I have a 80ft tulip (or yellow) poplar in my back yard that is my
absolute favorite tree. Just at its base, I've had a tree sprout this
season that looks similar to a poplar, but it's leaves just aren't
quite right. Does anyone know if young poplars have oddly shaped
leaves? If you look at the link, you'll see that although the top of
the leaf looks like a poplar, the sides cut in much closer to the
midrib vein than a typical yellow poplar leaf. Any help would be much
A picture of the tree next to (what I assume is) daddy:
A close-up of the leaf:
That is clearly a seedling or a sucker from your tuliptree(what we call
it here in michigan). Tuliptree is a member of the magnolia family and
is not related to other poplars. Trees are variable just like people,
and leaf morphology can be slightly different from tree to tree.
Chances are this is a seedling, and if the tree is a named cultivated
variety, you may be seeing traits more similar to the parent tree.
I worked for a forestry company here in East Texas awhile back and there was
a saying about Oaks that it took them a few years to decide which species
they wanted to be.
Until they were five feet tall or so, you'd see willow oak leaves, water oak
leaves and red oak leaves on the SAME tree...and even some 20 footers would
have the wrong kinds of leaves on the bottom.
If the leaves are close, I'd say it was safe to assume that's what it is.
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