Q: I am new to the area and wanted to know if a yellow poplar will survive and do well in this area?
A: Welcome to Nassau County and to Florida. I would encourage you to try the yellow poplar, Liriodendron tulipfera, which has beautiful fragrant, yellow flowers and unusually squared tipped leaves. Tuliptree grows 80 to 100 feet tall and maintains a fairly narrow oval crown, even as it grows older. Tuliptree has a moderate to rapid (on good sites) growth rate at first but slows down with age like most of us. The soft wood reportedly is subject to storm damage but the trees held up remarkably well in the south during hurricane ‘Hugo’. It is probably stronger than given credit. The largest trees in the east are found in the Joyce Kilmer Forest in NC. Some of these North Carolina trees reach heights of more than 150 feet with seven-foot diameter trunks. The fall color is gold to yellow being more pronounced in the northern part of its range. The scented, tulip-like, greenish-yellow flowers appear in mid-spring but are not as ornamental as those of other flowering trees because they are far from view. The best time to plant it is spring but those in containers can be planted almost year round. During hot, dry weather interior leaves turn yellow and fall off. This condition is due to the weather and is not a disease. The problem is most common on newly transplanted trees, but also develops frequently on established trees. Yellowing may be preceded by small, angular, brown spots on the leaves. Tuliptrees should be planted in full sun. They can tolerate occasional wet soil and will grow in most any type of soil pH.