Heralded for its strength and beauty, the Yellow Poplar has been celebrated for centuries; it remains, as Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “the Juno of our Groves”…
What distinguishes the lovely Yellow Poplar?
Elegant tulip-shaped leaves.
Furrowed gray bark.
Longer-than-average lifespan for such a fast-growing specimen.
Wood that is uncharacteristically strong.
Rich and sunny fall colors.
Charming array of colorful spring flowers.
Keeping up appearances…
Although its average height ranges between 60-150 ft., Appalachian forests include Yellow Poplars that loom at nearly 180 ft. With a shape somewhere between pyramidal and conical, this fast-growing shade tree has an average spread of 30-50 ft. The Yellow Poplar belongs to the Magnoliaceae family, characterized by how their stamens and pistils are arranged along a conical receptacle instead of rings; its structure is more akin to the Magnolia tree than to the regular Poplar species. The Yellow Poplar exhibits fleshy roots and an aromatic bitter-tasting bark that darkens and furrows as it ages. Deciduous, its four-lobed green leaves turn a majestic gold in autumn; between May and June, the flowering Yellow Poplar blooms with a beautiful array of red- and orange-streaked yellow-green flowers.
A friendly recommendation.
The Yellow Poplar reigns as one of the most common native trees of the United States. Cited as having a 4-9 zone hardiness rating, this shade tree thrives in the temperate and subtropical regions of the northern hemisphere. It craves water, moist well-drained soil, and plenty of sunlight.
Awesome tree trivia!
- Officially termed Liriodendron Tulipifera and nicknamed “the Tulip Tree”, it is also celebrated as the state tree of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana.
- Sources cite the Yellow Poplar as the Native American’s wood of choice for creating canoes since the 1500-1600s; in Jamestown, Virginia, the first settlers were said to be enamored with the tree, and it’s reputed that John Tradescant exported it to Europe in 1656, where it was soon after widely cultivated.
This Tree's Zone: 4 to 9
Your Growing Zone:
|Fall Foliage||Golden yellow|
|Bloom||Yellow with orange band|
|Bloom Time||May to June|
|Shape||Pyramidal to broad conical|
|Size||60 to 150 feet|
|Spread||30 to 50 feet|