Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tulip Poplar Tree

I bought this house in October and moved here in November of  2006.  I was looking out my kitchen window, one sunny April morning, and I saw something orange in one of my tall trees.  Thinking it might be a new bird I went out to investigate.  In the very top of this tree were beautiful tulip shaped, green and orange flowers, as you will see in the picture later they turn yellow.  Later in the month my son, Frank Murphy, came up from Monroe, La. to help me make flower beds.  Frank and I walked around the yard and he was telling me about all the trees in my yard.  Frank loves the woods and he knows a lot about different trees.  Wood work is his hobby.  When he was growing up he ran through the woods back home for his football training. The first tree we looked at  was a Saw Tooth Oak.  Frank took several seedlings home with him.  When we got to the back yard I told him about this tree blooming.  He told me then it was a Tulip Poplar. The Tulip tree is not really a poplar, it is in the magnolia family.  Because of it's light weight the Native Americans hollowed it out to make canoes and the Pioneers use this tree to build houses and as a raft to float other heavier trees down the river. The pioneers and the Native Americans also used the tree for medicine.  Parts of it was use to treat fever, bruises and swelling.  Furniture and plywood are still made from Tulip Poplar because it is soft and easy to handle.  If you would like to have a Tulip tree and know some who has one get a twig and plant it.  They look more like the parent than the seeds .  You can also order one from Springhill Nursery.  Squirrels love these seed.  Bees like the polen.  The Tulip tree can grow up to 120 ft and as much as 3 to 4 ft in diameter.  The tulip tree is a native to eastern U.S.A.  Because of the many uses of the Tulip trees there are not a lot of these large left.  The tulip tree is Kentucky's  State tree.  Hope you have enjoyed the story of my Tulip tree.  May, May bring you many blooming flowers.   Happy gardening from me to you.  I will keep you up to date on my 4 new flower beds. I only showed you 1.  Juanita    


  1. Beautiful tree, beautiful blog. I'm enjoying the virtual garden!

  2. That is a beautiful tree. Thanks for sharing.