A Golden Tree: The Tulip Poplar

I've written about Tennessee's state tree, the Tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) before but I decided in order to show as many fall colors as possible I needed to split my pictures into several posts. Yes I really took that many pictures! That's the danger of the digital world, I haven't worried about wasting film in years.

This particular tree stands on our western side and casts its shadow over the backyard in the afternoon.  The leaves are glowing with a bright yellow gold and have a touch of brown on the edges. Our tulip poplar tree was severely hurt in the drought of 2007 but seems to have rebounded nicely since then.  It suffered some dead branches but overall the tree is healthy.

Within site of our home I can point out several other tulip poplars. These tall stately trees were used by the early settlers in Tennessee to build their homes.  They became such an important tree to their survival that when the Tennessee legislature was looking to name a state tree in 1947 the historical significance of the tulip poplar won out and it became our state tree.  It grows from one end of our state to the other.

It grows very large, very fast so never plant one close to the house!  I have several seedlings that have volunteered in our front garden that will need moved this fall.  In the spring they bloom with yellow flower.  You can see a picture of one in bloom in my header on the left.  That picture was actually taken in Cades Cove over in the Smoky Mountains.  A fantastic place to visit for fall color!

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