September 10, 2014…Tulip tree is starting to turn color.
Yep, the leaves are definitely changing color. According to Portland (OR) Parks and Recreation, fall foliage color is gold-yellow. Featured is a tulip tree that was planted in the 1890s.
Looking up into the umbrella, even these leaves are yellowing. A member of the Magnoliaceae family, these trees are native in the US, east of the Mississippi. The record height is 200 feet (61 meters), but many grow to over 100 feet.
The seed pod is just starting to show a little browning on the tips. I never noticed the seed pods before because they are hidden in the foliage, but because of this “tree following” project, I’m pushing leaves out of the way to find them. Luckily, the pods are within reach.
According to Wikipedia… “The soft, fine-grained wood of tulip trees is known as “poplar” (short for “yellow poplar”) in the U.S., but marketed abroad as “American tulipwood” or by other names. It is very widely used where a cheap, easy-to-work and stable wood is needed. The sapwood is usually a creamy off-white color. While the heartwood is usually a pale green, it can take on streaks of red, purple, or even black; depending on the extractives content (i.e. the soil conditions where the tree was grown, etc.). It is clearly the wood of choice for use in organs, due to its ability to take a fine, smooth, precisely cut finish and so to effectively seal against pipes and valves. It is also commonly used for siding clapboards. Its wood may be compared in texture, strength, and softness to white pine.
Used for interior finish of houses, for siding, for panels of carriages, for coffin boxes, pattern timber, and wooden ware. During scarcity of the better qualities of white pine, tulip wood has taken its place to some extent, particularly when very wide boards are required.
It also has a reputation for being resistant to termites, and in the Upland South (and perhaps elsewhere) house and barn sills were often made of tulip poplar beams.”
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