For many tulip trees, their contribution to the smorgasbord of colors seen each fall in Northeast Missouri is their yellow leaves.
For many tulip trees, their contribution to the smorgasbord of colors seen each fall in Northeast Missouri is their yellow leaves. But at least one Courier-Post reader on Thursday thought it was noteworthy that two tulip poplars on County Road 412 were featuring the flowers that are typically seen each spring.
According to Alix Carpenter, an agronomy specialist with the University of Missouri Extension Service, finding a tulip tree blooming in the late summer/early fall is not that unusual.
"A tree's number of flowers is greatly reduced compared to the spring," she said, estimating that only 8 to 15 percent of a tree will bloom in the fall.
Carpenter acknowledged that the number of blooms is not the only reason the flowering trees are more noticeable in the spring.
"Normally in the spring there are no leaves so the blooms stand out," she said.
Not every tulip poplar will re-bloom in the fall.
"Normally it's the ones that are older, say from 20 to 30 years old," she said.
According to Carpenter, it's encouraging to hear that some trees are putting on blooms at this time of year.
"It's a good sign they're blooming after being under so much stress because of the drought," she said.
According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, tulip poplars occur naturally only in the southeastern part of Missouri, but are widely planted statewide. The fast-growing trees are a member of the magnolia family. They can grow to over 100 feet tall and have a trunk diameter of 6 feet.