Should I chop Down my tulip tree?

Last year, i found a small tree growing near the side of the house-it was a tulip tree (normally not common north of Virginia, we are oputside Boston, MA). i looked it up-this tree is supposed to have beatiful white blossoms in the spring. Well, now the tree is growing ferociously-it is about 16’ high, and trunk is about 2" in diameter. it didn’t flower this pring-should i cut it down? Still it is a pretty tree-the leaves are so unusual.
Anybody have these trees?

To cut or not to cut the tulip tree - surely one of the Great Issues of our time.

Well, first of all it’ll take time for the tree to flower, maybe another couple years or more. The blooms are a pale green-yellow with reddish markings near the base, not white, and they are partially hidden by the foliage. It grows into a very large and stately tree, but you’re in for trouble if it’s too close to the house.

I have a beautiful tulip tree in my back yard. I would echo Jackmanni. This has the potential to grow to be a very large tree; it’s not a species that you want growing really close to your house. How close is it?

Like **Jackmannii ** and Crotalus, I suspect what you have is also commonly referred to as a yellow poplar (see this LINK for pictures) and not, as I’m thinking you’re thinking, a southern magnolia (see this LINK for pictures). Yellow poplars are quite common in your area and will get quite large. They’re fast growing, sun loving trees.

If it’s close to the house you’d better cut it down as it will impact your foundation and structure. If it’s far enough away from the house to allow it to grow, I’d leave it. They are pretty trees and very hardy. It’ll be a few more years before it starts flowering.

You could always try to transplant it. What do you have to lose?

This is not a very Great Debate. Solicitations for opinions do better in IMHO where people willing to voice their opinions without getting beat up over “cites” are more likely to come to your aid.

[ /Moderating ]

We call these tulip poplars in my neck of the woods.

As I understand it, only female trees flower, and even then, not until they are ten years old or so. (I may be mistaken, but I believe I remember that there are male and female trees of this species.)

These trees grow fast, and generally straight up. In a mature tree, the flowers may be so high off the ground you might not get to appreciate them. (The blossoms](http://www.botanypictures.com/plantimages/liriodendron%20tulipifera%2003%20(tulip%20tree).JPG) tend to be yellow-to-yellowish-white with orange bits.) Some folks cut these trees off at eye level after a few years of growth to force them to fork and spread closer to the ground.

A hundred years on, this will be a gigantic tree, both in height and girth. And it will be quite large in very few years. Unless it has room to grow, cut it down or relocate it.

You got some bad information WRT male and female yellow poplars, tulip poplars, tulip trees, or whatever the local variations in naming conventions suits your ears. The flowers on the tree are complete - - meaning both male and female parts - - but you’re correct in that it takes a few years for the tree to start making flowers.

Even the latin name for the tree is pretty - - *Liriodendron tulipifera * - - and it’s in the magnolia family. It’s the only example we have remaining of a plant in that genus.

The wood is relatively soft for a hardwood. It tends to be weather and bug resistant, and was valued for building materials due to those characteristics, but also due to its unbranching and upright growth habits.

The tulip tree is my favoritest tree of them all.

They’re beautiful trees, once they mature. The leaves are so distinctive. I’d keep it, even if it doesn’t have blossoms.

Forget about the flowers, and decide if it’s to close to the house. Cut it if it is and buy a new one if you can’t live without one.

They are lovely trees, though not worth endangering your house over, if that’s a concern.

“In youth, the tulip-tree, or Liriodendron Tulipiferum, the most magnificent of American foresters, has a trunk peculiarly smooth, and often rises to a great height without lateral branches; but, in its riper age, the bark becomes gnarled and uneven, while many short limbs make their appearance on the stem.”

From The Gold-Bug, Edgar Allan Poe

When I was growing up, my grandparents had a large tulip tree in their backyard. It had suffered some injury or other problem which someone felt it necessary to treat by partially filling the trunk with cement, which I found fascinating. Decades later, the tree was still thriving.

My parents have a lovely huge tulip tree in their front yard. It provides quite a lot of shade in the summer. It’s positioned so that it doesn’t threaten the house or anything else. I say, if it’s in a good position, leave it. They’re attractive, sturdy trees.

I first thought of The Gold Bug, too.
If you cut it down, be sure to check the branches for skulls, first.