Tulip trees generally grow 80 to 100 feet tall. Vast and deciduous, tulip trees are also commonly known as yellow poplars or tulip poplars. Their scientific name is Liriodendron tulipifera. The trees are part of the Magnoliaceae family, and originate in the eastern region of North America.
Tulip trees grow best in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4 and lower. Tulip trees thrive when cultivated in temperate climates.
Plant tulip trees in either partial sun or full sun. Full sun is preferable for tulip tree cultivation when the soil is very moist, deep and rich. Occasional wetness of the soil is tolerated by the trees. Mildly acidic soil is also acceptable. Mature tulip trees are capable of adapting to dry soils due to their more advanced root systems.
Tulip trees can be propagated via either root cuttings or seed. It is beneficial to sow the seeds right after they ripen, in an area that receives abundant shade. If sowing is done outdoors, stratify the seeds first by providing 12 weeks of cold temperatures before planting. The success rate is low for seed germination. Keep seedling tulip trees in a greenhouse or protected area over their first winter.
Water tulip trees regularly for successful growth, but never over-water the plants. Younger tulip trees that have been root-pruned need regular watering for a minimum of three years after transplanting.
Tulip trees are highly sensitive to any transplantation during the fall months. This sensitivity is very common with woody plants that have coarse and fleshy roots. Take care when amending, watering, mulching and fertilizing the plant at this time so it remains strong enough to survive its first winter season outdoors.