Ontario's Tree Atlas: Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Leaves; Photo: Daniel Tigner,
Canadian Forest Tree Essences
Bark; Photo: Daniel Tigner,
Canadian Forest Tree Essences
Flower; Photo: Daniel Tigner,
Canadian Forest Tree Essences
Tree; Photo: Jean-Pol Grandmont
(Creative Commons License)
Did you know?
The seeds of the tulip tree grow every year and are a source of food for birds and small mammals.

The tulip tree grows in only a few parts of Ontario – on the south shore of Lake Huron, the north shore of Lake Erie, and in the Niagara Peninsula.  It’s a large, fast-growing tree, up to 35 metres tall with a trunk up to 160 centimetres in diameter. 


As its name suggest, the tulip tree produces beautiful yellow-green flowers that are about 5 centimetres long.  They have 6 petals and are shaped like tulip flowers and bloom in the spring. 


Its leaves are 7 to 12 centimetres long and are straight across the top, with 4 lobes beneath.  They are light green and turn yellow in the fall.  The tulip tree’s bark is smooth and dark green when the tree is young then turns brown and ridged.


Size:  25 to 30 metres tall, thick straight trunks 50 to 100 centimetres in diameter
Moisture:  Needs a lot of moisture during the summer
Shade:  Needs full sun
Soil:  Prefers sand and sandy loam


Planting tip:  Tulip trees need deep, rich, moist soil. They are fast-growing with deep wide-spread roots. More tips...

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