Tulip Poplar Dropping Green Seed Pods

Q: My tulip poplar has been dropping green seed pods for a couple of weeks. They fall every 20 minutes or so all day long.

A: The regular dropping you describe sounds like the work of squirrels. Poplar seeds, like pine seeds, are good food for them in late summer. I don’t know why they were not chewed before they were dropped. The tulip poplar seed pod is interesting to me because, unlike most other trees, tulip poplar flowers are pollinated by honeybees, not the wind. The interior of the flower holds a yellow cone, demonstrating that the tree is a member of the magnolia family. It is said that a tulip poplar can produce as much as nine pounds of nectar during the bloom season. My father, a beekeeper, loved collecting the poplar honey produced by his bees.

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