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Author Topic: Tree ID - Tulip Poplar vs Sweet Gum?  (Read 1834 times)

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Offline warren46

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Tree ID - Tulip Poplar vs Sweet Gum?
« on: December 08, 2013, 09:53:55 AM »
I have a potential customer that would like to harvest some tulip poplar to use in a house he will build sometime next year.  He has a stand with several trees that I am fairly certain are tulip poplar but there are also some sweet gum trees.  What is the best way to identify the tulip poplar this time of year with no leaves or fruit?

Thanks in advance for the help.

Warren E. Johnson
Timber Harvester 36HTE25, John Deere 300b backhoe/loader.

Offline wmrussel

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Re: Tree ID - Tulip Poplar vs Sweet Gum?
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2013, 10:21:45 AM »
Sweetgum bark is rougher and softer to the touch.  By soft, try to push your fingernail in it. The bark on the tulip poplar is tighter, in general.  Also, the form of the bole of the tulip poplar (I call it yellow poplar, same difference) is much better.  Tulip poplar will be straighter and cleaner, though not always.

I'm interested to see what others say, it's hard for me to describe.  I've been cruising timber so long, I just know the difference without having think about it. 
My name is William, but people call me Pete.  Long story......

Offline curdog

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Re: Tree ID - Tulip Poplar vs Sweet Gum?
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2013, 11:08:07 AM »
A lot of the time Sweetgum will have" wings" on the branches. Very similar to a winged elm, but usually not to that extent. Leaves on the ground can be a good indicator and the heavy Sweetgum balls will be around the base of the tree. If you have binoculars look for the remnants of the seed pods on the poplar. If all else fails slap a photo up and someone could probably help you out.

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