Monday, May 21, 2012
Tulips Way Above the Ground
We have a Tulip Tree in our backyard. I remember being excited when we got it as a young seedling because we were told it would grow fast. At that time our backyard was just starting to fill out with trees, shrubs, and flowers so we were delighted with the rapid growth idea. Well, several years later and forty feet higher, the Tulip Tree is a mainstay of the yard. And it keeps growing. We learned that it can actually grow to be 150 feet! That’s a little more than we expected.
This past weekend we had a visual of the potential of the Tulip Tree. We went to the opening of Duke Farms in Hillsborough, NJ, http://www.dukefarms.org/en/About-Us/ and in our walk through part of the 2,740-acre property of the Duke family we came upon some Tulip Trees that were three times the thickness of ours and way higher. The Duke Farms is now open to the public. Its mission “is to be a model of environmental stewardship in the 21st century and to inspire visitors to become informed stewards of the land.”
Despite its size potential, I am glad we planted our Tulip Tree. It is a treat to see the tulip-like flowers each spring. It’s like having an outdoor bouquet. Most of the flowers bloom toward the top of the tree – more sun, I guess – but they eventually drop down to be admired. I learned not to press my face too close, however, as they are a source of pollen, which makes bees happy but can trigger allergic reactions. Our tree is also a harbinger of Fall. Its leaves flutter to the ground earlier than most in a bittersweet reminder of the cycle of seasons.
American Tulip Tree:http://www.untamedscience.com/biodiversity/plants/flowering-plants/dicotyledons/magnoliales/magnoliaceae/liriodendron/american-tulip-tree