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Tree Maximums - Tree of the Week: Tuliptree

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:47 pm
by Matt Markworth
Tree of the Week: Liriodendron tulipifera, Tuliptree, Tulip Poplar, Yellow Poplar

Hi All,

It's been two years since the expedition to climb the Fork Ridge Tuliptree and I'm submitting it for Tree of the Week to recognize the two year mark of that historic climb. Since I wasn't an NTS member at that time, I'd like to congratulate everyone that was involved with the climb. I'm sure almost everyone has already read Will's original post, but here it is again:

I recently measured an impressive 153 footer in SW Ohio and it's hard to imagine a Tuliptree that's nearly 39 feet taller!

For Max Girth, does anyone know if the Wasilik Memorial Poplar is still holding on? It's on page 24 of the Colby Rucker Special Issue of the Bulletin of the Eastern Native Tree Society: ... v03_04.pdf

Please reply with these measurement details if you've measured an impressive specimen. Please include photos when possible.

Species (Scientific):
Species (Common):
Form (Forest, Open, or Intermediate):
Height (ft):
CBH (ft):
Maximum Spread (ft):
Average Spread (ft):
Volume (ft3):
Site Name:
Subsite Name:
State or Province:
Property Owner:
Date of Measurement:
Method of Height Measurement:
Tree Name:

Tree of the Week Guidelines:

Tree of the Week Forum:

USDA Plants Database:

vTree Fact Sheet: ... .cfm?ID=54

Matt Markworth

Re: Tree Maximums - Tree of the Week: Tuliptree

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:44 pm
by Matt Markworth
Hi All,

I'm curious if anyone has ever had the opportunity to measure the CBH of the National Champion Tuliptree in Chesapeake, VA. The first link shows a photo that appears to be single stem. It has a significant taper, so finding exactly 4.5' above midslope is crucial. It's listed as 29.9' CBH. ... ulipifera/ ... aryKey=689

- Matt

Re: Tree Maximums - Tree of the Week: Tuliptree

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:04 am
by bbeduhn
The last time I saw the Wasilik Poplar, it had two or three green branches(2009?). It has since lost most of the remaining crown and the trail has been officially closed. I assume it is still standing but has likely been dead for two years. Its base is humongous so it should remain upright for a good while.

Re: Tree Maximums - Tree of the Week: Tuliptree

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:31 am
by dbhguru

Maybe on my next visit to Virginia, I can check out this tree. It is way out of the way, but still a possibility.


Re: Tree Maximums - Tree of the Week: Tuliptree

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:39 pm
by Matt Markworth

Thanks for the report on the Wasilik Poplar. It sounds like it may have held on longer than expected.


Indeed, that would be a major detour unless you were already heading to the coast.

I was at Virginia Beach a few years ago, but measuring trees wasn't on my radar back then. I've always had a true appreciation for trees/forests for as long as I can remember, and I know that there are many others out there with that same appreciation. It just never crosses their mind that they can go beyond their current outdoor recreational pursuits and actually contribute scientifically, even if in a very small way. And I suppose that's the only true answer, recruit a few more like-minded individuals to expand NTS coverage to more geographical areas. I applaud all of your efforts and I know it continues to be a priority, as evidenced by this year's Rendezvous.

The obstacles are many for sure . . . distance, time, existing projects, scheduling, permission for private property and the list goes on, but without the challenge of discovering something new and without the freedom to get out and explore new places, life would be so boring!

- Matt

Re: Tree Maximums - Tree of the Week: Tuliptree

Posted: Fri May 03, 2013 6:33 pm
by Matt Markworth

You told such a great story with your original post, I'll take a stab at writing up the columns for the Tree of the Week Maximums List. Please let me know if I left anything or anyone out and if you want to change anything.

Country: USA
State or Province: NC
Property Owner: NPS
Site Name: GSMNP
Species (Scientific): Liriodendron tulipifera
Species (Common): Tuliptree
Tree Name: Fork Ridge Tuliptree
Measurer(s): W Blozan, M Davie, H Irwin, J Kelly, A Knoblet, N Maidment, A Poirier, and M Riley
Date of Measurement: April 2011
Height (ft): 191.9'
Method of Height Measurement: Tape Drop
CBH (ft): 17.95'
Average Spread (ft):
Maximum Spread (ft):
Habitat: Located within a steep, rich forest cove. There are 8 other Tuliptrees within a .5 acre circular plot with a DBH over 31”, with 2 of those being over 170’ tall.
Notes: The Fork Ridge Tuliptree now reigns as the tallest tree in the East, surpassing the Boogerman Pine. In addition, this is the first Tuliptree ever accurately measured to exceed 190 feet and it now stands as the tallest native broadleaf tree known in all of temperate North America. The tree was originally discovered by S Breckheimer and I Breckheimer, and the measuring group consisted of a collaborative effort of FIVE tree care companies.

- Matt

Re: Tree Maximums - Tree of the Week: Tuliptree

Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 8:38 am
by Ranger Dan
I visited the Wasilik Poplar a year ago for the third time. I saw it alive and healthy in the 1980's. It is long dead, with all the bark long gone, rotting, a standing stump, but still impressive. The trail was open and very popular during wildflower season (early May) last year, and the display and variety of spring ephemerals there is remarkable...worth the trip alone to this very rich and beautiful place. I'm shocked to hear the trail is closed. The whole thing? Are you sure? There is a rail fence around the tree that is supposed to keep people at a distance, which of course, is useless. Is this the closed part referred to? Compared to other giant tuliptrees, I found the Wasilik Poplar a little disappointing even while living, because only the base is large, with a rapidly tapering trunk. It's almost bell-shaped. It's the only really large tree in the area. There are many other giant tuliptrees not far away far more worthy of a visit. Tuliptree wood rots very fast, so anyone wanting to see the remains in this very high rainfall area had better hurry!

Re: Tree Maximums - Tree of the Week: Tuliptree

Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 8:56 am
by Josh Kelly

My name isn't Will, but I notice that the 21.1' cbh is not the correct cbh for the Fork Ridge Tree. It is in the 18's. Otherwise, it looks pretty good.


Re: Tree Maximums - Tree of the Week: Tuliptree

Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 9:07 am
by Matt Markworth
Oops, Thanks Josh! Glad you saw that.

- Matt

Re: Tree Maximums - Tree of the Week: Tuliptree

Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 9:13 am
by Will Blozan

CBH is 17.95'. We did not take a spread dimension that I recall.