How to Maintain a Tulip Poplar Tree


Tulip poplar trees actually belong to the magnolia family and not the poplar family. They feature green leaves and cup-like yellow or white blooms that resemble tulips. One tree in North Carolina has been measured at over 150 feet tall, with 90 feet of exposed trunk before the branches of the tree begin. Considering the potential size of the tree and ensuring that the planting location is not overcrowded will help you to maintain your tree and ensure that your growing efforts are successful.

Moderately Easy


Things You’ll Need
  • Tulip poplar tree
  • Soil pH tests
  • Soil amendments
  • Tree pruners
  • Tree fertilizer
  • Mulch
  • Garden hose
  1. Ensure that your tree is planted in moist, well-drained soil. Tulip poplar trees do not tolerate dry or clay soils.
  2. Test the pH of your soil using a testing kit found in most garden stores and nurseries. The pH needs to be between 4.5 and 7.5. If the soil pH is too high or low you will need to amend the soil in order to reach the proper pH. Consult your local gardening store for recommendations, keeping in mind that lime and peat moss are common soil amendments that can be used to reach the proper pH.
  3. Water the base of the tree weekly, especially during dry or hot spells. Mulch a diameter of 3 feet from the base of the trunk to help keep moisture in the soil surrounding the tree.
  4. Spread tree fertilizer around the tree every other year in order to ensure that the soil remains nutrient rich.
  5. Thin excess branches from the tulip poplar tree using a tree pruner every 8 to 10 years in order to maintain an attractive shape and encourage new growth and blooming.

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