Tulip Trees Dying?!?!

I have a wooded area in my back yard which is a "low lying" and wet area. T here's a brook/stream that runs across it.
For nearly 20 years, I've had a number of large tulip poplars which have bl oomed every year until this year.
Last year, around this time, there was a very large deluge which left a HUG E amount of sand, rocks, etc etc in the yard..... it's been unblocked and r edistributed but is still several inches higher than in years past. ground cover hasn't yet grown in over what was the deepest pile of sand/rock......
As of this July (today) only, of the 5, one has leaves and only scattered i n smaller branches up the main trunk.
Will they recover? How long should I expect to wait before I panic?
thanks in advance.
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Two distantly related trees are called "tulip": one is the species Liriodendron tulipifera and one is the species Magnolia soulangeana. Poplars are unrelated to either of them, being in the genus Populus and more closely related to willows. Which do you have?
Also, where are you? That is, what is your climate?
On 6/15/2014 9:19 AM, ElCuartoMago wrote:

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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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Here's youtube link I found. kinda long but that's exactly it.

http://youtu.be/bKSp40_OCuQ

http://youtu.be/bKSp40_OCuQ
Zone 7b. upstate SC.
I appreciate your time in answering.
Ismael
On Sunday, June 15, 2014 2:39:50 PM UTC-4, David E. Ross wrote:

a. There's a brook/stream that runs across it.

e bloomed every year until this year.

HUGE amount of sand, rocks, etc etc in the yard..... it's been unblocked a nd redistributed but is still several inches higher than in years past. gro und cover hasn't yet grown in over what was the deepest pile of sand/rock.. ....

ed in smaller branches up the main trunk.

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I fear your trees may be doomed. Liriodendron tulipifera requires soil that drains very well. Being somewhat related to magnolias, it has delicate, easily damaged surface roots. Your trees likely suffered from soil that was too wet, and the depositing of eroded debris may have damaged the vital surface roots.
You might wait until next spring to see if some of the trees recover. In the meantime, apply a generous amount of gypsum in the "drip zone" (the area from the trunk to the farthest branches) to improve drainage. Lightly rinse the gypsum into the soil without making the soil soggy; this should be a gradual process over 2-3 weeks. Otherwise, DO NOT FERTILIZE; roots injured by too much water or being buried too deep by debris will be further traumatized by fertilizer. Also, be very careful about removing eroded debris; do not disturb the soil underneath but do remove the debris.
On 6/15/2014 2:25 PM, ElCuartoMago wrote:

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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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They've been growing in a very wet area for the nearly 20 years..... not a "swamp" but it is a flood zone.
I'll try bringing in some gypsum but I have to be careful. It's a very wet and you can't really bring equipment in. it would have to be hand trucked ( wheelbarrow). is there a suggested cubic yardage/square yard that I should be targeting?
I've already moved a great deal of the debris (mostly like a river river sa nd and many many rocks). the surface roots makes sense as the above (i'm gu essing) might have have suffocated the surface roots in that area.
On Sunday, June 15, 2014 7:54:09 PM UTC-4, David E. Ross wrote:

d

rea. There's a brook/stream that runs across it.

ave bloomed every year until this year.

a HUGE amount of sand, rocks, etc etc in the yard..... it's been unblocked and redistributed but is still several inches higher than in years past. g round cover hasn't yet grown in over what was the deepest pile of sand/rock ......

ered in smaller branches up the main trunk.

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You need to apply just enough gypsum to coat the soil, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.
In my garden, I hand broadcast gypsum. I treat my entire garden -- front and back - every other year, using about 250 pounds. (50 pound sack costs about $9.) In certain areas -- especially around my camellias and azaleas -- I use it every year. I use it because my soil is heavy clay, and gypsum causes the clay to become less pasty and more granular. That is, it improves the drainage and prevents the clay from becoming soggy. I generally apply it in October or November, anticipating the rainy season (November through March) to rinse it into the soil. I also dig it into the soil when planting. Counting the footprint of my house, I have slightly less than 0.2 acre (a standard tract lot).
DO NOT buy gypsum at Home Depot. Their gypsum is only 70% and contains pebbles and other non-gypsum trash. It's garbage!! I generally look for a brand called Bumper Crop, which is 90% gypsum. Many nurseries in my area carry it.
On 6/15/2014 5:24 PM, ElCuartoMago wrote:

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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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Nice tips. I'll try and cross my fingers. I usually aerate, fertilize and l ime in the fall. frankly never thought about adding gypsum and don't usuall y do much around those trees as they've just taken care of themselves. they 're surrounded by hosta, ferns, azaleas, lacecap hydrangeas and elephant e ars which have all taken care of themselves...........
Only the hosta, ferns and elephant bounced back unaffected. Didn't really p ay close attention to the trees until recently.
thanks for the advice.
On Sunday, June 15, 2014 11:02:19 PM UTC-4, David E. Ross wrote:

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On 6/16/2014 1:58 PM, ElCuartoMago wrote:

DO NOT aerate within the drip zone of the tulip trees. Aerating will severely damage the delicate surface roots. Also, I would not use lime around them; they prefer an acid soil.
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My opinion is that the trees without leaves are dead. You're down in SC. Up here in NJ our Tulip Poplars have been leafed out for at least a month. I can't imagine any way those trees are coming back.
Panic won't help but I think dead trees become more hazardous to remove as they become older. More chance of the tree breaking or falling as it's being cut.
Our trees are huge, at last a yard in diameter. I've had some removed over the years for various reasons. About 3K each to remove. Last year we lost 3 large ones to Sandy. They fell, so removal was cheaper.
Tulip Poplars are interesting. They have one of the more spectacular flowers, but because the blooms are so high up and green colored, you might not even see the flowers.
When I first saw your post I looked around and found the You Tube video about drinking the nectar out of the flower. Next time I get my hands on a flower I'll have to try it.
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Dan Espen

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