Yellow Poplar, Tulip Tree
The Tulip Poplar is a common native tree found throughout Virginia. It is popular with many species of birds, and a tall Tulip Poplar on the east side of Monticello Park past the dog exercise area has neat rows of holes made by a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker on almost the full length of its trunk. (See a photo in the account of the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in the Bird section.) Ruby-throated Hummingbirds consume nectar from the flowers, which also attract honeybees, bumblebees, flies, beetles, and other insects. Some insects feed on the foliage and bark, including aphids, weevils, moths, and butterflies. Squirrels and small mammals often eat the seeds. The Tulip Poplar is in the magnolia family, and it is not closely related to either poplars or tulips. It is the state tree of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana. It is the tallest hardwood tree in the eastern forests; it grows quickly and lives a long time. The wood is used for furniture, coffins, plywood, boatbuilding, and other purposes, and it is used by many artists who sculpt in wood. The Tulip Poplar is a major source of honey — more for baking than for table consumption.
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