What it looks like

The tulip tree is a large, fast-growing tree, up to 35 metres tall with a trunk up to 160 centimetres in diameter. As its name suggest, the tulip tree produces beautiful yellow-green flowers that are about 5 centimetres long. They have 6 petals and are shaped like tulip flowers and bloom in the spring. Its leaves are 7 to 12 centimetres long and are straight across the top, with 4 lobes beneath. They are light green and turn yellow in the fall. The tulip tree’s bark is smooth and dark green when the tree is young, then turns brown and ridged.

Where it is found

The tulip tree grows in only a few parts of Ontario: on the south shore of Lake Huron, the north shore of Lake Erie, and in the Niagara Peninsula.

Planting Tips

  • Size: 25 to 30 metres tall, thick straight trunks 50 to 100 centimetres in diameter
  • Moisture: Needs a lot of moisture during the summer
  • Shade: Needs full sun
  • Soil: Prefers sand and sandy loam

Tulip trees need deep, rich, moist soil. They are fast-growing with deep and wide-spread roots.

Did you know?

The seeds of the tulip tree grow every year and are a source of food for birds and small mammals.

Image credits

  • Tree: Jean-Pol Grandmont
  • Leaf: Daniel Tigner, Canadian Forest Tree Essences
  • Bark: Daniel Tigner, Canadian Forest Tree Essences
  • Flower: Daniel Tigner, Canadian Forest Tree Essences