Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
4 ratings

Friday - June 05, 2009

From: Medway, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Pruning, Trees
Title: Pruning tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Thank you for your answer regarding when my tulip tree will flower. I also understand it can/will grow to over 100 feet so should we be pruning it a certain way to keep it contained? thank you

ANSWER:

You will not be able to prune it to keep it contained.  It will eventually become a very large tree.  The only recommendations I could find for pruning your tuliptree is that other than trimming it to create a central leader and pruning out branches infected with cankers, no other pruning is required.  The Complete Book of Pruning (by Duncan Coombs, Peter Blackburne-Maze, Martyn Cracknell and Roger Bentley, 2001) also recommends removing any vertical shoots that occur on branches.  Any pruning should be done in the winter.  Here is more information on caring for your tuliptree from the University of Florida IFAS Extension

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Tulip tree
Liriodendron tulipifera

Tulip tree
Liriodendron tulipifera

Tulip tree
Liriodendron tulipifera

More Trees Questions

Pecan tree dropping dead leaves
August 02, 2014 - I have a very old, tall pecan tree in my yard that has been dropping dead leaves for the last three weeks. My back yard looks like it is the Fall season. Do you have any insight on this?
view the full question and answer

Tree for area around patio in East Texas
December 31, 2008 - What is the best type of tree to plant around my patio which faces the southeast
view the full question and answer

Potential danger of oak wilt in live oaks in Dallas, TX
February 17, 2005 - Do you have or know of any recent publications that discuss a potential oak wilt problem in live oaks in the Dallas area? We strongly believe that live oaks have a great landscape value and are tryi...
view the full question and answer

Optimum planting time for perennials and trees
November 02, 2007 - Our group is running out of fall workdays. Is it OK to plant native perennials and small trees in Central Texas during the winter months? Or should we wait now until the spring?
view the full question and answer

Seven foot privacy fence in Tucson
November 25, 2014 - I am looking for a privacy hedge for a home in Tucson, Arizona that will be in full sun. Needs to be at least seven foot tall and low water and maintenance. Any suggestions.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.