Will my tulip trees have blooms like a tulip? What is the shape of their leaves? —Mrs. Gregory Richardson, Concord, MI
Tulip trees (Liriodendron tulipifera, Zones 4 to 9) are also called tulip poplar or yellow poplar. They’re a member of the magnolia family, but they produce large cup-shaped flowers that look a bit like tulips. Their yellow-green flower color, however, is more muted and subdued than most magnolias. Their leaves are large—4 to 8 inches long—with four lobes. These fast-growing trees are among the tallest in eastern hardwood forests, growing 100 feet tall and 50 feet wide. They’re long-lived and make good landscape trees, provided you have plenty of room for them.