Fork Ridge Tuliptree- new eastern height record!!!

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Re: Fork Ridge Tuliptree- new eastern height record!!!

Post by morgan » Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:54 am

Yes Bob, I know of many tuliptrees north of Kingston in Eastern NY, that were planted and are not endemic, and are not propagating. There is a 100 year old tuliptree at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, which is around 300 feet elevation. It's around 90 feet tall and 12 inches in diameter. It was planted when they built the house 100 years ago, and even though it makes thousands of seeds every year, there are no propagated offspring near it. I know of a group of them in Selkirk near Albany, also in the yard of a house of the same age as the trees. The biggest one is around 100 feet tall. They are not propagating and there are no others in the area.

I live in the Adirondacks at 2000 feet elevation. 12 years ago I bought 8 sapling tuliptrees, around 2 feet tall. I planted 7 here, and gave one to my father, who lives in southern NY near NYC. My soil is very fertile and all the native species (red maple, beech, yellow birch, aspen, black cherry, red oak, pine, hemlock, balsam) grow very well. All 7 of my tulip trees thrived in the summer at first, but died back every winter. Some died back to the ground level and sprouted from the root, some grew taller from the stems, although the tops die back every winter. After 12 years, 2 of my 7 trees remain. The 2 that survive, one typically grows 3 or 4 feet every summer and dies back 1 or 2 feet in the winter, and is 18 feet tall, and 2 inches in diameter. The other typically grows 5 feet every summer and dies back a foot or so in the winter. It's now 24 feet tall and 4 inches diameter. But my fathers tree downstate never dies back at all in the winter, and is 43 feet tall and 7 inches in diameter, in only 12 years.

The problem with tuliptrees here is they bloom 2 or 3 weeks later in the spring than the native trees, and they stay green too long in the fall, when the others have dropped their leaves and made hard buds. The frost catches the soft buds too early and kills them, and then it goes to -20 every winter and dries out the cambium cell layer. We get frost and snow every october, heavy snow in November, not like downstate where they don't get much until December.

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Re: Fork Ridge Tuliptree- new eastern height record!!!

Post by dbhguru » Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:50 am


That's good information. The species seems to have enjoyed a natural foothold in the southwestern corner of Massachusetts for as long as records have been kept, and a small presence up the Connecticut River Valley to just north of Northampton and then they disappear. I also see yard trees, but no propagation. It really makes me value our little tuliptree sanctuary, which has 30 seedlings and saplings. It will be interesting to see which seedlings make it. Of course, the Adirondacks are considerably colder than Florence, MA. Our January temperature averages 22 degrees and the valley is generally 5 to 10 degrees warmer than places like Mohawk Trail SF, which at the base of the ridges is 700 feet above sea level and 2,000 at the tops of the ridges. No tulips, top or bottom.

Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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Re: Fork Ridge Tuliptree- new eastern height record!!!

Post by sradivoy » Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:23 pm

I was wondering if the the Fork Ridge tulip is the tallest known tree east of the Sierra's? Also, what is the tallest known tree in the Rocky Mountain state? The west coast is in class by itself and perhaps should be considered separately. The forests of the Rocky mountains are pretty well isolated on both sides (a vast desert to its west and the Great Plains to the east) which in my opinion makes it a separate contiguous ecosystem in its own right. Appalachia and the west coast are the two other contiguous forests that are naturally partitioned from each other. I see three main sections here rather than two.

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Re: Fork Ridge Tuliptree- new eastern height record!!!

Post by Will Blozan » Sat Nov 07, 2015 3:56 pm

Indeed, it is for now in North America only. The Rockies so far haven't produced a comparable height but the bioregion is very poorly sampled.

Two weeks ago we eastern NTS folks climbed and mapped a 187.6' tuliptree which is the second tallest known. Another 190' tree appears to be elusive as the primo LiDAR spots are mostly visited. There are a few more high hits to visit but the extreme remoteness of them will make this very difficult.


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