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I would like a tulip tree but I don't want a tree that will grow over 70 ft tall! Is it possible for it to grow in a container?

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    Where do you live, what climate zone? Are you in a house or apartment? More details please..
    – kevinskio
    Commented May 21, 2023 at 12:16
  • Hi kevinskio, I live in a house with a medium-sized yard in Ontario, Canada - Zone 3-4.
    – user41754
    Commented May 25, 2023 at 3:08

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Liriodendron tulipifera is indeed a splendid ornamental tree of architectural proportions and as you say, left in open ground would grow to monumental size over time and if left close to a house, would compromise building integrity.

However, you will be pleased to know that this tree and a related species, Liriodendron chinense are well prized as Bonsai specimens and as such are perfect candidates for container growing. As a very basic bonsai fan, I think it would be a wonderful challenge to someone willing to put in the hours and years to bring such a beautiful tree to maturity and their 500 year projected long life would make a life long commitment for entire generations of your family.

You would need to read up more extensively on keeping such a tree in a bonsai state if you were to grow it in a container and some bonsai folk report its leaf size and growth potential make it a difficult candidate for both bonsai and by extrapolation container grown. You would need to do extensive root pruning to ensure the tree would remain manageable in even the short term.

Bonsai Tulip Poplar Tree

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  • Oh thank you for your comment, Nikki! It was a $100 tree so I suppose it isn't too much loss if it fails. But yes, I love your idea of a challenge. I will research this further!
    – user41754
    Commented May 25, 2023 at 3:09

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