Not too long ago, we shared some advice on a guide to plant a flowering dogwood tree. Today, allow us to enhance your Buffalo NY landscape even more by planting a tulip tree! Of course, when planting you should discuss with a certified arborist in WNY to ensure you’re putting down roots in the ideal spot, you’ll have enough space, and that the tree will thrive.
Why should I plant a tulip tree in WNY?
The natural beauty of a mature tulip tree alone should be enough to have you seriously considering planting one. A fully grown tulip tree will have these incredible yellow-green flowers that strongly resemble a classic tulip, giving them their namesake.
Tulip trees have been known as a workhorse tree since before Europeans came to the Americas. Natives would make canoes from the wood and use the bark for medicinal purposes. Colonists would use the wood for their buckets, feeding troughs and other farming equipment. Later Americans would use the wood as railroad ties. That isn’t even really going into its aesthetics at all!
Tulip Trees Aesthetic Value
Speaking of, George Washington himself recognized the beauty of these trees, having planted them all over Mount Vernon. They still stand tall today, hundreds of years later, healthy as could be.
Tulip tree coloration is vibrant and beautiful. The hint of orange in the flower really comes through on the tree in full bloom. That fall orange associated with the ending of a season instead signifies a tree full of life here. The leaves have a vibrant verdant green color that brings the whole look together.
Tulip Tree Care Tips from Buffalo NY Landscapers
Tulip trees can be planted throughout much of the year. The optimal time to get them in the ground is spring through early fall. Tulip trees grow rapidly at first, about 25 inches a year, but slow down as they mature. Fully grown, these native giants can reach heights well over 80 feet. In fact, the tallest recorded tulip tree is almost 200ft tall!
Due to their massive size at maturity, these trees are best planted in areas with lots of room for them to grow. Their canopy can be over 40 feet wide (typically about half the height). It’s also best to not plant many ground-level plants around it that require high sun levels.
Tulip trees naturally repel many common tree diseases. It resists many insects that would devour other trees. Aside from the branches, the biggest things to watch out for when your tree has grown are aphids and the sticky, saplike honeydew they produce; flower petals falling shortly after bloom and littering the yard, and tree sap falling to the ground. Because of those last two, you probably shouldn’t plant this tree lining your driveway.
Tulip trees prefer a sunny spot and slightly acidic, moist soil that’s well-drained and bolstered by compost. Wood Chips help protect the young tree’s roots and seal in moisture so that the plant can grow. Too much shade can stunt growth and brown the leaves, causing an unsightly appearance. Keep up with watering the new tree too, as going too long without watering can cause the leaves to begin falling early. Fertilizers work great for young tulip trees, especially stake, granular or liquid-based solutions. On older trees, fertilizer is generally not needed.
Tulip Tree Pruning
Tulip trees’ rapid growth does mean that regular pruning is essential to keep the canopy shapely. Because it grows rapidly, large branches could be less sturdy than they appear, so an arborist should handle those branches. Dead and weak growth should be removed late winter – early spring and the tree will need to be thinned out every few years.
Tulip trees are an aesthetic marvel and a perfect shade tree for your Buffalo, NY landscape. They attract many forms of wildlife such as birds, hummingbirds, and butterflies! Contact a licensed, WNY arborist today about getting one planted in your yard.
Please reach out any time by calling 716.916.2193 or filling out a contact form to get in touch with an ISA-certified arborist. Stay up to date with our blog so you can get more guides on what to plant next, blurbs on proper procedures for plant healthcare, and more. We want to help make your Buffalo, NY landscape as beautiful as possible. Here at Bradley Trees, we believe the best customer is an educated one, so we provide as many tools as possible to keep you as informed as possible. Check out the services that our certified arborists offer!