Tulip Poplar

Arbor walk #13

This native tree’s common name comes from its flower that is shaped like a tulip. In 1991, WU was given this tree as a seedling. It was grown from seed taken from the original Tulip Trees planted by George Washington in 1785 at his Mount Vernon home.

Common Name Tulip Poplar Tree
Latin Name Liriodendron tulipifera
Type Native, Historic, Shade
Diameter 23″ dbh
Color of Leaf Dark yellow green, yellow fall color
Shape of Leaf 4 Main lobes, 2 top lobes form a broad notch
Color of Flower Greenish yellow & orange
Shape of Flower Tulip-like flowers
Bark Characteristics Thin, smooth & finely fissured when young, deeply furrowed when mature

Also known as the Yellow Poplar, the most distinct feature of this beautiful tree are its unique broad, tulip shaped leaves in addition to its flowers that bloom in the late spring. Although now it is mainly used for decorative purposes, especially in colonial times, this tree was very commonly used in the lumber industry. In the late 1700’s, very large Poplars of over 200 feet tall were found. No wonder George Washington chose it to become Mt. Vernon’s official Bicentennial tree!

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