Types of Trees In Michigan: Tulip Tree

The many types of trees in Michigan make living in this part of the country very appealing to most people. There are lots of varieties and they grow in a lot of different shapes and sizes. They’re all special in their own way, but one type of flowering tree in Michigan that really stands out is the Tulip Tree. 

Now, we know that it’s the state tree of Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. But the tulip tree is very well suited for growing here in the Wolverine state. Their ideal USDA hardiness zone is 4 to 9. Michigan’s hardiness zone is 6. 

So, let’s take a closer look at this popular type of tree in Michigan to see if you may want to plant one in your backyard. 

Scientific (And Other) Names

The scientific name for the tulip tree is Liriodendron tulipifera. But some of the more common names you’ll hear it called are yellow poplar, fiddle tree, whitewood, and American tulip tree.

Distinct Characteristics Of A Tulip Tree

Of all of the types of trees in Michigan, there are two distinct characteristics of a tulip tree. Its height and its flowers. A mature tulip tree can grow to over 120 feet tall, which makes them some of the tallest trees on the eastern side of North America. But that’s not the only thing that makes them unique. It’s their flowers that you’ll notice providing a beauty that can’t be matched.

A tulip tree’s flowering season begins in April in the southern United States, but around here, you may not see flowers popping up until June. When they do you’ll notice their colors. They’re typically pale green or yellow, (and occasionally white), with an orange stripe on the tepals. 

types of trees in Michigan
Tulip Poplar Tree

A trait of their flower is that they can produce a lot of nectar.  It’ll collect on the sepals, which makes the honey bees and hummingbirds happy. Researchers say some tulip trees can produce as much as 8 pounds of nectar. 

Where To Plant Your Tulip Tree

Two things have a major impact on the growth of a tulip tree. It’s the soil and the sun. Although they can grow in partial sunlight, they grow much better in full sunlight. 

And when you’re picking your spot, don’t just look up, make sure you look down, too. Tulip trees thrive on slightly acidic, well-drained soils, and should not be planted in dry or desert areas.

One thing to keep in mind is that they are susceptible to wind damage since they can grow to be so tall. You also have to be mindful of the fact that ice can bring branches, or sometimes an entire tulip tree down. So, plant it as far away from your house as possible. 

A Great Addition To Any Yard

Tulip trees can add beauty to any backyard. They’re also great for shade and a good conversation starter. Or just sit back and watch all of the birds and bees come swooping in for a taste of its nectar. There are many reasons to have a tulip tree as part of your landscape design.

If you’re thinking about planting a tulip tree in your yard, or want a little extra help caring for one that’s already growing near your house, we can help. Safari Tree’s experts can ensure your trees are taken care of all year round. 

From injections to pruning and everything in between, we will make sure that your trees will always complement your yard.