Here’s a cool tree for central Ohio that’s not commonly planted although it is indigenous here. Liriodendron tulipifera is typically found in the hilly areas of southern and western Ohio. It is a common native throughout the Appalachian region. Around here it is common in the hills of Logan County where it is easily spotted for its clean cut, bright green leaves standing out above the forest canopy.
Tuliptree is the state tree of Indiana. You’ll often see descriptions of this tree as having “tulip like flowers”. This is true but flowers are typically only found at the top of tall trees so are of little ornamental value.
Tuliptree is rapid growing, straight and tall. The leaves also resemble tulip flowers in cross section which is interesting. They turn bright yellow in fall. All plants are classified by their flowers which puts this tree in the Magnolia family. Typically there are no disease or insect problems to be concerned with. Although tuliptree prefers fertile, well drained soil, in central Ohio’s heavy clay, this means avoid wet spots!
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