300 Year Old Tulip Tree

Anticipating spring: here’s a grand old tree on Staten Island, from June 7, 2013. Another highlight from the archives.

Backyard and Beyond

Liriodendron tulipiferaAt the northern end of Clove Lakes Park in Staten Island is a Tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera) said to be 300 years old. I would not say it is extraordinarily tall, but it certainly is large-boled. That head on the right is a child’s, three others are hidden behind the tree. Liriodendron tulipiferaTuliptrees can be the tallest trees on the East Coast. They often grow straight up, putting their flowers well out of reach. But the flowers will fall:Liriodendron tulipiferaAnd sometimes a younger tree will be within reach:Liriodendron tulipifera

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3 Responses to “300 Year Old Tulip Tree”

  1. 1 Tom Andersen March 9, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    I love this. I feel like I know this tree. We used to play touch football on the lawn in that part of the park. I went to elementary school a block away. We sledded on the hill leading down to Brooks Pond. It’s one of the few parts of Staten Island that sort of feels like it used to.

  2. 2 mthew March 9, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Preserved by being a park….

  3. 3 Erik Danielson April 12, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    At 127′ it’s actually pretty tall for a Tuliptree that doesn’t have pressure to compete with a forest of surrounding trees! This tree is bigger than the listed NYS champion. I’ll be nominating it for the next update of the champion tree registry. It may be a good bit younger than 300 years, though- this species on good soils grows to similar sizes elsewhere on the coastal plain sometimes in less than 200 years. Some of the thinner tuliptrees growing in the forested parts of Clove Lakes park might well be older than this one, particularly the one across the creek nearby with extremely worn bark at its base.

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