American Tulipwood, also known by its botanical name Liriodendron tulipifera (Magnolianceae), is a pale green to brown, light yellow to greenish-brown timber with streaks of blue, purple, dark green and black. The sapwood is creamy-white and streaked, and the heartwood is usually straight-grained with a fine and even texture. It can sometimes have an attractive blister figure. Newly cut wood is light yellow to brown, but it changes to a greenish colour on exposure to light. American Tulipwood is a great timber for internal joinery and mouldings, and it paints well.
Canary Whitewood, Canoe Wood, Canary Wood, Polar, Tulipwood, Saddletree, Tulip Tree, White Poplar, Whitewood, Yellow Poplar.
Tulipwood (or Poplar) is non-durable, and vulnerable to decay-causing fungi and insects. The sapwood is susceptible to the common furniture beetle, but it will accepts preservative treatment although the heartwood is challenging to treat.
The drying and seasoning of Tulipwood (Poplar) is dependant on a number of factors; the speed in which it is processed after felling and logging, the method of drying and the specific kilns or location (if air dried). Generally the care taken by those processing the wood will have an impact on its drying and seasoning. As an overview; Tulipwood (Poplar) - The wood air dries with little impact on the grade and quality of the wood and kiln-dries very well. If it is dried too slowly, sapwood stains and mould can develop. Only a small amount movement of this wood is expected, in service Please note that all wood is liable to move when in service plus there can be dimensional change. The extent of this will depend on; the stability of the species itself, the conditions it is exposed to, the coating, decoration and protection. You will find more information about the suitability of this wood, for any proposed application, by using our interactive system and the filters shown.
Tulipwood (or Poplar) has low resistance to shock loads, low bending strength and low stiffness but has medium crushing strength and steam-bending properties. The wood works well with both hand tools and machinery. It mortices, planes, stains, paints, polishes and varnishes well. Very good for turning and carving and has excellent gluing properties. Dimensionally, fairly, stable.
Furniture, interiors joinery, carving and sculpture, patternmaking, doors, dry cooperage, pallets, boxes, core stock, plywood and pulp. Choice logs are sliced into veneers for use in marquetry and cabinetwork.
Commonly asked questions about Poplar/Tulipwood Wood
Is Tulipwood a hardwood or a softwood? Tulipwood is a hardwood. It is the same for; is Poplar/Tulipwood hardwood or softwood? - Poplar/Tulipwood is a hardwood.
Most groups/families of species share the same characteristics but this normally relates to their life as plants. Individual species do not always share the same characteristics as their relatives, in terms of the wood. Many factors influence how we use the wood and what we use it for, including where it grows, how it is forested, how it seasons/dries, etc. The answers to the following common questions, therefore relate to this particular species/wood and not the Tulipwood family as a whole. Even more specific – our answers relate to the wood (as we know it) in its form as a useable resource.
What colour is Poplar/Tulipwood? Poplar/Tulipwood can be described as green, light brown, white/cream (very light brown)
Is Poplar/Tulipwood good for outdoor use? or is Poplar/Tulipwood good for exterior use? Poplar/Tulipwood is most suited for interior/interior use. Poplar/Tulipwood can be used as an exterior/external timber (without treatment).
Whether the wood is naturally durable or not we would still recommend that it is decorated and/or coated with a suitable product to provide protection and/or maintain its appearance. This even applies when using the wood internally as, even subtle, changes in temperature or humidity will affect the wood. This will depend on the application/purpose of the wood and the user’s desired appearance. We also recommend that a recoating, care and maintenance programme is adhered to, for the life of an exterior wood. Wood cannot rot if it is kept dry – coatings and decoration can provide this protection. All of that said there are many durable timbers that are often left to weather naturally and will last for many years untreated/coated – movement and visual changes will occur but this is sometimes the desired effect. All wood is hygroscopic (it 'wants' to be in tune with its environment) it will therefore take on water from moisture in the air (or when directly exposed to or submerged in water) and ‘release it’ when dry or exposed to heat. This, inevitably, results in movement and dimensional change. For more about moisture in wood please click here - Moisture in wood