Timberpedia - Tulip Tree
|Latin Name:||Irish Name:||Native to Ireland?|
About the Tree
It is called the “tulip tree” because of its tulip-flower shaped leaves.
It is one of the tallest (up to 120 feet!) and most distinctive eastern North American hardwood
trees. Its long, arrow-straight trunk, which may be two to three feet in diameter, reaches high up
into a small, oblong crown of branches and foliage. These tall, straight trees stand like supporting
pillars for the very forest itself.
It is also known as Yellow Poplar.
About the Wood
The soft wood makes it very valuable tree for making furniture, toys and musical instruments.
LTP Customer: The Tulip wood holds paint better than any other wood (I know) and can have
beautiful streaks of colour (red, yellow, green ) in the heartwood.
Material kiln dries well and easily and will air dry without problems. It has small movement in
service. The wood is generally non-durable, low bending and glues very well. Other wood
properties include: straight grain, medium to fine texture, resistance to shock loads, low stiffness,
medium crushing strength with medium steam-bending classification, and small tendency to split
Among its many uses, yellow poplar is a favourite for sculpture, wood carving and turning. It is also
used for component parts, interior trim, moulding and millwork, cabinetry, light construction,
furniture, doors and panelling. It is often used for small items such as jewellery boxes, musical instruments and patternmaking and may be sliced into veneer to use for faces, crossbanding and
backs of plywood.
The soft, fine-grained wood of tulip trees is misleadingly known as “poplar” (short for “yellow
poplar”) in the U.S., but marketed abroad as “American tulipwood” or by other names. It is very
widely used where a cheap, easy-to-work and stable wood is needed, but not a strong or a good-looking wood. It is clearly the wood of choice for use in organs, due to its ability to take a fine,
smooth, precisely-cut finish and so to effectively seal against pipes and valves. It is also commonly
used for siding clapboards. Its wood may be compared in texture, strength, and softness to white
Know your wood! The Timberpedia is a broad resource that aims to catalogue all the major tree species in Ireland, containing information that we’ve gathered from over two decades maintaining our natural woodland and serving Ireland’s woodworking industry.
All written material is copyright © 2021 by the Lisnavagh Timber Project.