Is that a tulip tree? Can I transplant?

skeylargoJune 7, 2013

I have a small tree growing right next to my garage (it is probably about 4-5 feet tall now. I tried to do a search on it and I think it is a tulip tree - can someone verify? I have no idea how it got there but I'm pretty sure I need to either remove it or move it - it is less than a foot from the wall. I'd like to try to transplant it but not sure if it is too late. I live in New Jersey and I'm sure it will get hot soon.

Thank you.

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Sara Malone Zone 9b

It IS a tulip tree...I'll let someone in NJ or thereabouts advise you on best transplanting time.

Sara

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 7:45PM
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nurseryman33(4/5)

Transplant in the fall when it goes dormant (October) or in the spring before bud break (March) for best results.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 8:23PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Now is not the best transplant time, then again moving an eight footer in the fall with a larger root system does not sound like a better choice.

Go ahead and do it now I say. That way if the tree does not make it to fall you can pick a replacement.

FWIW, I think this species is under appreciated.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 8:46PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you move a deciduous tree.. when its naked.. fall or spring.. depending where you are ..

otherwise all the leaves will fall off..

and it will waste any stored energy.. releafing.. instead of growing the roots you cut off ...

if some project requires immediate moving.. so be it.. but dont expect much ...

ken

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 8:05AM
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skeylargo

toronado888 - do you mean that it can get to 8 feet by fall?? I would like to move it and give it a fighting chance but am just not sure if it will damage the garage wall. Does the root system spread out much or does it have deep root system?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 10:38AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Unless they grow like weeds around you, I'd give it its best chance it has by transplanting in spring before the buds swell. Fall is fine too if you can get a decent amount roots and depending on your soil type. For example if you have clay soil I wouldn't bother with transplanting in fall. Just my preference.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 11:25AM
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corkball(4)

Yes, skeylargo! Yellow poplar grows fast, and can get to over 100 feet tall. You do NOT want this 1' from your garage!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 3:53PM
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skeylargo

I have not seen a tree like this anywhere near me so it still a mystery how it got there. I do have a clay soil, so now I just have to decide if I want to chance it leaving it until spring and chance a damage to garage wall or just move it now with a good chance of killing it. Neither sounds like a good option :(
Thank you all for the informatio.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 5:37PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

This is a big old one, but yeah, they do grow.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 5:43PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Tuliptree/Tulip Poplar/Yellow Poplar (all names for Liriodendron tulipifera) is FAST growing in ideal conditions. That four-footer could easily be 8 feet by fall, as suggested.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 6:17PM
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skeylargo

Well, I guess that tree is getting moved tomorrow!

That's one big tree toronado3800.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 8:27PM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

Does "4-5 feet tall now" include this year's current growth? If not, yes it could be close to 8 feet by fall, otherwise, probably not. As it is, its pretty big to move as a one-person, untrained job, but you can give it a go after its dormant.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 9:52PM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

Honestly, if you've got one that big growing freely near you, you should look for smaller ones nearby to move where you want, and consider killing the one by your garage. If you have planting beds or hedges, its entirely possible there are small specimens there. If you really want your own tulip poplar...

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 9:55PM
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Justin1L

I'm in eastern PA, so similar area to New Jersey. I've transplanted tulip trees in summer about the same size. Ken is right that they will drop their leaves. They should do ok repopulating leaf growth, but I've had to reduce the height of some by half to reduce the amount of stress in the plant during re-leafing.

An under appreciated tree, in my opinion, if you've got the space.
Exceptional growth rate

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 12:00PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

skeylargo, did you end up moving the tree?

I've found that wild-grown Liriodendron often has a sparse root system and can be "touchy" to transplant at much bigger than a few feet tall. A 9-footer behind my parents garage was the first tree I ever killed by transplanting when I was a kid.

Nursery grown (root pruning of various methods) usually transplant fine, however.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 12:12PM
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