This little sapling is the offspring of a mature 30+ year old tulip poplar that my dad planted in his yard. My dad is one of those guys that can name just about any tree he sees. Its a talent he learned from growing up very close to nature in the deep country of Kentucky. I love to hear him tell stories of when he was a young boy and he and his brothers would go out in the woods and cut down young gum trees to make wheels for home made go-karts.
Recently, I had the opportunity to walk our farm with him, my husband, and our two granddaughters to look for walnut trees. I really love the exuberance that he has for the things that link him with his childhood. Listening to his fond memories warms my heart. 🙂
My dad has a high respect for the tulip poplar. It is one of the few kinds of trees that I know of him choosing to plant in his yard besides fruit bearing trees and a blue spruce. He has planted at least 3 of them himself, and to me, that speaks of his fondness for the tulip poplar. I am so happy to have one planted in my yard now as well.
Information about Tulip Polar Trees
The tulip poplar is also called tulip tree, yellow poplar, or white poplar. They are a fast-growing deciduous hardwood tree that soars to 120 ft at maturity. It is not uncommon for them to grow as much as 3 ft in the growing season. Their leaves have 4 large lobes that resemble the outline of a tulip and in the fall they turn from green to bright yellow. In the springtime they produce large tri-colored flowers of green, yellow, and orange high in their canopy. The tulip shaped flowers contain seeds called samara which are seeds with wings. In the fall, the flowers start to drop these seeds and continue to drop them throughout the winter. The winged samara help produce saplings some distance from the parent tree. Over all this is a very beautiful tree with a lovely symmetrical shaped canopy that provides a ton of shade as it graciously offers its branches for a swing or two.