May 24, 2019

I learned something about the tulip trees...

I love tulip trees (Liriodendron) - the shape of the leaves most of all probably. Large cup-like flowers with intricate shapes and crazy pattern, a lovely set of colors. The almost cone-like seedpods. Pointy remains of seed pods that make a naked tree look even more interesting than just a naked tree. The shape of the overall tree - it's awkwardness without leaves and might with them. How much shade it gives. The fact that they are related to magnolias.

But one thing always bothered me - the sticky sap on some of them. But not on others. I never could figure out the pattern, then remembered to search online and...

"Tulip tree aphids (Illinoia liriodendri) commonly feed on the underside of the tree's leaves early in the growing season. Aphids feed on tree sap and cause pale, yellow spots on leaves and may also make leaves curl or pucker and distort blooms. The insects ingest more sap than they need and secrete the excess as honeydew, which leads to sooty mold."