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National & State Symbols
Tennessee State Tree
(Magnoliaceae Liriodendron tulipifera)
Adopted in 1947.
The tulip poplar, (Magnoliaceae Liriodendron tulipifera,) was designated as the official state tree of Tennessee by Public Chapter 204 of the Acts of the 1947 General Assembly. The act stated that, as no state tree had ever before been designated, the adoption of an official tree seemed appropriate.
The tulip poplar was chosen 'because it grows from one end of the state to the other' and 'was extensively used by the pioneers of the state to construct houses, barns, and other necessary farm buildings.'" ("Tennessee Department of State")
Tennessee State Tree: Tulip Poplar
The tulip poplar was chosen because it was used extensively by the Tennessee pioneers to construct their houses, barns and other buildings. The tree sometimes reaches a height of 200 feet and frequently shows 50-100 feet of trunk without a branch. The bark is smooth and brownish gray. The leaves are very smooth with a broad notch at the tip. The flowers are tulip-like, green-orange in color, and are 1-3 inches deep. In honor of the state's Bicentennial celebration in 1996, the yellowwood was named Tennessee's bicentennial tree.
The following tulip poplar, the botanical name of which is Liriodendron Tulipifera, is taken from The Complete Guide to North American Trees:
Identification of the Tulip Poplar
Yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), also called tuliptree, tulip-poplar, white-poplar, and whitewood, is one of the most attractive and tallest of eastern hardwoods. It is fast growing and may reach 300 years of age on deep, rich, well-drained soils of forest coves and lower mountain slopes. The wood has high commercial value because of its versatility and as a substitute for increasingly scarce softwoods in furniture and framing construction. Yellow-poplar is also valued as a honey tree, a source of wildlife food, and a shade tree for large areas.
Tennessee SENATE BILL NO. 679
PUBLIC ACTS, 1947
Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 4, Chapter 15, Part 3, Section 4-1-305.
Title 4 State Government
Taxonomic Hierarchy of the Tulip/Yellow Poplar
All of the state trees, except the Hawaii state tree, are native to the state in which they are designated.