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These natives send their straight trunks up to 120 feet high. Discreet, tulip-shaped flowers give the tree its name and rest along the tree's spreading branches and unique leaves.
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The yellow- to gold-color flowers sometimes have a greenish hue and all have an orange ring at the petal base. The flowers form a cup, much like a tulip blossom, with numerous pollen-bearing stamens surrounding a conelike structure. Flowers bloom in late spring then give way to fruiting structures, which birds and squirrels enjoy eating. Keep in mind that this plant will not flower until maturity, at about 15 years. Flowers typically concentrate at the top parts of the tree, often hidden among the leaves.
Tulip Tree Care Must-Knows
Tulip trees grow best in full to partial sun and well-drained soil. Due to their shallow root system, these trees don't tolerate drought, tending to turn yellow and drop prematurely during dry periods. It can be difficult to grow plants near a tulip tree due to competition for water. Tulip trees do not tolerate being transplanted in the fall so should be planted in spring if possible.
The tulip tree's fast-growing nature means limbs can be weak, which can be hazardous in stormy weather. Control aphids with a blast of water.