some in the nice parks around here. They grow fast, flower and sometimes have pretty good yellow fall color.

Naturally as with any large tree if you limb it up 40ft you will be 40ft away from the closest flower.

They are pyramidal in youth and SPREAD when tall. Neat, huge, all that. If you have room for one, plant it. If my neighbor didn't have one I can enjoy I would.

IMHO the plane trees/sycamores are ok but I like Tulips more. The Sycamores are a little messier and have inferior fall color. BUT this time of year it makes me smile to see their exposed white bark in wood lines along the highway. Fairly attractive in their own right.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 7:43PM
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Tulip trees (lirodendron) can easily get to 120ft, which is a huge tree. And as mentioned, they are brittle. We have one in our yard, and large branches can fall suddenly without warning. If there is a windstorm or ice storm, they come down also. I would never plant one close to a building or a walkway; once I did just get missed by a 4" branch that suddenly decided to let go when I was under it. If I hadn't moved quickly I might have been killed or seriously hurt, it made a huge dent in the ground.

I did NOT plant the thing, it was already some 50' when I moved here and is a lot bigger now. As for flowers, it does bloom a lot but the flowers are WAY up there in the top and not easy to see among those huge leaves, until they start to fall.

Due to an ice storm a few years ago, the branches are now short and fairly close to the trunk, so the spread is not very great tho it is probably close to 80' tall. It doesn't provide a whole lot of shade.

It is a valuable food source for some butterfly larvae.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 11:28AM
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bernd ny zone5

Mosswitch's description of a tulip tree might also fit my large white pines - messy, they have those widow-maker branches too. Pines do not flower, but have a lot of cones dropping, so many trees are messy!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 2:13PM
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