Tulip trees can be planted from containers at any time in the south but transplanting from a field nursery should be done in spring, followed by regular irrigation. Plants prefer well-drained, acid soil. Drought conditions in summer can cause premature defoliation of interior leaves which turn bright yellow and fall to the ground, especially on newly-transplanted trees. In extended dry weather in summer even mature trees loose yellow foliage.
This can create a regular clean-up job in dry summers as foliage is always dropping. Trees are considered a nitrogen demanding species compared to many other natives. This is the state tree of Indiana and Tennessee. Wood weighs about 42 pounds per cubic foot. Wood is considered diffuse porous meaning that there is little difference in size of pores between spring and summer wood. Foliage summer nitrogen content on established trees in irrigated landscapes in California ranged from 1.2 – 2.8 percent.