Friday, October 16, 2009

The Juno Of my Suburb

Since I was about 12, I have often been accused of being a tree hugger and hippie. Im not too sure why because I really am a city girl (suburb to be specific) and I'm totally afraid of spiders. But I do love trees. I get it from my dad (the man grinning ear to ear in the picture below). Actually, when reading the natn'l geographic this month, I was thinking of my dad quite often, esp when I saw this pic .

But this post isn't about me or my tree loving dad. Its about something that has been looming over my head since the trees started blushing: the tulip poplar in our front yard. As you can see from the picture below, it is a very large tree with way too many leaves (especially when juxtaposed with red flushed baby dogwood next to it). Because it hasn't changed yet, I'm worried that we arent going to be able to get rid of all those I supposed to clean up the leaves that float to my neighbors yard from my tree? Oh so much to worry about.

If I'm so worried, then why don't we cut it down? Well, because I love it. This tree and the dogwood were 2 of the deciding factors on the house. Tulip poplars aren't common in Utah - so let me give a little ditty on how awesome this tree is.

Its actually in the magnolia family (which also isn't common in utah) - so it has flowers on it in the spring. The flowers look like this (see the tulip resemblance):

The leaves look like this (taken from THIS cool blog post on tulip poplars)

Kind of annoying, but funny - the tree makes slime (actually nectar) in the early summer for several months. i found out today that you can buy tulip poplar honey online.

They get really big - the largest registered Tulip Poplar is 118 feet high and has an 83 feet spread (see the National Register of Big Trees for more information). However, there are big poplar guys I walk past on my way to work that are much larger than that - and probably close to the age of the oldest tulip poplar (225 years).

Charles Frazier apparently loved the tulip poplar- it is the main tree mentioned in the book cold mountain. I agree with this line from the book: He thought on homeland, the big timber, the air thin and chill all year long. Tulip poplars so big through the trunk they put you in mind of locomotives set on end.

Best of all, President Thomas Jefferson loved the tulip poplar so much he planted them next to Monticello. He called them the "juno of our groves" according to the Thomas Jefferson encyclopedia. The old tulip poplar next to Monticello was treated like a queen until it was finally removed last summer. See this article for more information and the pic's source.

So anyways, I love this tree - its going to make alot of leaves - and it looks like I really am a tree hugger.


Breea and Bryan said...

trees... ah...

Jessica and Bronson said...

Bronson wants to know if you happen to remember a tree behind the ag-sci building that just so happens to be a tulip poplar? He says it's HUGE, bigger than the building. I'm having a difficult time remembering it, though!

Sherpa said...

I really like this tree-and it's smaller cousin. In fact, the "Tulip" trees are my favorite of the flowering trees-better than the cherry blossoms.

Tyce and Rachel: said...

So cool!! I love trees too! And I have a totally random question, do you perhaps still have the handout we made junior year of the healthy dessert substitutions for the nutrition expo?? Relief Society is calling for a class! :)

Richard and Nicole said...

jess - no i dont remember that tree! so awesome, i had no idea there was one on campus. but logan does have some good trees - jardine juniper.....(:

sherpa - what's it's smaller cousin? yeah - i think the tulips are way cooler than cherry blossoms for sure - but im not sure if they are prettier than dogwoods in bloom.

rachel- i do have the handout! whats your email?

Shepherd said...

Devin and I planted 12 trees in our yard this year but are still miffed about losing our plum trees last winter to the deer (grrr...) It is funny, Devin was leering over my shoulder at your post and said, "Hey! A tulip tree! I know where one of those is in Mount Pleasant!" Cool, huh? A tulip poplar right here in Sanpete. It's fate. You guys need to come home :)

Shepherd said...

Oh, and your header is AMAZING and hysterical. Bravo!