There’s a medium-sized Tulip Tree in the backyard at Audubon.
While most sources recognize American Sycamore as the tree in the Northeast that will reach the largest diameter, the Tulip Tree is listed as the one that will reach the greatest height. Some sources claim it will get as high as 200 feet, most sources say around 100-150. Tulip Tree is in the Magnolia family – Magnoliaceae.
One source referred to it as The King of the Magnolias. Other common names include Tulip poplar, Tulipwood, Whitewood, American Whitewood, Canary Whitewood, White poplar, Yellow poplar, Hickory poplar, Saddletree and Canoewood. (Don’t let the “poplar” names confuse you… it is not related to true poplars.)
The latin name is Liriodendron (lily-like tree) tulipifera. I don’t have any pictures of the flowers… some of the links below do. The flowers are very showy and lovely… and perhaps lily-like. Some say the “tulip” part of the name comes from the flowers resembling tulips. Most agree that the leaf is tulip-shaped.
The wood is apparently quite easy to work with, which is why, I’m sure, it shows up as sculpture, musical instruments, boxes, and furniture. One of the common names, Canoewood, points to another use. A single trunk can be carved and hollowed to form a canoe.
Medicinal uses exist for extracts from the bark and roots.
Want to know more? Check out these links:
(nice photos of all but the mature fruit)
(includes mature fruit photo)
(includes a county-by-county native range map)
P.S. It’s snowing here in Western New York!