We have a large number of poplar trees in the wooded areas of the park, near the beaver dam/pond you will see several of the large poplar trees. In this area you can see where the beavers have completely chewed the bark off around the trunk.
Text is part of a story on Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives web site to read the entire story go to: www.kdla.ky.gov/resources/kytree.htm
About the Tulip Poplar
The controversy over Kentucky's state tree brewed for more than 40 years before being decided in 1994, with the selection of the Yellow Poplar, a.k.a. Tulip Tree or Tulip Poplar, or in botanical books Liriodendron tulipifera.
Not an actual poplar, the Tulip Poplar is a member of the magnolia family. Its name is derived from the greenish-yellow tulip-like flowers the tree produces in the spring, usually in May. (Also, the leaves look like silhouettes of a tulip -- although most say that has nothing to do with its name.) The flowers' petals fall shortly after blooming, leaving behind cone-shaped clusters of winged seeds that ripen in the fall and drift away. The seeds are eaten by various types of birds and small animals, but aren't great favorites of any, except possibly cardinals. Once the seeds are blown away or devoured, the cones remain throughout the winter.
Tulip Poplars are rapid-growing and long-lived. They grow straight and are tall, averaging about 100 feet. The tallest living Tulip Poplar, according to the National Register of Big Trees, is located in Bedford, Virginia at 111 feet high, with a trunk over 31 feet around. The trunks of the Tulip Poplar are stout with gray furrowed bark. A Tulip Poplar's age can be estimated from the density, darkness of color, and amount of furrows in the bark. The oldest living Tulip Poplar, located in New York, is approximately 225 years old.
In Kentucky, the Tulip Poplar prefers the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. Tulip Poplars thrive in deep, moist soils along streams and in mountain coves. They need full sunlight to grow and develop; in dense woods, newly-germinated seedlings will survive only a few weeks. Instead, stands of Tulip Poplars are usually established in abandoned fields by wind-borne seeds.