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Overview

Brief Summary

Magnoliaceae -- Magnolia family

    Donald E. Beck

    Yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), also called  tuliptree, tulip-poplar, white-poplar, and whitewood, is one of  the most attractive and tallest of eastern hardwoods. It is fast  growing and may reach 300 years of age on deep, rich,  well-drained soils of forest coves and lower mountain slopes. The  wood has high commercial value because of its versatility and as  a substitute for increasingly scarce softwoods in furniture and  framing construction. Yellow-poplar is also valued as a honey  tree, a source of wildlife food, and a shade tree for large  areas.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Donald E. Beck

Source: Silvics of North America

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Comprehensive Description

Comments

This is a beautiful and majestic tree. There is no other tree in Illinois that is similar to it. Because of its long straight trunks, Amerindians were able to make an entire canoe from a single log of this tree. Other common names of Liriodendron tulipifera are Yellow Poplar and Tulip Poplar.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Description

At maturity, this tree becomes 80-120' tall. It has a long straight trunk up to 3' in diameter. Young trees that are grown in the open often have a pyramidal crown, but the crown of mature trees is more ovoid-oblongoid in shape. The bark of the trunk is light gray to gray with whitish furrows; sometimes it is covered with lichens. The bark of branches is light gray and nearly smooth. Young twigs are usually yellowish to reddish brown and shiny; the leaves along these twigs are alternate. The leaf blades are about 4-7" long and 4-7" across. Each blade has 1-2 pairs of broad basal lobes with pointed tips, a pair of broad terminal lobes with pointed tips, and smooth margins. Leaf veins are pinnate. The upper surface of each blade is shiny green or shiny dark green, while the lower surface is pale green; both surfaces are hairless. The slender leaf petioles are 2-6" long, light green, and hairless. At the base of each petiole, there is a pair of deciduous stipules about 1½" long.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Alternative names

yellow-poplar, tulip magnolia, tulip tree, whitewood

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USDA NRCS New York State Office

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Occurrence in North America

     AL  AR  CT  DE  FL  GA  IL  IN  KY  LA
     MD  MA  MI  MS  MO  NJ  NY  NC  OH  PA
     RI  SC  TN  VT  VA  WV  ON

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Yellow-poplar inhabits eastern North America.  The species ranges from
Vermont, west through southern Ontario and Michigan, south to Louisiana,
and east to northern Florida [1,2].
  • 1.  Beck, Donald E. 1990. Liriodendron tulipifera L.  yellow poplar. In:        Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics        of North America. Volume 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington,        DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 406-416.  [14001]
  • 2.  Beck, Donald E.; Della-Bianca, Lino. 1981. Yellow-poplar:        Characteristics and management. Agric. Handb. 583. Asheville, NC: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest        Experiment Station. 91 p.  [10983]

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Yellow-poplar grows throughout the Eastern United States from  southern New England, west through southern Ontario and Michigan,  south to Louisiana, then east to north-central Florida (22). It  is most abundant and reaches its largest size in the valley of  the Ohio River and on the mountain slopes of North Carolina,  Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia. The Appalachian Mountains  and adjacent Piedmont running south from Pennsylvania to Georgia  contained 75 percent of all yellow-poplar growing stock in 1974.

   
  -The native range of yellow-poplar.


  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Donald E. Beck

Source: Silvics of North America

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Ont.; Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Ky., La., Md., Mass., Mich., Miss., Mo., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va.
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

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Some historical information regarding the distribution of L. tulipifera in the Eastern U.S. can be found in Silvics of North America.

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Distribution and adaptation

Tulip poplar is exacting in soil and moisture requirements. It does best on moderately moist, deep, well drained, loose textured soils; it rarely grows well in very dry or very wet situations. It will tolerate a pH of 4.5 to 7.5.

Tulip poplar is distributed throughout the east and southeast portions of the United States. For a current distribution map, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Website.

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USDA NRCS New York State Office

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Trees , single-trunked, to 45 m. Bark light gray, thick, deeply furrowed. Stipules paired, light green, elliptic to oblanceolate, 20-45mm; petiole 5-11.5 cm. Leaf blade commonly with 2 shallow upper lobes and 2 lateral lobes at broadest part, or sometimes squarrose and barely lobed, (6.5-)7.5-15(-23.5) × (8.5-)12.5-18.5(-25.5) cm; surfaces abaxially glaucous, adaxially bright green. Flowers campanulate; spathaceous bract 1, brownish, notched; tepals erect, adaxial orange blotch sometimes gummy, outermost tepals green to glaucous; stamens 20-50, 40-50 mm; filaments white; pistils 60-100. Samaracetums 4.5-8.5 cm, with numerous (1-)2-seeded, imbricate samaras 3-5.5 × 0.5-1 cm, falling separately at maturity; receptacles with basal pistil persistent. Seeds (1-)2. 2 n =38.
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Description

More info for the term: tree

Yellow-poplar is a tall, deciduous, long-lived, broadleaf tree.  The
leaves are alternate with a distinctive tuliplike shape.  In forest
stands yellow-poplar is one of the straightest and tallest trees, with
approximately 66 percent of the bole free of lateral branches [1,2].  It
can reach heights of 200 feet (61 m) and a dbh greater than 10 feet (3
m) [13].  The flowers are tuliplike in size and shape [1,2,11].  The
fruit is a conelike structure consisting of many winged samaras on a
central stalk [2].
  • 1.  Beck, Donald E. 1990. Liriodendron tulipifera L.  yellow poplar. In:        Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics        of North America. Volume 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington,        DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 406-416.  [14001]
  • 2.  Beck, Donald E.; Della-Bianca, Lino. 1981. Yellow-poplar:        Characteristics and management. Agric. Handb. 583. Asheville, NC: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest        Experiment Station. 91 p.  [10983]
  • 11.  Farmer, Robert E., Jr.; Pitcher, John A. 1981. Pollen handling for        southern hardwoods. In: Agric. Handb. 587. Washington, DC: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 77-83.  [12654]
  • 13.  Hosie, R. C. 1969. Native trees of Canada. 7th ed. Ottawa, ON: Canadian        Forestry Service, Department of Fisheries and Forestry. 380 p.  [3375]

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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Liriodendron procera Salisbury; Tulipifera liriodendron Miller
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Habitat: Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

More info for the term: swamp

   21  Eastern white pine
   22  White pine
   51  White pine - chestnut oak
   52  White oak - black oak - northern red oak
   53  White oak
   55  Northern red oak
   57  Yellow poplar
   58  Yellow poplar - eastern hemlock
   59  Yellow poplar - white oak - northern red oak
   60  Beech - sugar maple
   64  Sassafras - persimmon
   81  Loblolly pine
   82  Loblolly pine - hardwood
   87  Sweet gum - yellow poplar
   91  Swamp chestnut oak - cherrybark oak

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Habitat: Plant Associations

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This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

   K081  Oak savanna
   K082  Mosaic of K074 and K100
   K084  Cross Timbers
   K089  Black Belt
   K090  Live oak - sea oats
   K091  Cypress savanna
   K095  Great Lakes pine forest
   K099  Maple - basswood forest
   K100  Oak - hickory forest
   K102  Beech - maple forest
   K103  Mixed mesophytic forest
   K104  Appalachian oak forest
   K106  Northern hardwoods
   K107  Northern hardwoods - fir forest
   K108  Northern hardwoods - spruce forest
   K109  Transition between K104 and K106
   K110  Northeastern oak - pine forest
   K111  Oak - hickory - pine forest
   K112  Southern mixed forest
   K114  Pocosin
   K115  Sand pine scrub

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Habitat characteristics

Yellow-poplar grows best on north and east aspects, lower slopes,
sheltered coves, and gentle concave slopes [1,27].

Soils:  Growth is best on moderately deep loams that are moderately
moist, well drained, and loose textured [1,27].

Associated species:  Overstory associates include baldcypress (Taxodium
distichum), tupelo (Nyssa spp.), loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), shortleaf
pine (P. echinata), eastern white pine (P. strobus), oaks (Quercus
spp.), white ash (Fraxinus americana), American beech (Fagus
grandifolia), black walnut (Juglans nigra), and hickory (Carya spp.)
[1,2].

Climate:  Yellow-poplar grows under a variety of climatic conditions due
its broad geographic distribution.  The average rainfall varies from 30
to 80 inches (760-2030 mm), and the number of frost-free days varies from
150 to 310 days [1].

Elevation:  Yellow-poplar grows near sea level in Florida to 4,500 feet
(1,364 m) in the Appalachian Mountains [3].
  • 1.  Beck, Donald E. 1990. Liriodendron tulipifera L.  yellow poplar. In:        Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics        of North America. Volume 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington,        DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 406-416.  [14001]
  • 2.  Beck, Donald E.; Della-Bianca, Lino. 1981. Yellow-poplar:        Characteristics and management. Agric. Handb. 583. Asheville, NC: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest        Experiment Station. 91 p.  [10983]
  • 3.  Bonner, F. T.; Russell, T. E. 1974. Liriodendron tulipifera L.        yellow-poplar. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the        United States. Agriculture Handbook No. 450. Washington, DC: U. S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 508-511.  [7696]
  • 27.  Smalley, Glendon W. 1984. Classification and evaluation of forest sites        in the Cumberland Mountains. Gen. Tech. Rep. SO-50. New Orleans, LA:        U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest        Experiment Station. 84 p.  [9831]

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Habitat: Ecosystem

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

   FRES10  White - red - jack pine
   FRES13  Loblolly - shortleaf pine
   FRES14  Oak - pine
   FRES15  Oak - hickory
   FRES16  Oak - gum - cypress
   FRES18  Maple - beech - birch

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Soils and Topography

Yellow-poplar thrives on many soil types with various physical  properties, chemical composition, and parent material. Within the  major portion of the range of yellow-poplar, these soils fall in  soil orders Inceptisols and Ultisols. Exceptionally good growth  has been observed on alluvial soils bordering streams, on loam  soils of mountain coves, on talus slopes below cliffs and bluffs,  and on well-watered, gravelly soils. In general, where  yellow-poplar grows naturally and well, the soils are moderately  moist, well drained, and loose textured; it rarely does well in  very wet or very dry situations.

    Studies in locations as varied as the Coastal Plain of New Jersey,  the Central States, the Great Appalachian Valley, the Carolina  and Virginia Piedmonts, the Cumberland Plateau, and the mountains  of north Georgia have isolated soil features that measure  effective rooting depth and moisture-supplying capacity as the  most important determinants of growth (13, 18, 25, 30, 35). These  variables have been expressed in quantitative terms such as  relative content of sand, silt, and clay; depth of humus  accumulation; organic matter content of different horizons of the  soil profile; percent moisture retention; available water; and  depth to impermeable layers.

    The same studies also stressed that topographic features plus  latitude and elevation, which partially determine the amount of  incoming solar radiation and rate of evaporation or otherwise  influence the moisture supplying capacity of soil, are important  variables in assessing site suitability for yellow-poplar growth.  The best growth usually occurs on north and east aspects, on  lower slopes, in sheltered coves, and on gentle, concave slopes.

    Low levels of soil nutrients-most frequently nitrogen-have  occasionally been linked to slow rates of growth for  yellow-poplar. Also, naturally occurring levels of phosphorous  and potassium can limit growth. However, soil physical properties  far overshadow chemical properties in determining distribution  and growth of yellow-poplar.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Donald E. Beck

Source: Silvics of North America

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Climate

Because of its wide geographic distribution, yellow-poplar grows  under a variety of climatic conditions. Low temperature extremes  vary from severe winters in southern New England and upper New  York with a mean January temperature of -7.2° C (19° F)  to almost frost-free winters in central Florida with a mean  January temperature of 16.1° C (61° F). Average July  temperature varies from 20.6° C (69° F) in the northern  part of the range to 27.2° C (81° F) in the southern.  Rainfall in the range of yellow-poplar varies from 760 mm (30 in)  to more than 2030 mm (80 in) in some areas of the southern  Appalachians. Average number of frost-free days varies from 150  to more than 310 days within the north-to-south range of  yellow-poplar.

    Effects of temperature and moisture extremes are tempered somewhat  by local topography. At the northern end of its range,  yellow-poplar is usually found in valleys and stream bottoms at  elevations below 300 m (1,000 ft). In the southern Appalachians,  it may grow on a variety of sites, including stream bottoms,  coves, and moist slopes up to an elevation of about 1370 m (4,500  ft). Toward the southern limit of the range, where high  temperatures and soil moisture probably become limiting, the  species usually is confined to moist, but well-drained, stream  bottoms. Optimum development of yellow-poplar occurs where  rainfall is well distributed over a long growing season.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Donald E. Beck

Source: Silvics of North America

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Rich woodlands, bluffs, low mountains, and hills; 0-1500m.
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Dispersal

Establishment

Natural regeneration of tulip poplar is usually by stump sprouts and seed. Regeneration from seed requires a seedbed of mineral soil, adequate soil moisture, sufficient direct sunlight for early growth; seedlings are intolerant of shade.

Forest plantings are planted at spacings ranging from 6' x 7' to 10' x 10'. One year old nursery grown seedlings are used.

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Associations

Faunal Associations

The nectar and pollen of the flowers attract miscellaneous flies, beetles, honeybees, bumblebees, and other long-tongued bees. The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird also visits the flowers for nectar. Some insects feed on the foliage, sap, or wood of Tulip Tree. These species include Toumeyella liriodendri (Tulip Tree Scale), Illinoia liriodendri (Tulip Tree Aphid), Odontopus calceatus (Yellow Poplar Weevil), Euzophera ostricolorella (Root-Collar Borer Moth), Callosamia angulifera (Tulip Tree Moth), Callosamia promethea (Promethea Moth), the moth Epimecis hortaria (Tulip Tree Beauty), and the butterfly Papilio glaucus (Tiger Swallowtail). Some vertebrate animals use this tree as a source of food. The seeds are eaten by such birds as the Cardinal, Goldfinch, Carolina Chickadee, and Purple Finch. The Fox Squirrel, Gray Squirrel, Red Squirrel, White-Footed Mouse, and Woodland Deer Mouse also eat the seeds. White-Tailed Deer browse on the twigs and foliage, as do horses, cattle, and other kinds of livestock. The Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker often drills holes through the bark of this tree to obtain the sap; the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird sometimes obtains sap from these holes as well. These birds also consume insects that become trapped in this sap. The Pileated Woodpecker sometimes uses this tall tree as a nest site.
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In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Aurantiporus fissilis is saprobic on large, dead, standing trunk of Liriodendron tulipifera

Foodplant / saprobe
scattered, long covered by periodem which is the raised and perforated pycnidium of Phomopsis coelomycetous anamorph of Phomopsis liriodendri is saprobic on dead branch of Liriodendron tulipifera
Remarks: season: 3,6,7

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Associated Forest Cover

Yellow-poplar is a major species in four forest cover types  (Society of American Foresters) (14): yellow-poplar (Type 57),  Yellow-Poplar-Eastern Hemlock (Type 58), Yellow-Poplar-White  Oak-Northern Red Oak (Type 59), and Sweetgum-Yellow-Poplar (Type  87). It is a minor species in 11 types: Eastern White Pine (Type  21), White Pine-Hemlock (Type 22), White Pine-Chestnut Oak (Type  51), White Oak-Black Oak-Northern Red Oak (Type 52), White Oak  (Type 53), Northern Red Oak (Type 55), Beech-Sugar Maple (Type  60), Sassafras-Persimmon (Type 64),

    Loblolly Pine (Type 81), Loblolly Pine-Hardwood (Type 82), and  Swamp Chestnut Oak-Cherrybark Oak (Type 91).

    On bottom lands and on the better drained soils of the Coastal  Plain, yellow-poplar grows in mixture with the tupelos (Nyssa  spp.), baldcypress (Taxodium distichum), oaks Quercus  spp.), red maple (Acer rubrum), sweetgum (Liquidambar  styraciflua), and loblolly pine (Pinus taeda). In the  Piedmont, associated species include oaks, sweetgum, blackgum  (Nyssa sylvatica), red maple, loblolly pine, shortleaf  pine (Pinus echinata), Virginia pine (P virginiana),  hickories (Carya spp.), flowering dogwood (Cornus  florida), sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum), and  redcedar (Juniperus virginiana).

    At lower elevations in the Appalachian Mountains, yellow-poplar is  found with black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), white  pine (Pinus strobus), eastern hemlock (Tsuga  canadensis), hickories, white oak (Quercus alba), other  oaks, black walnut (Juglans nigra), yellow pines,  flowering dogwood, sourwood, sweet birch (Betula lenta), blackgum,  basswood (Tilia americana), and Carolina silverbell (Halesia  carolina). At higher elevations, associated species include  northern red oak (Quercus rubra), white ash (Fraxinus  americana), black cherry (Prunus serotina), cucumber  tree (Magnolia acuminata), yellow buckeye (Aesculus  octandra), American beech (Fagus grandifolia), sugar  maple (Acer saccharum), and yellow birch (Betula  alleghaniensis). Trees associated with yellow-poplar in  nonmountainous areas of the North and Midwest include white oak,  black oak Quercus velutina), northern red oak, ash,  beech, sugar maple, blackgum, dogwood, and hickories.

    Pure stands of yellow-poplar occupy only a small percentage of the  total land within the range of the species, but they are usually  on productive sites that include some of the most valuable  timber-producing forests in eastern North America. It has been  repeatedly observed in the southern Appalachians that the  percentage of yellow-poplar increases noticeably with increasing  quality of the site. Where yellow-poplar grows in pure, or nearly  pure, stands on medium and lower quality sites, it probably  originated on abandoned old fields.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Donald E. Beck

Source: Silvics of North America

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Diseases and Parasites

Damaging Agents

Yellow-poplar is unusually free from  damage by pests compared with many other commercially important  species. While more than 30 species of insects attack  yellow-poplar, only 4 species are considered to have significant  economic impact (8). The tuliptree scale (Toumeyella  liriodendri) causes loss of vigor by removing large  quantities of phloem sap. Scale attacks often kill leaders of  seedlings and saplings causing them to be overtopped by  competitors. The yellow-poplar weevil (Odontopus calceatusfeeds on buds and foliage and may occur in outbreaks over  large areas. The rootcollar borer (Euzophera ostricolorellaattacks the phloem tissue at the base of the tree and  provides entry points for rots and other pathogens. Attacks by  the Columbian timber beetle (Corthylus columbianus) do  not kill the tree but may degrade the wood. The defect consists  of black-stained burrows and discolored wood called "calico  poplar."

    Fire scars, logging damage, animal and bird damage, top breakage,  dying limbs, and decaying parent stumps all provide entry for  decay-causing fungi (16). Probably the most common type of decay  associated with basal wounding and decaying stumps is a soft,  spongy, white or gray rot caused by the fungus Armillaria  mellea. A white heartwood rot caused by Collybia  velutipes often is associated with top breakage and dying  limbs. Species of the genus Nectria have been associated  with stem cankers. Incidence of this disease and mortality from  it was greatest on low-vigor trees.

    A canker caused by Fusarium solani was isolated from large  yellow-poplars in Ohio and was shown to cause characteristic  cankers through pathogenicity studies. Some mortality results  during periods of drought, but F solani apparently is not  a virulent pathogen and causes damage only when the host is  weakened by unfavorable environmental factors.

    Dieback and associated stem canker of yellow-poplar saplings were  reported to have resulted in considerable mortality in some  stands. A fungus of the genus Myxosporium was associated  with dead bark of infected trees and was shown to cause canker  formation after experimental inoculations. Identical dieback  symptoms were reported for scattered areas throughout the South.  Symptoms included chlorosis of leaves, sparse crown, dieback,  trunk and branch cankers, and epicormic sprouting. Several fungal  species were consistently isolated from cankered trees, but there  was uncertainty about the causative agent. The severity and  extent of infection are greater in upland sites than in  bottom-land sites. All canker-forming diseases reported for  yellow-poplar appear to be confined to, or most severe on, trees  that are low in vigor because of drought, poor site, or  competition.

    A nursery root-rot disease caused by Cylindrocladium scoparium  causes root and stem lesions. It is frequently lethal in  nursery beds and causes low survival and poor growth when  infected seedlings are outplanted. Extensive root damage and  mortality in a 27-year-old yellow-poplar plantation have been  reported.

    Yellow-poplar logs, especially when cut in warmer seasons, are  subject to rapid deterioration because of attacks of  wood-staining fungi that feed largely on the starch and sugars in  the green sapwood and penetrate deeply while the wood is moist.  The most common rapid-staining species is Ceratocystis  pluriannulata.

    Yellow-poplar seedlings and saplings have thin bark and are  extremely susceptible to fire damage.

    Even a light ground fire is usually fatal to small stems up to 2.5  cm (1 in) in diameter. These stems resprout after fire, but  repeated fires may eliminate yellow-poplar from a site. When the  bark becomes thick enough to insulate the cambium (about 1.3 cm;  0.5 in), yellow-poplar becomes extremely fire resistant.

    Sleet and glaze storms, which occur periodically within the range  of yellow-poplar, may cause considerable damage. Stump sprouts  are particularly susceptible to injury, slender trees may be  broken off, and tops of dominant and codominant trees are often  broken. Top damage is often the point of entry for fungi.  Although yellow-poplar usually makes remarkable recovery after  such storms, repeated damage can result in a growth reduction and  loss of quality.

    The leaves, twigs, and branches of yellow-poplar are tender and  palatable to livestock and white-tailed deer, and young trees are  often heavily browsed. Seedlings are grazed to the ground, small  saplings are trimmed back, and even large saplings may be ridden  down and severely damaged. In areas where animals are  concentrated, young yellow-poplar is frequently eliminated.  Rabbits also eat the bark and buds of seedlings and saplings and  can be quite destructive at times.

    When the sap is running in the spring, yellow-poplar is very  susceptible to logging damage. If a falling tree strikes a  standing poplar, there is often considerable bark loss up and  down the bole of the standing tree. Even if the bark appears only  lightly bruised, it may subsequently dry up and fall off in long  strips.

    Frost, especially in frost pockets, can affect the early growth  and development of yellow-poplar. Following a late spring frost  in a 20-year-old plantation, it was found that leaf mortality  varied from 5 to 100 percent of the leaves on the individual  trees. Leaf mortality was lowest on trees with a high foliar  content of potassium. Frost may also cause bole damage in the  form of shake, a separation of growth rings resulting in cull. A  weather-induced defect called blister shake, related to frost  shake, was described in 30-year-old yellow-poplar trees in West  Virginia.

    Vines can be extremely damaging to yellow-poplar. Japanese  honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), kudzu (Pueraria  lobata), and climbing bittersweet (Celastrus scandenshave been known to have deleterious effects on yellow-poplar  in isolated cases. However, the most widespread damage throughout  the Appalachians results from wild grapevines (Vitis spp.)  (36,41), particularly on good sites that have been regenerated  naturally by clearcutting. Many forest managers and researchers  consider grape the most serious threat to production of  high-quality yellow-poplar timber in the Appalachian region.  Grapevines damage young trees by breaking limbs and tops,  twisting and bending the main stem, and intercepting solar  radiation. The result is reduced growth, malformation of stem and  crown, and sometimes death of the trees. Grapevines also worsen  winter storm damage in some areas by furnishing increased surface  area for accumulation of ice and snow.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Donald E. Beck

Source: Silvics of North America

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General Ecology

Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire

More info for the term: prescribed fire

While mature yellow-poplar is very fire resistant, the saplings are
susceptible to fire [1].  In a 5-year-old stand burned with varying
severities, the densities of saplings over 4.5 feet (1.4 m) in height 3
years (areas 1 and 3) and 2 years (areas 2 and 4) after fire had
decreased significantly from prefire densities.  Sapling densities
(stems/acre) were as follows [22]:

                Area 1      Area 2      Area 3      Area 4
                Burn        Burn        No Burn     Burn
              (Moderate)   (Light)     (Control)   (Severe)

Saplings          709         74          677         294
Postfire change  -438        -21         +23          -8

Severe basal wounding of 8- to 18-inch-diameter yellow-poplars had no
significant effect on diameter growth rate 7 to 14 years after a fire
[31].

The following Research Project Summaries provide information on prescribed
fire and postfire response of plant community species, including
yellow-poplar, that was not available when this species review was written:
  • 1.  Beck, Donald E. 1990. Liriodendron tulipifera L.  yellow poplar. In:        Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics        of North America. Volume 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington,        DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 406-416.  [14001]
  • 22.  McGee, Charles E. 1980. The effect of fire on species dominance in young        upland hardwood stands. In: Proceedings, mid-south upland hardwood        symposium for the practicing forester and land manager; [Date of        conference unknown]
  • 31.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Region. 1989.        Final environmental impact statement. Vegetation management in the        Coastal Plain/Piedmont. Vol. 1. Management Bulletin R8-MB-23. Atlanta,        GA. 351 p.  [10220]

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Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: prescribed fire, root crown

Sprouting:  Yellow-poplar sprouts from the root crown following top-kill
by fire [2,16].

Seedling establishment:  Prescribed fire enhances the regeneration of
yellow-poplar by releasing seed stored on the forest floor [31].
Following fall prescribed fire in the Upper Piedmont of South Carolina,
the number and height growth of yellow-poplar seedlings were
significantly higher on burned than on unburned plots.  After one
growing season, the burned plots had about 12,000 seedlings per acre;
the unburned, 2,000.  After three growing seasons, seedlings on the
burned plots averaged 3.5 feet (1.06 m) in height; seedlings on the
unburned plots averaged 3.0 feet (0.91 m) [26].
  • 2.  Beck, Donald E.; Della-Bianca, Lino. 1981. Yellow-poplar:        Characteristics and management. Agric. Handb. 583. Asheville, NC: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest        Experiment Station. 91 p.  [10983]
  • 16.  Kelty, Matthew J. 1988. Sources of hardwood regeneration and factors        that influence these sources. In: Smith, H. Clay; Perkey, Arlyn W.;        Kidd, William E., Jr., eds. Guidelines for regenerating Appalachian        hardwood stands: Workshop proceedings; 1988 May 24-26; Morgantown, WV.        SAF Publ. 88-03. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Books: 17-30.        [13931]
  • 26.  Shearin, A. T.; Bruner, Marlin H.; Goebel, N. B. 1972. Prescribed        burning stimulates natural regeneration of yellow-poplar. Journal of        Forestry. 70: 482-484.  [10056]
  • 31.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Region. 1989.        Final environmental impact statement. Vegetation management in the        Coastal Plain/Piedmont. Vol. 1. Management Bulletin R8-MB-23. Atlanta,        GA. 351 p.  [10220]

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Broad-scale Impacts of Fire

More info for the term: resistance

Compared with other hardwoods, yellow-poplar is relatively resistance to
fire-damage-induced decay.  A study comparing wound size with amounts of
bark discoloration found that yellow-poplars were more resistant to
wounding than oaks.  Even when large amounts of bark were discolored,
larger diameter yellow-poplars developed only small wounds [31].
Several studies have determined that within a given size class,
yellow-poplar is generally more resistant to fire damage than oaks [31].
 
  • 31.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Region. 1989.        Final environmental impact statement. Vegetation management in the        Coastal Plain/Piedmont. Vol. 1. Management Bulletin R8-MB-23. Atlanta,        GA. 351 p.  [10220]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

Yellow-poplar seedlings and saplings have thin bark which makes them
very susceptible to fire damage.  Fire generally kills young trees less
than 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter.  Once bark is thick enough to insulate
the cambium (0.5 inch [1.3 cm]), yellow-poplar becomes extremely
resistant to fire damage [1,2].  Little mortality occurs once trees are
greater than 3 or 4 inches d.b.h. [31].  Yellow-poplar seeds are
generally resistant to heat damage [31].
  • 1.  Beck, Donald E. 1990. Liriodendron tulipifera L.  yellow poplar. In:        Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics        of North America. Volume 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington,        DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 406-416.  [14001]
  • 2.  Beck, Donald E.; Della-Bianca, Lino. 1981. Yellow-poplar:        Characteristics and management. Agric. Handb. 583. Asheville, NC: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest        Experiment Station. 91 p.  [10983]
  • 31.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Region. 1989.        Final environmental impact statement. Vegetation management in the        Coastal Plain/Piedmont. Vol. 1. Management Bulletin R8-MB-23. Atlanta,        GA. 351 p.  [10220]

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the terms: ground residual colonizer, secondary colonizer, tree

   Tree with adventitious-bud root crown/soboliferous species root sucker
   Ground residual colonizer (on-site, initial community)
   Secondary colonizer - off-site seed

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Fire Ecology

More info for the term: root crown

Mature yellow-poplars have bark sufficiently thick (> 0.5 inch [1 cm])
to insulate the cambium layer and allow trees to survive low- to
moderate-severity fire.  Trees top-killed by fire sprout from dormant
buds located on the root crown [2].  Fire can enhance yellow-poplar
seedling establishment [31].
  • 2.  Beck, Donald E.; Della-Bianca, Lino. 1981. Yellow-poplar:        Characteristics and management. Agric. Handb. 583. Asheville, NC: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest        Experiment Station. 91 p.  [10983]
  • 31.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Region. 1989.        Final environmental impact statement. Vegetation management in the        Coastal Plain/Piedmont. Vol. 1. Management Bulletin R8-MB-23. Atlanta,        GA. 351 p.  [10220]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: succession

Obligate Initial Community Species

Yellow-poplar is a shade-intolerant, pioneer species.  It often invades
open sites, and in old-field succession it occurs in pure or nearly pure
stands [1,16].
  • 1.  Beck, Donald E. 1990. Liriodendron tulipifera L.  yellow poplar. In:        Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics        of North America. Volume 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington,        DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 406-416.  [14001]
  • 16.  Kelty, Matthew J. 1988. Sources of hardwood regeneration and factors        that influence these sources. In: Smith, H. Clay; Perkey, Arlyn W.;        Kidd, William E., Jr., eds. Guidelines for regenerating Appalachian        hardwood stands: Workshop proceedings; 1988 May 24-26; Morgantown, WV.        SAF Publ. 88-03. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Books: 17-30.        [13931]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the terms: epigeal, root crown, tree

Yellow-poplar is mainly insect pollinated, with some selfing.  It a
prolific seed producer.  It first produces seed at 15 to 20 years of age
and continues to do so for more than 200 years [1].  Heavy seed crops
tend to compensate for low seed viability (around 5-20 percent) [26].
The samaras are wind dispersed to distances 4 and 5 times the height of
the parent tree.  The samaras remain viable in the seedbank for up to 8
years [5,16,19].  Seeds require a cold stratification period, and
germination rates vary with time and temperature.  Generally as
temperature decreases and time increases the germination rate increases;
for example, 90 percent germination occurred after 140 days at 36
degrees Fahrenheit (2 deg C) [1,3].  Germination is epigeal and occurs
when seeds remain constantly moist for several weeks [3,5].  Germination
is enhanced on mineral soil or on well-decomposed humus [2].

Yellow-poplar sprouts from dormant buds located on the root crown after
cutting and/or fire.  Sprouting decreases with age, as the bark becomes
too thick for the bud to break through [2,16].  Initially sprout growth
surpasses seedling growth, but at 25 to 35 years seedling regeneration
height catches and surpasses sprout regeneration height [2].
  • 1.  Beck, Donald E. 1990. Liriodendron tulipifera L.  yellow poplar. In:        Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics        of North America. Volume 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington,        DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 406-416.  [14001]
  • 2.  Beck, Donald E.; Della-Bianca, Lino. 1981. Yellow-poplar:        Characteristics and management. Agric. Handb. 583. Asheville, NC: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest        Experiment Station. 91 p.  [10983]
  • 3.  Bonner, F. T.; Russell, T. E. 1974. Liriodendron tulipifera L.        yellow-poplar. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the        United States. Agriculture Handbook No. 450. Washington, DC: U. S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 508-511.  [7696]
  • 5.  Clark, Alexander, III; Schroeder, James G. 1986. Weight, volume, and        physical properties of major hardwood species in the southern        Appalachian Mountains. Res. Pap. SE-253. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department        of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Experiment Station. 63 p.        [11023]
  • 16.  Kelty, Matthew J. 1988. Sources of hardwood regeneration and factors        that influence these sources. In: Smith, H. Clay; Perkey, Arlyn W.;        Kidd, William E., Jr., eds. Guidelines for regenerating Appalachian        hardwood stands: Workshop proceedings; 1988 May 24-26; Morgantown, WV.        SAF Publ. 88-03. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Books: 17-30.        [13931]
  • 19.  Loftis, David L. 1979. Partial cuts to regenerate upland hardwoods in        the Southeast. In: Proceedings of the National siviculture workshop.        Theme: The shelterwood regeneration method; 1979 September 17-21;        Charleston, SC. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service, Division of Timber Management: 92-100.  [11661]
  • 26.  Shearin, A. T.; Bruner, Marlin H.; Goebel, N. B. 1972. Prescribed        burning stimulates natural regeneration of yellow-poplar. Journal of        Forestry. 70: 482-484.  [10056]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: phanerophyte

  
   Phanerophyte

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Life Form

More info for the term: tree

Tree

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Reaction to Competition

Although classed as intolerant of  shade, yellow-poplar can overcome much competition because it  produces numerous seedlings and sprouts, and grows very rapidly.  On land of site index 23 m (75 ft) and higher in the southern  Appalachians, yellow-poplar has faster height growth than any of  its associates except white pine up to 50 years of age (29). If  not overtopped, yellow-poplar takes and holds its place in the  dominant crown canopy of the developing stand.

    It is often a pioneer on abandoned old fields or clearcut land and  may form essentially pure stands on very good sites. More often  it regenerates as a mixed type with other species, and it  commonly persists in old-growth stands as scattered individuals.

    Yellow-poplar expresses dominance well and seldom, if ever,  stagnates because of excessive stand density. It prunes very well  in closed stands. Although it produces epicormic sprouts when the  bole is exposed, this trait is less pronounced than in many other  hardwood species. Because of these growth characteristics,  yellow-poplar stands can develop and produce considerable  quantities of large, high-quality products with no intermediate  stand management.

    In the seedling-sapling stage, dominant and codominant trees are  little affected by thinning or cleaning (21,39). Intermediate or  overtopped trees of good vigor respond to release in both  diameter and height growth (46). Cultural treatment of  seedling-sapling stands is seldom needed or justified, however,  except to remove vines (12).

    By the time stands reach pole size at 20 to 30 years of age, the  peak rates of growth and mortality are past and the crown canopy  is closed. Crown size on surviving trees is reduced and diameter  growth is considerably slowed. Thinnings that salvage or prevent  mortality, increase the growth of residual trees, shorten  rotations, and increase the yield of high-value timber products  are the essence of intermediate stand management. The net result  of numerous thinning experiments is that individual yellow-poplar  trees tend to use the space and accelerate diameter increment  (4,5,9,29). Response occurs across a wide range of sites and  stand ages, even in stands as old as 80 years that have never  been thinned previously. Total cubic-volume growth is greatest at  the highest densities and would be maximized by very light,  frequent thinnings that prevent or salvage mortality. On the  other hand, board-foot volume growth is maximum at densities well  below those that maximize cubic-foot volume growth. Board-foot  growth is near maximum over a wide range of density. Thus, there  is considerable leeway to manipulate stocking levels to achieve  diameter growth and quality goals without sacrificing volume  growth of the high-value products.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Donald E. Beck

Source: Silvics of North America

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Rooting Habit

Yellow-poplar has a rapidly growing and  deeply penetrating juvenile taproot, as well as many strongly  developed and wide-spreading lateral roots. It is considered to  have a "flexible" rooting habit, even in the juvenile  stage.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Donald E. Beck

Source: Silvics of North America

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

Yellow poplar flowers from April to June; seeds mature from August to
late October.  Peak samara dispersal is from October to November, with a
few falling as late as March [2,26].
  • 2.  Beck, Donald E.; Della-Bianca, Lino. 1981. Yellow-poplar:        Characteristics and management. Agric. Handb. 583. Asheville, NC: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest        Experiment Station. 91 p.  [10983]
  • 26.  Shearin, A. T.; Bruner, Marlin H.; Goebel, N. B. 1972. Prescribed        burning stimulates natural regeneration of yellow-poplar. Journal of        Forestry. 70: 482-484.  [10056]

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Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering spring.
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

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Reproduction

Vegetative Reproduction

Yellow-poplar sprouts arise  chiefly from preexisting dormant buds situated near the base of  dead or dying stems, or near the soil line on stumps. Sprouts may  occur as high as 30 to 38 cm (12 to 15 in) on high stumps, but  more than 80 percent arise at or below the soil line (44). The  percentage of stumps sprouting and the number of sprouts per  stump decrease with increasing stump size. Stumps as large as 66  to 76 cm (26 to 30 in) sprouted 40 percent of the time, however,  with an average of eight sprouts per stump. Yellow-poplar of the  age and size harvested in second-growth stands sprouts  prolifically.

    Trees of sprout origin are more subject to butt rot than those of  seedling origin (42). Nevertheless, a high percentage of stumps  that sprout produce at least one stem that is well anchored,  vigorous, and of desirable quality for crop-tree development  (20). In this respect, position on stump is important to  subsequent development. Sprouts arising from roots or from the  stump below groundline usually lack a heartwood connection with  the stump heartwood because the roots and below-ground portions  of the stump do not normally contain heartwood. Sapwood tissues  separating heartwood columns of stumps and sprouts may prevent  heart rot fungi, which enters the stump heartwood, from spreading  to the heartwood of the sprout.

    The initial growth rate of yellow-poplar sprouts far exceeds that  of young seedlings. In western North Carolina, the dominant  sprout on each of 60 stumps on a good site grew an average of 1.4  m (4.7 ft) per year over the first 6 years (2). At age 24, these  sprouts averaged 24.4 in (80 ft) in height and 24 cm (9.6 in)  d.b.h. In West Virginia, the dominant stem of each sprout clump  grew at the rate of 0.9 in (2.9 ft) per year for 11 years on a  medium-quality site for yellow-poplar (44). The rapid, early  growth rate begins to drop off rnarkedly somewhere between 20 and  30 years. At this time, seedlings of similar age may catch up and  exceed sprouts in rate of height growth.

    A number of investigators have attempted to root yellow-poplar  cuttings, but most early attempts were not successful. In a more  recent study, cuttings were rooted successfully after they were  dipped in dolebutyric acid and a mist of water was sprayed over  the propagation bed (6). It is not known, however, whether these  rooted cuttings would have successfully survived outplanting.  Yellow-poplar has been successfully rooted from stump sprouts of  7-year-old trees; soft-tissue cuttings placed in a mist bed began  rooting in 4 weeks and successfully survived transplanting. A  system of splitting seedlings longitudinally and then propagating  the halves was also highly successful. However, splitting  seedlings provides only one additional new plant from the ortet,  while rooting stump sprouts provides several.

    A technique for propagating yellow-poplar by making use of its  epicormic branching ability has recently been described (24).  Partial girdling into the outer one or two annual rings results  in a profusion of epicormic sprouts that can then be rooted in  the same way as stump sprouts. This method has the advantage of  preserving the selected ortet for repeated use. Experience with  this method, however, reveals that not every girdled tree will  sprout well. Young trees and trees with low vigor are better  sprouters than old trees and rapidly growing trees.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Donald E. Beck

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Seedling Development

Yellow-poplar seeds must overwinter  under natural conditions, or be stratified under controlled  conditions, to overcome dormancy. Under controlled conditions,  stratification in moist sand within a temperature range of 0°  to 10° C (32° to 50° F) for periods of 70 to 90  days resulted in satisfactory germination. However, seedling  yield increases with increasing time of stratification.  Germination is epigeal.

    Germinating yellow-poplar seedlings need a suitable seedbed and  adequate moisture to survive and become established. Seed  germination and seedling development is better on mineral soils  or well-decomposed organic matter than on a thick, undecomposed  litter layer.

    Scarification and fires, which put seeds in contact with mineral  soil, increases the number of seedlings established significantly  (10,33). Under normal conditions, however, the site disturbance  caused by logging the mature stand is the only seedbed  preparation needed to provide enough yellow-poplar seedlings for  a new stand. In Indiana, I year after cutting, there were 9,900  yellow-poplar seedlings per hectare (4,000/acre) on a plot that  was clearcut, and 12,000/ha (4,800/acre) on partially cut plots.  In western North Carolina, more than 124,000 seedlings/ha  (50,000/acre) followed both clearcuts and partial cuts that  removed as little as one-third the basal area (26). On occasional  sites, deep accumulations of litter may require some seedbed  treatment, particularly on the drier sites dominated by oaks or  beech, and both disking and burning have proven effective. These  treatments have also been recommended for sites with few seeds in  the forest floor, especially if the site is covered with dense  herbaceous growth.

    Yellow-poplar seedlings reach maximum or near-maximum  photosynthetic efficiency at relatively low light intensities, as  low as 3 to 10 percent of full sunlight (29,31). Growth was poor,  however, under an overstory canopy where the amount of sunlight  reaching the forest floor was limited to 1.33 percent; where  herbaceous cover existed, it was only 0. 13 percent. Sufficient  sunlight can be admitted by various cutting practices. Harvest  cuts ranging from removal of 30 percent of basal area to complete  clearcuts have resulted in establishment and growth of large  numbers of seedlings. Clearcutting, seed-tree cutting, and  shelterwood cutting have all been used successfully to regenerate  yellow-poplar (26,28,38,45). However, when partial cuts such as  shelterwood are used, height growth is severely limited by the  overstory. Seedlings in clearcuts may be two to three times  taller than seedlings under a shelterwood after the first 5 to 10  years.

    The minimum size opening that can be used to regenerate  yellow-poplar is fairly small (10). Numbers of seedlings per  hectare vary little in openings of 0.12 to 12.36 ha (0.05 to 5  acres). Opening size, however, does affect growth significantly.  Both diameter and height are retarded in openings smaller than  1.24 to 2.47 ha (0.5 to 1 acre).

    Season of logging, though not of critical importance, does have  some effect on establishment and growth of yellow-poplar  seedlings (40). In West Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana, summer  logging produced fewer seedlings than logging at other times of  the year. Apparently, in summer-logged stands most of the seeds  did not germinate until the following year, and these small  seedlings were not as well able to compete with the rank  vegetation that started the previous year. Nevertheless, cuttings  in summer months usually have produced sufficient seedlings where  a good seed source previously was present. If seed supply is  expected to be scarce, logging in fall, winter, or early spring  might be advisable.

    After germination, several critical years follow. During this  period sufficient soil moisture must be available, good drainage  and protection against drying and frost heaving are necessary,  and there must be no severe competition from nearby sprout  growth. In a study in which various mulches were used to induce  soil temperature variation, seedlings grew faster in warm soil  than in cool soil. Soil temperatures as high as 36.1° C (97°  F) had a beneficial effect on seedling growth. Yellow-poplar  seedlings normally survive dormant-season flooding, but it was  found that 1-year-old seedlings were usually killed by 4 days or  more of flooding during the growing season (23). This  vulnerability during the growing season explains why  yellow-poplar does not grow on flood plains of rivers that flood  periodically for several days at a time. After the first growing  season, vegetative competition may become the most important  factor affecting survival and growth. Reducing competition by  cutting, burning, disking, or by using herbicides may be needed  to assure success.

    On favorable sites the success of regeneration can usually be  determined by the size and vigor of the seedlings at the end of  the third year. Height growth during the first year ranges from a  few centimeters to more than 0.3 m (1 ft) on the best sites. With  full light, rapid height growth begins the second year, and at  the end of 5 years trees may be 3 to 5.5 in (10 to 18 ft) tall.  During its seedling and sapling stages, yellow-poplar is capable  of making extremely rapid growth. An 11-year-old natural seedling  15.2 m (50 ft) tall has been recorded.

    The behavior and duration of height growth of yellow-poplar vary  by latitude. In a Pennsylvania study, seedlings had a 95-day  height-growth period beginning late in April and ending about  August 1. A sharp peak in height growth was reached about June 1.  In a northwestern Connecticut study, yellow-poplar had a 110-day  height-growth period beginning in late April and ending in  mid-August. Ninety percent of this growth took place in a 60-day  period from May 20 to July 20, and a sharp peak in height growth  was noted in the middle of June. In a study conducted in the  lower Piedmont of North Carolina, yellow-poplar had a 160-day  height-growth period beginning in early April and ending about  the middle of September. Growth was fairly constant, and there  was no peak in growth rate during the growing season.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Donald E. Beck

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Seed Production and Dissemination

The conelike aggregate  of many winged carpels ripens and matures from early August in  the North to late October in the South. In the Piedmont of North  Carolina, seedfall begins in mid-October and reaches its peak  early in November. High seedfall occurs during dry periods with  high temperatures, while periods of heavy rainfall result in low  seed dissemination rates. Viable seed is disseminated from  mid-October to mid-March; the percentage of viability, which  ranges from 5 to 20 percent, is about equal throughout the  period.

    Yellow-poplar is a prolific seeder, and large crops are produced  almost annually (29,31). In North Carolina, a 25-cm (10-in) tree  produced 750 cones with 7,500 sound seeds, and a 51-cm (20-in)  tree produced 3,250 cones with 29,000 sound seeds. A seedfall of  741,000 to 1,482,000/ha (300,000 to 600,000/acre) is not  uncommon. Measurement of the 1966 seed crop in 19 southern  Appalachian stands showed an average of 3.7 million seeds per  hectare (1.5 million/acre). Seed size is highly variable, the  number per kilogram ranging from 11,000 to 40,000 (5,000 to  18,000/lb). In general, southern seeds are larger than northern  ones.

    The individual, winged samaras may be scattered by the wind to  distances equal to four or five times the height of a tree. In  southern Indiana, a seedfall pattern was shown to be oval, with  the center north of the seed tree. Prevailing south and southwest  winds occasionally carried seeds more than 183 m (600 ft).  Distribution of filled seeds occurred in satisfactory  numbers-2,470 to 24,700/ha (1,000 to 10,000/acre)-as far as 60 rn  (200 ft) from a good seed tree in the direction of the prevailing  wind and 30 m (100 ft) in all other directions.

    Yellow-poplar seeds retain their viability in the forest floor  from 4 to 7 years (11). Large quantities of seeds in the forest  floor are capable of producing seedlings when suitable  environmental conditions exist. In West Virginia, a study in  three 40-year-old stands with 101 to 470 yellow-poplar trees per  hectare (41 to 190/acre) showed from 240,000 to 475,000 sound  seeds per hectare (97,000 to 192,000/acre) in the forest floor  (17). These seeds produced between 138,000 to 190,000 seedlings  per hectare (56,000 to 77,000/acre) when transferred to an open  area and kept well watered.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Flowering and Fruiting

Yellow-poplar has a singly  occurring, perfect flower 4 to 5 cm wide (1.5 to 2 in), with six  petals varying in color from a light yellowish green at the  margin to a deep orange band at the center. Yellow-poplars  usually produce their first flowers at 15 to 20 years of age and  may continue production for 200 years (29,31). Flowering occurs  from April to June depending on location and weather conditions.  The flowering period for each tree varies from 2 to 6 weeks  depending on the size and age of the tree and number of flowers  per tree. Pollination must occur soon after the flowers open  while the stigmas are light colored and succulent; brown stigmas  are no longer receptive to pollen. Normally the receptive period  is only 12 to 24 daylight hours. Insects are important  pollinators; flies, beetles, honey bees, and bumble bees (in  decreasing order of abundance) were observed on opened flowers.  However, uncontrolled insect pollinations do not result in  effective pollination of all stigmas, and a great deal of selfing  occurs (7). Higher percentages of filled seed result from  cross-pollination and crosses among widely separated trees (37).  By controlled cross-pollination, as many as 90-percent filled  seed per cone was obtained; the highest percentage for an  open-pollinated tree was 35 percent. Cross-pollinated seedlings  tended to be more vigorous than seedlings obtained from open  pollination.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Growth

Growth and Yield

The mature yellow-poplar has a striking  appearance. In forest stands its trunk is very straight, tall,  and clear of lateral branches for a considerable height. It is  among the tallest of all Eastern United States broadleaf trees.  On the best sites, old-growth trees may be nearly 61 in (200 ft)  high and 2.4 to 3.7 in (8 to 12 ft) d.b.h., but more often they  are from 30.5 to 45.7 in (100 to 150 ft) at maturity, with a  straight trunk 0.6 to 1.5 m (2 to 5 ft) in diameter. Age at  natural death is usually about 200 to 250 years. However, some  trees may live up to 300 years.

                       Table 1-Height and d.b.h. of dominant  yellow-poplar trees in inthinned stands, by site index (1,3)¹          Age  Site  index      25 m or  82 ft  30 m or  98 ft  35 m or  125ft      Height  D.b.h.  Height  D.b.h.  Height  D.b.h.            yr  m  cm  m  cm  m  cm      20  13.4  17  15.8  21  18.6  25      30  18.9  25  22.6  30  26.5  36      40  22.6  30  27.1  37  31.4  43      50  25  34  29.9  41  35.1  48      60  26.8  37  32.3  44  37.5  52      70  28.3  39  33.8  46  39.6  55      80  29.3  40  35.1  49  41.1  57      90  30.2  41  36.3  50  42.1  59      100  30.8  42  36.9  51  43.3  60      yr  ft  in  ft  in  ft  in      20  44  6.7  52  8.2  61  9.8      30  62  9.9  74  12  87  14.2      40  74  12  89  14.5  103  17      50  82  13.4  98  16.2  115  19      60  88  14.4  106  17.4  123  20.4      70  93  15.2  ill  18.3  130  21.6      80  96  15.8  115  19.1  135  22.4      90  99  16.3  119  19.7  138  23.1      100  101  16.7  121  20.2  142  23.7      ¹Based upon the  average height and d.b.h. of the 62 largest trees per  hectacre (25/acre).
                        Height and d.b.h. expected of the 25 largest trees per acre in  unthinned second-growth southern Appalachian stands are shown in  table 1. These data represent an average dominant tree grown  under fully stocked stand conditions. The largest trees would be  7.6 to 12.7 cm (3 to 5 in) larger than the average dominant at  comparable ages. Table 2 shows selected empirical yields for  natural stands (3,27). Mean annual increment in total cubic  volume ranges from 5.2 to 11.6 m³/ha (75 to 165 ft³  /acre), depending on site, at culmination around 70 years of age.

                       Table 2-Empirical yields for unthinned  yellow-poplar stands in the southern Appalachians¹            Volume by age class  in years²      Basal area  20  30  40  50  60            m²/ha        m²/ha                     Site index 25 m            15  68  94  110  121  129      25  150  207  243  267  285      35  253  348  409  450  480               Site index 30 m            15  82  113  132  146  155      25  181  249  292  321  342      35  304  418  491  540  576               Site index 35 m            15  93  129  151  166  177      25  206  283  332  366  390      35  346  477  559  616  656      ft²/acre        ft²/acre                     Site index 82 ft            65  974  1,341  1,574  1,732  1,847      109  2,147  2,956  3,469  3,818  4,070      152  3,614  4,976  5,839  6,427  6,851               Site index 98 ft            65  1,170  1,611  1,890  2,080  2,218      109  2,579  3,551  4,166  4,586  4,889      152  4,341  5,976  7,012  7,718  8,228               Site index 115 ft            65  1,333  1,836  2,154  2,371  2,528      109  2,939  4,047  4,749  5,227  5,572      152  4,947  6,812  7,992  8,797  9,378     
  ¹All trees 13 cm (5in) and larger in d.b.h.
  ²Volume includes wood and bark of the intire bole.
  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Evolution and Systematics

Functional Adaptations

Functional adaptation

Weak leaves deal with strong winds: plants
 

The leaves of trees deal with strong winds by adjusting their configurations in order to reduce exposure and limit flutter.

   
  "Leaves--trees, really--have a problem, the same one as our solar panels. Their function, trapping solar energy photosynthetically, demands exposure of lots of area skyward…[Nature] arranges leaves and their attachments so they adjust their configurations and thus reduce their exposure and flutter as the wind increases. Motive force presents no problem, even for these nonmuscular structures, because the wind itself provides more than enough. Photosynthesis? Intermittently strong winds come mostly with reduced sunlight, so temporary reduction in exposure to sky can't entail a great long-term cost…Figure 1.5a shows what one kind of leaf, that of a tulip poplar, does at a series of increasing wind speeds. This curling into a tightening cone characterizes quite a few kinds of leaves--including maples, sweet gums, sycamores (plane trees), and redbuds…All are characterized by relatively long petioles (leaf stems) and lobes on their blades that protrude back toward their parent branches from the point of attachment of their petioles. What appears to happen (based on observation and crude models) is that the lobes, upwind because leaves always extend downwind like kites on strings, bend upward (abaxially, technically) and get the curling started…This curling into cones dramatically reduces drag--at least if we pick the right item for a comparative baseline…Another wind-dependent reconfiguration, one in which the leaflets of a pinnately compound leaf such as black walnut or black locust roll up around their axial rachis, does a bit better...The very stiff leaves on a branch of a holly (Ilex americana) swing inward toward the branch and lie, one against another, in a common sandwichlike pile. Pine needles cluster instead of being splayed outward…The solution…involves two aspects as common in nature's technology as they are rare in our own. First, shape isn't held constant, but rather shape and the forces of flow interact complexly, each dependent on the other. The local wind forces on a leaf depend (in part) on its shape; its shape, in turn, depends (in part) on the local wind forces. Second, variable circumstances are dealt with by altering functional priorities. Photosynthesis, overall, matters far more than drag minimization; in storms, though, such priorities must reverse." (Vogel 2003: 8-10)
  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Steven Vogel. 2003. Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 580 p.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Genetics

Population Differences    The significant variation in many traits among individual trees,  among stands, and between geographic sources of yellow-poplar  (15,29,34) is of interest to forest managers and users of wood  products.

    Varying degrees of genetic control have been demonstrated for wood  and tree properties such as specific gravity and fiber length;  straightness; branch angle; natural pruning ability; leaf, fruit,  and seed characteristics; disease resistance; growth of  seedlings; and length of growing season. For other important  traits, such as the tendency to produce epicormic sprouts,  evidence exists that the trait is strongly inherited although  this has not yet been demonstrated conclusively.

    A growth chamber study revealed that seedlings of northern and  southern origin responded very differently to day-length  treatments (43). A day length of 18 hours inhibited the northern  source but not the southern. The most consistent difference among  geographic seed sources has appeared in dormancy relationships.  In general, the more northern sources start growth later and  cease earlier than the more southern sources. Few studies are old  enough to permit good comparisons of volume differences for  different seed sources, but significant differences in early  height growth have been reported.

    While most geographic differences are associated with latitude of  source, there are good indications that environmental differences  associated with altitude are also important. In North Carolina, a  clinal pattern of variation existed from coast to mountain for a  number of seed and leaf characteristics (19).

    Races    At least one distinct ecotype of yellow-poplar has been confirmed.  First evidence came from a plantation near Charleston, SC, where  trees from a Coastal Plain source in eastern North Carolina were  twice as tall 3 years after outplanting as those from a mountain  source in western North Carolina (29). Later, a source from the  Coastal Plain of North Carolina performed poorly in comparison to  upland sources when planted at a Piedmont location but was far  superior to upland sources when planted on organic soils of the  Coastal Plain where pH values seldom exceed 4.0 (19).  Yellow-poplar of the coastal source has a distinctive leaf  pattern and color-rounded lobes and copperish-red leaves. It is  apparently adapted to the highly acidic, water-saturated organic  soils of the Coastal Plain and is able to withstand periodic  inundation without harm (32). Sources with the distinctive leaf  characteristics have been found as far south as Florida.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Liriodendron tulipifera

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Liriodendron tulipifera

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 11
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Status

Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status (e.g. threatened or endangered species, state noxious status, and wetland indicator values).

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Threats

Pests and potential problems

Tulip poplar is unusually free from insects and disease. The yellow-poplar weevil, nectria canker, and fusarium canker are three of the more important enemies of this species.

This species is prone to wind damage and ice damage in exposed situations.

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Management

Management considerations

More info for the terms: litter, root crown, seed tree, tree

Insects:  Compared with other commercial species, yellow-poplar is
relatively free of pests.  Only four insect species have important
impact on harvest.  Tuliptree scale (Toumeyella liriodendri) and
yellow-poplar weevil (Odontopus calceatus) feed on the buds and stems.
Root collar borer (Euzophera ostricolorella) and Columbian timber beetle
(Corthtlus columbianus) bore into the bole and root crown, providing
pathways for other pathogens to enter the tree.  The Columbian timber
beetle also lowers lumber grade by creating a large black streak above
and below beetle burrow entries [1,2,24].

Silviculture:  Clearcutting is the recommended harvest method for
yellow-poplar.  Its seeds survive for 4 to 8 years on the forest floor,
making seed tree cuts unnecessary [6].  When yellow-poplar is harvested
in warm seasons, the wood is susceptible to a wood-staining fungi
(Ceratocystis spp.) which lowers the lumber grade.  Rapid processing of
the logs in warm seasons reduces monetary losses from staining [2].

Season of harvest can have an impact on establishment and growth of
yellow-poplar seedlings.  In stands logged in late spring or summer,
seeds may not germinate until the following year; these seedlings may
not be able to compete with vegetation started the previous year.
However, where a good seed source was previously present, summer
cuttings usually produce an adequate number of seedlings.  If the seed
supply in the litter is scarce, fall, winter, or early spring harvesting
may aid in seedling establishment [2].

Yellow-poplar is shade intolerant and responds well to overstory
thinning.  Yellow-poplar was four times taller and five times larger in
dbh in an 18-year-old stand where all the overstory vegetation had been
removed than in the control [2].  Lamson [18] has provided information
on thinning.  Yellow-poplar responds well to fertilization.  It grew
twice as tall on sites fertilized with diammonium phosphate at a rate of
500 pounds per acre (562 kg/ha) than on control sites [10].

Pollution:  Yellow-poplar is very sensitive to high ozone concentrations [8].
  • 1.  Beck, Donald E. 1990. Liriodendron tulipifera L.  yellow poplar. In:        Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics        of North America. Volume 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington,        DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 406-416.  [14001]
  • 2.  Beck, Donald E.; Della-Bianca, Lino. 1981. Yellow-poplar:        Characteristics and management. Agric. Handb. 583. Asheville, NC: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest        Experiment Station. 91 p.  [10983]
  • 6.  Clark, F. Bryan. 1962. White ash, hackberry, and yellow-poplar seed        remain viable when stored in the forest litter. Indiana Academy of        Science Proceedings. 1962: 112-114.  [237]
  • 8.  Davis, D. D.; Umbach, D. M.; Coppolino, J. B. 1981. Susceptibility of        tree and shrub species and response of black cherry foliage to ozone.        Plant Disease. 65(11): 904-907.  [12517]
  • 10.  Farmer, R. E., Jr. 1981. Early growth of black cherry, oaks, and        yellow-poplar in southern Appalachian plantings. Tree Planters' Notes.        32(3): 12-14.  [12504]
  • 18.  Lamson, Neil I. 1983. Precommercial thinning increases diameter growth        of Appalachian hardwood stump sprouts. Southern Journal of Applied        Forestry. 7(2): 93-97.  [12563]
  • 24.  Millers, Imants; Shriner, David S.; Rizzo, David. 1989. History of        hardwood decline in the eastern United States. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-126.        Bromall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 75 p.  [10925]

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Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)

There are selections from tree nurseries.

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The rapid growth of tulip poplar can present a challenge to other tree species in a mixed stand. This should influence the numbers of tulip poplar included in a mixed planting for conservation purposes, and may require thinning to maintain the values provided by other species. Moderate thinnings at 8-10 year intervals are recommended for timber production.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

Tulip Tree prefers to be grown in full or partial sun, mesic conditions, and fertile soil that is loamy or silty. It develops fairly rapidly for a tree and can produce flowers in less than 10 years.
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Other uses and values

More info for the term: tree

Yellow-poplar has been valued as an ornamental since 1663.  The
tuliplike flowers and leaves are aesthetically pleasing [2].  The
flowers are also valuable nectar producers.  The flowers from a
20-year-old tree produce enough nectar to yield 4 pounds (1.8 kg) of
honey [1].

Yellow-poplar was used medicinally in the late 1800's:  a heart
stimulant was extracted from the inner bark of the root [13], and a
tonic for treating rheumatism and dyspepsia was extracted from stem bark
[28].
  • 28.  Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest.        Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p.  [7707]
  • 1.  Beck, Donald E. 1990. Liriodendron tulipifera L.  yellow poplar. In:        Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics        of North America. Volume 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington,        DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 406-416.  [14001]
  • 2.  Beck, Donald E.; Della-Bianca, Lino. 1981. Yellow-poplar:        Characteristics and management. Agric. Handb. 583. Asheville, NC: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest        Experiment Station. 91 p.  [10983]
  • 13.  Hosie, R. C. 1969. Native trees of Canada. 7th ed. Ottawa, ON: Canadian        Forestry Service, Department of Fisheries and Forestry. 380 p.  [3375]

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Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

More info for the term: reclamation

Yellow-poplar has been planted onto surface coal mine reclamation sites
with variable results, but total failures are rare [7,29].  One-year-old
seedlings planted on sites in Kentucky and Illinois showed good survival
rates (24 percent) for 30 years after planting.  Yellow-poplar should be
planted in mixtures with other hardwoods.  Yellow-poplar growth under
decadent black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) in Indiana was good.  In
eastern Kentucky height growth nearly doubled when yellow-poplar was
interplanted with European alder (Alnus glutinosa) [29].  One-year-old
seedlings are recommended for planting [29].

The lower pH limit for yellow-poplar on acid mine spoils is 4.5 [29].
Liming the spoils before planting has improved yellow-poplar
establishment on acid spoils in Pennsylvania [14].
  • 7.  Davidson, Walter H. 1988. Potential for planting hardwoods in the        Appalachians. In: Smith, H. Clay; Perkey, Arlyn W.; Kidd, William E.,        Jr., eds. Guidelines for regenerating Appalachian hardwood stands:        Workshop proceedings; 1988 May 24-26; Morgantown, WV. SAF Publ. 88-03.        Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Books: 255-268.  [13951]
  • 14.  Hughes, H. Glenn. 1990. Ecological restoration: fact or fantasy on        strip-mined lands in western Pennsylvania?. In: Hughes, H. Glenn;        Bonnicksen, Thomas M., eds. Restoration '89: the new management        challenge: Proceedings, 1st annual meeting of the Society for Ecological        Restoration; 1989 January 16-20; Oakland, CA. Madison, WI: The        University of Wisconsin Arboretum, Society for Ecological Restoration:        237-243.  [14699]
  • 29.  Vogel, Willis G. 1981. A guide for revegetating coal minesoils in the        eastern United States. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-68. Broomall, PA: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest        Experiment Station. 190 p.  [15575]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the term: tree

Livestock prefer the foliage and stems of yellow-poplar over those of
other tree species.  Young trees are often heavily browsed, and
seedlings are frequently eliminated by browsing or trampling [1].
Cattle or other browsers create "browse lines" on older trees [2].

White-tailed deer browse yellow-poplar during all seasons [23].
Northern bobwhites, purple finches, cottontails, red squirrels, gray
squirrels, and white-footed mice consume the samaras [2].
Yellow-bellied sapsuckers use the phloem, and ruby-throated hummingbirds
consume nectar from the flowers [21].
  • 1.  Beck, Donald E. 1990. Liriodendron tulipifera L.  yellow poplar. In:        Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics        of North America. Volume 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington,        DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 406-416.  [14001]
  • 2.  Beck, Donald E.; Della-Bianca, Lino. 1981. Yellow-poplar:        Characteristics and management. Agric. Handb. 583. Asheville, NC: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest        Experiment Station. 91 p.  [10983]
  • 21.  Martin, Alexander C.; Zim, Herbert S.; Nelson, Arnold L. 1951. American        wildlife and plants. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. 500 p.        [4021]
  • 23.  Michael, Edwin D. 1988. Effects of white-tailed deer on Appalachian        hardwood regeneration. In: Smith, H. Clay; Perkey, Arlyn W.; Kidd,        William E., Jr., eds. Guidelines for regenerating Appalachian hardwood        stands: Workshop proceedings; 1988 May 24-26; Morgantown, WV. SAF Publ.        88-03. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Books: 89-96.  [13936]

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Wood Products Value

Yellow-poplar wood is used for construction grade lumber and plywood
[1].  It has straight grain, little shrinkage, and excellent gluing
qualities [2].  In the past is was used for carriage bodies, shingles,
saddle frames, and interior finish wood.  It is currently used for
cabinets, veneer, furniture, and pulp [2].  Yellow-poplar has only fair
value as a fuelwood but good value as kindling [4].
  • 1.  Beck, Donald E. 1990. Liriodendron tulipifera L.  yellow poplar. In:        Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics        of North America. Volume 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington,        DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 406-416.  [14001]
  • 2.  Beck, Donald E.; Della-Bianca, Lino. 1981. Yellow-poplar:        Characteristics and management. Agric. Handb. 583. Asheville, NC: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest        Experiment Station. 91 p.  [10983]
  • 4.  Carey, Andrew B.; Gill, John D. 1980. Firewood and wildlife. Res. Note        299. Broomall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 5 p.  [9925]

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Cover Value

Yellow-poplars in various stages of growth provide hiding and thermal
cover for white-tailed deer, small mammals, upland game birds,
waterfowl, and nongame birds [21].  They provide habitat for the
endangered red-cockaded woodpecker [15].
  • 15.  Kalisz, Paul J.; Boettcher, Susan E. 1991. Active and abandoned        red-cockaded woodpecker habitat in Kentucky. Journal of Wildlife        Management. 55(1): 146-154.  [13837]
  • 21.  Martin, Alexander C.; Zim, Herbert S.; Nelson, Arnold L. 1951. American        wildlife and plants. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. 500 p.        [4021]

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Palatability

Yellow-poplar has been rated fair in palatability for livestock,
white-tailed deer, small mammals, upland game birds, and songbirds [4].
  • 4.  Carey, Andrew B.; Gill, John D. 1980. Firewood and wildlife. Res. Note        299. Broomall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 5 p.  [9925]

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Special Uses

Yellow-poplar is an extremely versatile wood with a multitude of  uses. Most important recent uses of the wood have been for lumber  for unexposed furniture parts and core stock, rotary-cut veneer  for use as crossbands in construction of furniture parts, in  plywood for backs and interior parts, and as pulpwood.  Considerable attention is being given to its use as structural  framing material and for veneers in structural plywood as a  substitute for increasingly scarce softwoods.

    Yellow-poplar, with its shiny green leaves, distinctive flower,  and statuesque appearance, is an excellent ornamental for park  and garden where there is adequate space to accommodate its large  size. It has distinctive value as a honey tree (25). In one  season a tree less than 20 years old reportedly yields 3.6 kg (8  lb) of nectar equal to 1.8 kg (4 lb) of honey. It has nominal  value as a source of wildlife food in comparison to some other  species, but its seeds are eaten by quails, purple finches,  rabbits, gray squirrels, and white-footed mice. Because of its  greater volume per acre, which is due to its greater density and  height, yellow-poplar on very good sites may produce more  dry-weight yield per acre than species such as oak with much  denser wood. It may have potential as a producer of wood fiber  for energy and other uses.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Donald E. Beck

Source: Silvics of North America

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Uses

The wood of tulip poplar is moderately light, soft, brittle, moderately weak, and is very easily worked. It is used for furniture stock, veneer and pulpwood.

Tulip poplar makes a desirable street, shade, or ornamental tree but the large size it attains makes it unsuited for many sites. Its good points for aesthetic use are: (1) rapid growth (2) pyramidal form (3) resistance to insect and disease damage (4) unusual leaves and attractive flowers, and (5) yellow autumnal color.

This species has some wildlife value. The fruits provide food for squirrels in the late fall and winter months, and the white-tailed deer often browse on the twigs.

Tulip poplar is planted for reforestation purposes because of its rapid growth and the commercial importance of its wood, and is often planted as an ornamental. Tulip poplar and white pine were the largest trees in the eastern forest.

Public Domain

USDA NRCS New York State Office

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Wikipedia

Liriodendron tulipifera

Liriodendron tulipifera — known as the tulip tree, American tulip tree, tuliptree, tulip poplar, whitewood, fiddle-tree, and yellow poplar — is the Western Hemisphere representative of the two-species genus Liriodendron, and the tallest eastern hardwood. It is native to eastern North America from Southern Ontario and Illinois eastward across southern New England and south to central Florida and Louisiana. It can grow to more than 50 m (165 feet) in virgin cove forests of the Appalachian Mountains, often with no limbs until it reaches 25–30 m (80–100 feet) in height, making it a very valuable timber tree. It is fast-growing, without the common problems of weak wood strength and short lifespan often seen in fast-growing species. April marks the start of the flowering period in the southern USA (except as noted below); trees at the northern limit of cultivation begin to flower in June. The flowers are pale green or yellow (rarely white), with an orange band on the tepals; they yield large quantities of nectar. The tulip tree is the state tree of Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Description[edit]

The tulip tree is one of the largest of the native trees of the eastern United States, known to reach the height of 190 feet (58 m), with a trunk 10 feet (3 m) in diameter; its ordinary height is 70 feet (21 m) to 100 feet (30 m). It prefers deep, rich, and rather moist soil; it is common, though not abundant, nor is it solitary. Its roots are fleshy. Growth is fairly rapid, and the typical form of its head is conical.[3]

The bark is brown, and furrowed. The branchlets are smooth, and lustrous, initially reddish, maturing to dark gray, and finally brown. Aromatic and bitter. The wood is light yellow to brown, and the sapwood creamy white; light, soft, brittle, close, straight-grained. Sp. gr., 0.4230; weight of cu. ft., 26.36 lbs.

  • Winter buds: Dark red, covered with a bloom, obtuse; scales becoming conspicuous stipules for the unfolding leaf, and persistent until the leaf is fully grown. Flower-bud enclosed in a two-valved, caducous bract.

The alternate leaves are simple, pinnately veined, measuring five to six inches long and wide. They have four lobes, and are heart-shaped or truncate or slightly wedge-shaped at base, entire, and the apex cut across at a shallow angle, making the upper part of the leaf look square; midrib and primary veins prominent. They come out of the bud recurved by the bending down of the petiole near the middle bringing the apex of the folded leaf to the base of the bud, light green, when full grown are bright green, smooth and shining above, paler green beneath, with downy veins. In autumn they turn a clear, bright yellow. Petiole long, slender, angled.

Liriodendron tulipifera golden autumn leaves and seed cones
  • Flowers: May. Perfect, solitary, terminal, greenish yellow, borne on stout peduncles, an inch and a half to two inches long, cup-shaped, erect, conspicuous. The bud is enclosed in a sheath of two triangular bracts which fall as the blossom opens.
  • Calyx: Sepals three, imbricate in bud, reflexed or spreading, somewhat veined, early deciduous.
  • Corolla: Cup-shaped, petals six, two inches long, in two rows, imbricate, hypogynous, greenish yellow, marked toward the base with yellow. Somewhat fleshy in texture.
  • Stamens: Indefinite, imbricate in many ranks on the base of the receptacle; filaments thread-like, short; anthers extrorse, long, two-celled, adnate; cells opening longitudinally.
  • Pistils: Indefinite, imbricate on the long slender receptacle. Ovary one-celled; style acuminate, flattened; stigma short, one-sided, recurved; ovules two.
  • Fruit: Narrow light brown cone, formed by many samara-like carpels which fall, leaving the axis persistent all winter. September, October.[3]
Liriodendron tulipifera, large gray-green flower bud with yellow bract

A description from Our native trees and how to identify them by Harriet Louise Keeler:[3]

The leaves are of unusual shape and develop in a most peculiar and characteristic manner. The leaf-buds are composed of scales as is usual, and these scales grow with the growing shoot. In this respect the buds do not differ from those of many other trees, but what is peculiar is that each pair of scales develops so as to form an oval envelope which contains the young leaf and protects it against changing temperatures until it is strong enough to sustain them without injury. When it has reached that stage the bracts separate, the tiny leaf comes out carefully folded along the line of the midrib, opens as it matures, and until it becomes full grown the bracts do duty as stipules, becoming an inch or more in length before they fall. The leaf is unique in shape, its apex is cut off at the end in a way peculiarly its own, the petioles are long, angled, and so poised that the leaves flutter independently, and their glossy surfaces so catch and toss the light that the effect of the foliage as a whole is much brighter than it otherwise would be.

The flowers are large, brilliant, and on detached trees numerous. Their color is greenish yellow with dashes of red and orange, and their resemblance to a tulip very marked. They do not droop from the spray but sit erect. The fruit is a cone two to three inches long, made of a great number of thin narrow scales attached to a common axis. These scales are each a carpel surrounded by a thin membranous ring. Each cone contains sixty or seventy of these scales, of which only a few are productive. These fruit cones remain on the tree in varied states of dilapidation throughout the winter.

Tulip tree, unfolding leaves

Distribution[edit]

One of the largest and most valuable hardwoods of eastern North America, it is native from southern New England and New York westward to southern Michigan, and south to Louisiana and northern Florida.[4] It is found sparingly in New England, it is abundant on the southern shore of Lake Erie and westward to Illinois. It extends south to north Florida, and is rare west of the Mississippi River, but is found occasionally for ornamentals. Its finest development is in the Southern Appalachian mountains, where trees may exceed 170 feet in height.

Ecology[edit]

Liriodendron columnar trunk in streambank woods, North Carolina

Liriodendron tulipifera is generally considered to be a shade-intolerant species that is most commonly associated with the first century of forest succession. In Appalachian forests, it is a dominant species during the 50–150 years of succession, but is absent or rare in stands of trees 500 years or older. On mesic, fertile soils, it often forms pure or nearly pure stands. It can and does persist in older forests when there is sufficient disturbance to generate large enough gaps for regeneration.[5] Individual trees have been known to live for up to around 500 years.[6]

All young tulip trees and most mature specimens are intolerant of prolonged inundation; however, a coastal plain swamp ecotype in the southeastern United States is relatively flood-tolerant.[7] This ecotype is recognized by its blunt-lobed leaves, which may have a red tint. Liriodendron tulipifera produces a large amount of seed, which is dispersed by wind. The seeds typically travel a distance equal to 4-5 times the height of the tree, and remain viable for 4–7 years. The seeds are not one of the most important food sources for wildlife, but they are eaten by a number of birds and mammals.[8]

Vines, especially wild grapevines, are known to be extremely damaging to young trees of this species. Vines are damaging both due to blocking out solar radiation, and increasing weight on limbs which can lead to bending of the trunk and/or breaking of limbs.[8]

Taxonomy and naming[edit]

Tulip tree sign at Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana, with Miami-Illinois language name, "oonseentia"

Originally described by Linnaeus, Liriodendron tulipifera is one of two species in the genus Liriodendron in the magnolia family. The name Liriodendron is Greek for "lily tree".[9] It is also called the tuliptree Magnolia, or sometimes, by the lumber industry, as the tulip poplar or yellow poplar. However, it is not closely related to true lilies, tulips or poplars.

The tulip tree has impressed itself upon popular attention in many ways, and consequently has many common names. The tree's traditional name in the Miami-Illinois language is "oonseentia". Native Americans so habitually made their dugout canoes of its trunk that the early settlers west of the Appalachian Mountains called it Canoewood. The color of its wood gives it the name Whitewood. In areas near the Mississippi River it is called a poplar largely because of the fluttering habits of its leaves, in which it resembles trees of that genus. It is sometimes called "fiddle tree," because its peculiar leaves, with their arched bases and in-cut sides, suggest the violin shape.[10] The external resemblance of its flowers to tulips named it the Tulip-tree.[3] In their internal structure, however, they are quite different. Instead of the triple arrangements of stamens and pistil parts, they have indefinite numbers arranged in spirals.[11]

East Central Florida ecotype[edit]

Parts of east-central Florida near Orlando have an ecotype with similar-looking leaves to the coastal plain variant of the Carolinas; it flowers much earlier (usually in March, although flowering can begin in late January), with a smaller yellower bloom than other types. This east central Florida ecotype seems to have the best ability to tolerate very wet conditions, where it may grow short pencil-like root structures (pneumatophores) similar to those produced by other swamp trees in warm climates. Superior resistance to drought, pests and wind is also noted. Some individuals retain their leaves all year unless a hard frost strikes. Places where it may be seen include Dr. Howard A. Kelly Park, Lake Eola Park, Spring Hammock Preserve, and the University of Central Florida Arboretum.

Cultivation and use[edit]

Liriodendron tulipifera grows readily from seeds, which should be sown in a fine soft mould, and in a cool and shady situation. If sown in autumn they come up the succeeding spring, but if sown in spring they often remain a year in the ground. Loudon says that seeds from the highest branches of old trees are most likely to germinate. It is readily propagated from cuttings and easily transplanted.[3]

In landscaping[edit]

Mature example of the east central Florida ecotype Dr. Howard A. Kelly Park near Apopka, Florida.

Tulip trees make magnificently shaped specimen trees, but are very large, growing to about 35 m in good soil. They grow best in deep well-drained loam which has thick dark topsoil. They show stronger response to fertilizer compounds (those with low salt index are preferred) than most other trees, but soil structure and organic matter content are more important. The southeastern coastal plain and east central Florida ecotypes occur in wet but not stagnant soils which are high in organic matter. All tulip trees are unreliable in clay flats which are subject to ponding and flooding. Like other members of the Magnolia family, they have fleshy roots that are easily broken if handled roughly. Transplanting should be done in early spring, before leaf-out; this timing is especially important in the more northern areas. Fall planting is often successful in Florida. The east central Florida ecotype may be more easily moved than other strains because its roots grow over nine or ten months every year—several months longer than other ecotypes. Most tulip trees have low tolerance of drought, although Florida natives (especially the east central ecotype) fare better than southeastern coastal plain or northern inland specimens.

It is recommended as a shade tree.[3] The tree's tall and rapid growth is a function of its shade intolerance. Grown in the full sun, the species tends to grow shorter, slower, and rounder, making it adaptable to landscape planting. In forest settings, most investment is made in the trunk (i.e., the branches are weak and easily break off, a sign of axial dominance) and lower branches are lost early as new, higher branches closer to the sun continue the growth spurt upward. A tree just 15 years old may already reach 40 feet in height with no branches within reach of humans standing on the ground.

Cultivars[edit]

  • 'Ardis' - shorter, with smaller leaves than wild form. Leaves shallow-lobed with waist near top.
  • 'Arnold' - narrow, columnar crown; may flower at early age.
  • 'Aureomarginatum' - variegated form with pale-edged leaves; sold as 'Flashlight' or 'Majestic Beauty'.
  • 'Fastigatum' - similar form to 'Arnold'.
  • 'Florida Strain' - blunt-lobed leaves, fast grower, flowers at early age.
  • 'Integrifolium' - leaves without lower lobes.
  • 'JFS-Oz' - somewhat compact oval form with straight leader, leaves dark and glossy; sold as 'Emerald City.'
  • 'Leucanthum' - flowers white or nearly white.
  • 'Little Volunteer' - almost as diminutive as 'Ardis.' Leaves more deeply lobed than 'Ardis' with waist in middle.
  • 'Mediopictum' - variegated form with yellow spot near center of leaf.
  • 'Roothaan' - blunt-lobed leaves.

The species[12] and its variegated cultivar 'Aureomarginatum'[13] have both gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

Liriodendron tulipifera has been introduced to many temperate parts of the world, at least as far north as Sykkylven, Norway.

Honey[edit]

This tree species is a major honey plant in the eastern United States, yielding a dark reddish, fairly strong honey which gets mixed reviews as a table honey but is favorably regarded by bakers. Nectar is produced in the orange parts of the flowers[citation needed]. Some specimens may be poor nectar producers simply because they have relatively little orange in their flowers[citation needed]. On the other hand, the east central Florida ecotype may secrete copious amounts of nectar (see the images of its flowers below).

Wood[edit]

The soft, fine-grained wood of tulip trees is known as "poplar" (short for "yellow poplar") in the U.S., but marketed abroad as "American tulipwood" or by other names. It is very widely used where a cheap, easy-to-work and stable wood is needed. The sapwood is usually a creamy off-white color. While the heartwood is usually a pale green, it can take on streaks of red, purple, or even black; depending on the extractives content (i.e. the soil conditions where the tree was grown, etc.). It is clearly the wood of choice for use in organs, due to its ability to take a fine, smooth, precisely cut finish and so to effectively seal against pipes and valves. It is also commonly used for siding clapboards. Its wood may be compared in texture, strength, and softness to white pine.

Used for interior finish of houses, for siding, for panels of carriages, for coffin boxes, pattern timber, and wooden ware. During scarcity of the better qualities of white pine, tulip wood has taken its place to some extent, particularly when very wide boards are required.[3]

It also has a reputation for being resistant to termites, and in the Upland South (and perhaps elsewhere) house and barn sills were often made of tulip poplar beams.

Arts[edit]

The tulip tree has been referenced in many poems and the namesakes of other poems, such as William Stafford's "Tulip Tree."[14]

Another form of art that the tulip tree is a major part of is wood carving. The tulip poplar can be very useful and has been one of the favorite types of trees for wood carving by sculptures such as Wilhelm Schimmel and Shields Landon Jones.[15][16]

History[edit]

In the Cretaceous age the genus was represented by several species, and was widely distributed over North America and Europe. Its remains are also found in Tertiary rocks.[3]

See also[edit]

  • The Queens Giant, a tulip tree that is the oldest living thing in the New York Metropolitan area (350–450 years old, 40 m / 134 feet tall)
  • Spathodea campanulata, often known as the African tulip tree, an unrelated plant in a separate family (Bignoniaceae).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tropicos
  2. ^ "The Plant List". The Plant List. 2012-03-23. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Keeler, Harriet L. (1900). Our Native Trees and How to Identify Them. New York: Charles Scriber's Sons. pp. 14–19. 
  4. ^ "Tulip tree." McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006. Credo Reference. Web. 26 September 2012.
  5. ^ "Richard T. Busing, "Disturbance and the Population Dynamics of Liriodendron Tulipifera: Simulations with a Spatial Model of Forest Succession", Journal of Ecology, Vol. 83, No. 1. (Feb., 1995), pp. 45-53". Links.jstor.org. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  6. ^ "Eastern OLDLIST: A database of maximum tree ages for Eastern North America". Ldeo.columbia.edu. 1972-12-15. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  7. ^ Parks CR, Wendel JF, Sewell MM, Qiu Y-L (1994). The significance of allozyme variation and introgression in the Liriodendron tulipifera complex (Magnoliaceae). Amer. J. Bot. 81 (7): 878-889 abstract and first page
  8. ^ a b "''Silvics of North America'', USDA Forest Service (1990)". Na.fs.fed.us. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  9. ^ "Nature Ramblings". Science News-Letter 59: 300. 12 May 1951. doi:10.2307/3928783. 
  10. ^ "Nature Ramblings". Science News-Letter 79: 384. 17 June 1961. doi:10.2307/3942819. 
  11. ^ "Nature Ramblings". Science News-Letter 67 (19): 302. 7 May 1955. doi:10.2307/3934969. 
  12. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Liriodendron tulipifera". Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  13. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Liriodendron tulipifera 'Aureomarginatum'". Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  14. ^ Stafford, William. Stories That Could Be True. New York: Harper & Row, 1977. Print.
  15. ^ "SCHIMMEL, WILHELM (1817-1890)." The Encyclopedia of American Folk Art. London: Routledge, 2003. Credo Reference. Web. 26 September 2012.
  16. ^ "JONES, SHIELDS LANDON (1901-1997)." The Encyclopedia of American Folk Art. London: Routledge, 2003. Credo Reference. Web. 26 September 2012.
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Notes

Comments

Leaf and flower color variation are widespread in this species, but the variation is continuous and without any discernible taxonomic significance. 

 Liriodendron tulipifera is widely cultivated; a few cultivars have been introduced to horticulture, and the hybrid L. tulipifera × L. chinense is known. Liriodendron tulipifera is reported to have escaped from cultivation in Texas, but I have seen no specimens. The specimens from Barry and Ozark counties, Missouri, may not be indigenous.

Liriodendron tulipifera is the state tree of both Indiana and Tennessee.

Native American tribes used Liriodendron tulipifera for making canoes. Cherokee and Rappahannock tribes used bark of the roots as a bitter tonic and heart stimulant, and it was considered useful in healing fevers, rheumatism, and digestive disorders (D. E. Moerman 1986).

The largest known tree of Liriodendron tulipifera , 44.5 m in height with a trunk diameter of 3.02 m, is recorded from Bedford, Virginia (American Forestry Association 1994).

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Common Names

yellow-poplar
blue-poplar
tulip-poplar
tuliptree
yellow wood

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The currently accepted scientific name of yellow-poplar is Liriodendron
tulipifera L. (Magnoliaceae) [30]. Recognized varieties and forms are
as follows [28]:

L. t. var. fastigiatum (L.) Jaeq.
L. t. var. obtusilobum (L.) Michx.
L. t. forma aureomarginatum Schwerin
L. t. forma integrifolium Kirchr.
  • 30.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982.        National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names.        SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p.  [11573]
  • 28.  Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest.        Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p.  [7707]

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