This tree has many common names: Tulip Magnolia, Tulip Poplar, Yellow Poplar, or the Tuliptree. The Tuliptree, a member of the Magnoliaceae family, gets its name from the 2-2.5 inch long flowers they are similar to a tulip in shape. The leaves emerge bright green and are 3-8 inches across and just as long, coloring a bright yellow in the fall. Hardy in zones 4 to 9, this tree prefers a slightly acidic soil and grows quite rapidly. A large tree reaching heights in excess of 70 feet and a open crown of 40-50 feet in width. In its youth the Tuliptree is somewhat pyramidal, with a rapid growth pattern this tree would quickly out grow a small landscape. I would recommend this tree for use in large open areas where its canopy and root zone would not be restricted.
Not immune to pest and disease, the Tuliptree is susceptible to Verticillium Wilt, cankers, powdery mildew, as well as aphids and scale. Aphids are probably the most prevalent problem, for the amount of the ‘honeydew’ produced. Dirr does a much better job explaining the problems associated with this tree. Not to dissuade you from planting this tree there are many great features, from its large stature and great fall color this tree deserves planting in a location that will allow it to spread its branches and its roots. There are several cultivars in production: ‘Arnold’ and ‘Compactum’ are a couple of trees that I hope to review in the future.