The Q&A Archives: Tulip Poplar

Question: My 50+ year-old huge wonderful tulip poplar (liriodendron tulipifera) only leafed out about 30% this year. Its two sister trees are normal. No change in environment. I got a vague report of another such problem in this part of the county. Is something going around? What should I do? Is it more likely fungus or insects, etc.? Are the roots sick? What good nutrition could strengthen it for this battle to survive? How do I administer it?

Answer: Liriodendron can be attacked by at least six species of fungi, plus one disease that causes root and stem rot. Without additional information, it's difficult to diagnose the problem with your tree. The best course of action is for you to contact your local Cooperative Extension office and ask for advice. They'll probably want to know any symptoms your tree exhibited last year, and what specifically the leaves and limbs look like now. Contact Douglas Tregonig at the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension, 18410 Muncaster Rd., Derwood 20855. Phone (301) 590-9638.

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