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Tulip Poplar Live Stakes

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Tulip Poplar-Liriodendron tulipifera

 
 
The Tulip Poplar or Liriodendron tulipifera is actually a member of the magnolia family, not the poplar family of trees. It is commonly known by several names including fiddletree, tulip tree, whitewood, and yellow-poplar, among others. The tulip poplar is native to the easter part of North America, from southern Ontario and Massachusetts down to central Louisiana and Florida. It averages a height of 70 to 100 feet; while virgin forests can have trees as tall as 160 feet. It prefers rich, moist soil, though not swampy; and full sun, at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. This species is considered fast growing, increasing at least 24 inches per year. However, it is stronger and longer lasting than many other fast growing trees. 
The tulip poplar can be used as an ornamental tree or as a shade tree. It has a spreading canopy that is perfect for creating a shady area in your yard. The bark of the truck is brown with branches that start reddish before changing to dark gray, then brown. The leaves have a unique wedge or heart shape with two ear-like tips below it and are bright green and shiny on the top side and pale green on the under side. The tree blooms in May and June. The flowers are 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter and look like a tulip. They are pale green or yellow with orange at the base. These flowers produce nectar for bees and hummingbirds. The colorful seeds, showcased on the tree through summer and into fall, are eaten by several bird species, mice, squirrels and rabbits. 
Historically these trees were used by loggers for fence posts and railroad ties. Native Americans and some early settlers used this wood for dugout canoes. George Washington even planted tulip poplars at Mount Vernon that are now 140 feet tall.