Q. Can you tell me more about the Tulip trees in front of the Library Building?
The Alleé of Tulip trees in front of the NYBG Mertz Library building have been there a very long time. They are native to the northeast, and sometimes found growing in wild areas.
Tulip Tree, or botanical name Liriodendron tulipifera can grow quite tall with striking large leaves and tulip like flowers. There is an Alleé of Tulip trees in front of the NYBG Mertz Library building currently, and the following link shows them back in the day as young trees. https://www.nybg.org/blogs/plant-talk/tag/tulip-tree/
Liriodendron tulipifera, commonly called tulip tree or yellow poplar, is a large, stately, deciduous tree of eastern North America that typically grows 60-90' (less frequently to 150’) tall, with a pyramidal to broad conical habit. Trunks of mature trees may reach 4-6’ in diameter, usually rising column-like with an absence of lower branching. It is named and noted for its cup-shaped, tulip-like flowers that bloom in spring. Flowers are yellow with an orange band at the base of each petal. Although the flowers are 2” in length, they can go unnoticed on large trees because the flowers appear after the leaves are fully developed. More here: http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=a878
As histories go, these trees are some of The New York Botanical Garden’s longer-lived residents, planted by none other than the person who established the NYBG in the first place–Nathaniel Lord Britton. The Library Building (then known as the museum) was completed in 1901, and there was a need for an accent that would lead the eye up the main approach to its future centerpiece. Britton settled on poplars in 1903, the same year ground was broken for the Lillian Goldman Fountain of Life.
See young trees in front of the NYBG Mertz library https://www.nybg.org/blogs/plant-talk/2011/12/around-the-garden/giants-of-the-allee/
Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service