Tulip Tree Planting


The tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipfera), is a fast-growing tree that needs vast room for growth. These yellow wood trees grow best in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5 to 9A with sandy or clay soils. They prefer a moist climate but are heady and can grow well in most areas. Best planted in full sun to partial shade, tulip trees grow to 90 feet with a width of up to 50 feet. Planting should take place in early spring for prosperous growth.

Step 1

Prepare the area to plant the tree. Rototill the soil in a 2-foot-square area. Remove all sod and debris from the area where the tree will rest. Add a compost material for extremely clay-bound soil and work it into the soil.

Step 2

Soak the root ball of the tree in water for one hour prior to planting. This will increase the survival rate of the young tree. Tulip trees should be transplanted at a young age due to their fast-growing nature.

Step 3

Dig a hole in the 2-foot-square area the depth of the root ball of the tree. The entire root system should be placed underground. Cover the entire root surface with topsoil and firmly press around the tree. Firm the soil across the entire area, snugly fitting the tree into place.

Step 4

Water the area well. Maintain the tree with an annual pruning in winter months. Inspect the tree often for signs of pests.

Step 5

Repeat Steps 1 through 4 for additional trees, maintaining a spacing of 25 feet between trees.

Tips and Warnings

  • Plant the tulip tree away from structures.

Things You'll Need

  • Rototiller
  • Pointed shovel
  • Water


  • USDA: Tulip Tree Planting Guide
  • Forest Service--Dept of Agriculture: Tulip Tree
  • Tree Help: Tulip Tree

Who Can Help

  • Indiana State: State Tree
Keywords: plant tulip tree, grow tulip tree, planting tulip tree