By Steve Nix
The tulip poplar grows 80 to 100 feet tall and trunks become massive in old age, becoming deeply furrowed with thick bark. The tree maintains a straight trunk and generally does not form double or multiple leaders.
Tuliptree has a moderate to rapid (on good sites) growth rate at first but slows down with age. The soft wood reportedly is subject to storm damage but the trees held up remarkably well in the south during hurricane Hugo. It is probably stronger than given credit for.
The largest trees in the east are in the Joyce Kilmer Forest in NC, some reaching more than 150 feet with seven-foot diameter trunks. The fall color is gold to yellow being more pronounced in the northern part of its range. The scented, tulip-like, greenish-yellow flowers appear in mid-spring but are not as ornamental as those of other flowering trees because they are far from view.