Virginia Tech® home

Tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera)



Authors as Published

Alex X. Niemiera, Professor, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech (first published May 2009, last reviewed March 2024)


Foliage: Deciduous broadleaf

Height: 90 feet

Spread: 50 feet

Shape: Upright oval

Tuliptree is a very tall, large tree with a straight trunk. It bears beautiful tulip-shaped flowers in May but generally go unnoticed since they high in the tree.

Plant Needs:

Zone: 5 to 9

Light: Partial shade to full sun

Moisture: Moist to average

Soil Type: Sandy, loam, or clay

pH Range: 3.7 to 6.8


Suggested uses for this plant include shade tree and specimen plant.

Planting Notes:

Difficult to transplant.
Once established, it is a fast-growing tree.
Move young plants with balled and burlapped roots in the spring. Plant in a location where it will have plenty of room to develop. Select a site with fertile, deep, moist soil.


Prune in the winter.
Easy to grow once established.


Susceptible to a number of pests, including aphids and scale insects.
Leaves may turn yellow and drop during hot, dry periods of midsummer, especially in the Tidewater area.


Consult local garden centers, historic or public gardens and arboreta regarding cultivars and related species that grow well in your area.
Cultivars of Liriodendron tulipifera:
No important cultivars.


The tuliptree is too large for the average-sized home landscape and should be planted only where it has ample growing space.

This material was developed by Carol Ness as part of the Interactive Design and Development Project fundedby the Kellogg Foundation.

Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.

Virginia Cooperative Extension is a partnership of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments. Its programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, military status, or any other basis protected by law

Publication Date

March 7, 2024

Available As

Other resources in:

Other resources by: