top of page

Tulip Tree in Winter

Updated: Sep 5, 2019

a huge tulip tree without leaves in winter shows its spare architecture and its strength. Tulip tree is called that because the leaves look like a child's drawing of a tulip)
The beauty of dormancy and negative space. Photo R. Richen

A tulip tree towers above the corner of northeast Fifteenth Avenue and Weidler Street in Portland, Oregon. Once endangered by progress, the tree was saved by neighborhood members and city planners. In spring, its branches drape toward the small restaurant near its massive trunk. Light green leaves sway in the breeze, each leaf a child’s idea of a tulip in silhouette. Its magnolia- glossy flowers perch above the leaves, so are rarely seen. In fall, the leaves develop peach, orange and daffodil hues. In winter, its reach and power is revealed. Afternoon light illumines lovely open spaces between strong, dark branches. The tulip tree stands, dormant and alive in the cold, setting sun.

Below this graceful power, we meet, sit, read, munch croissants, wait for the bus, protest wars, discuss love, life, environment, hug goodbye, and occasionally, we glance up.

(Liriodendron tulipifera)


bottom of page