Tulip tree

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Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)


A tall, hardwood magnolia tree, Liriodendron tulipifera, native to the Atlantic coast of North America. Tulip trees have a soft, lightweight wood with a pale yellow to green brown color. It was used in the 19th century for house construction (framing and shingles). Tulip tree wood was later used for furniture, inlays, painting panels, veneer, and toys. The leaves of the tulip tree contain a dye that gives a strong gold color with a chrome mordant. It has fair lightfastness.

Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Synonyms and Related Terms

Liriodendron tulipifera; tulipier de Virginie (Fr.); tulipier (Fr.); liriodendron (Fr.); tulipero (Esp.); tulipeiro (Port.); Liriodendro (It.); Albero dei tulipani (It.); yellow poplar; tulip poplar; saddleleaf tree; whitewood; canary whitewood

Other Properties

Annuals rings are not distinct. Grain = fine. Texture = fine

Density 30 ppcf

Paper fiber type: hardwood, diffuse porous. Using transmitted light microscopy, pulp is identified by the presence of numerous long vessels with opposite, crowded pitting. Pits may be in vertical or horizontal rows. Perforations are scalariform with <10 bars. Appearance with Graff "C" stain: dark blue, but varies with bleaching. Average dimensions of fibers: length 1.9mm, 24-40μm wide. Common pulping method: kraft.

Additional Images


  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com Comment: "Tulip Tree." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2004. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. 21 May 2004 .
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 825
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • External source or communication Comment: Hardwood Manufacturers Institute, Memphis, Tenn.: air-dry weight = 28 pcf
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • George Savage, Art and Antique Restorer's Handbook, Rockliff Publishing Corp, London, 1954
  • Marja-Sisko Ilvessalo-Pfäffli. Fiber Atlas: Identification of Papermaking Fibers (Springer Series in Wood Science). Springer, 1995.
  • Walter Rantanen. "Fiber ID Course." Integrated Paper Services. June 2013. Lecture.

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