Authors as Published

Alex X. Niemiera, Associate Professor, Department of Horticulture

(Liriodendron tulipifera)


Foliage: Deciduous broadleaf

Height: 90 feet

Spread: 50 feet

Shape: Upright oval

Tuliptree is a very tall, large tree with a straight trunk. It bears beautiful tulip-shaped flowers in May but generally go unnoticed since they high in the tree.

Plant Needs:

Zone: 5 to 9

Light: Partial shade to full sun

Moisture: Moist to average

Soil Type: Sandy, loam, or clay

pH Range: 3.7 to 6.8


Suggested uses for this plant include shade tree and specimen plant.

Planting Notes:

Difficult to transplant.

Once established, it is a fast-growing tree.

Move young plants with balled and burlapped roots in the spring.

Plant in a location where it will have plenty of room to develop.

Select a site with fertile, deep, moist soil.


Prune in the winter.

Easy to grow once established.


Susceptible to a number of pests, including aphids and scale insects.

Leaves may turn yellow and drop during hot, dry periods of midsummer, especially in the Tidewater area.


Consult local garden centers, historic or public gardens and arboreta regarding cultivars and related species that grow well in your area.

Cultivars of Liriodendron tulipifera:

No important cultivars.


The tuliptree is too large for the average-sized home landscape and should be planted only where it has ample growing space.


This material was developed by Carol Ness as part of the Interactive Design and Development Project funded by the Kellogg Foundation.

Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

Publication Date

May 1, 2009

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