You may or may not know it, but you have a tulip poplar in your house. Tulip poplar trees are very tall and very straight. Their wood is very white and fine grained and soft. All these qualities make it the perfect wood for milling indoor trim. Before they are sent to the mill and your home, they spend years peppering you with wavy orange, yellow and green flamed tulips in the early summer, with scaly cones and lemon leaves in the fall and tiny black twigs in the winter. Their bright green leaves are covered in sugar syrup and if they fall early, you can easily see the frosting.
Sometimes pieces of deeply ridged bark fall off and you can carve little animals or canoes out of them for cool Mother’s Day gifts. That’s where all my mother’s paring knives went (sorry, Mom). Dad fixed this problem when I was 8 by giving me a real pocketknife. I still have it.
What you may not know is that they talk. At least that’s what I thought when I was little. When a tree grows very quickly, like a Pop, it can be very brittle. When that happens, and the winds blow, their trunks creak and moan as they move back and forth. That means they’re talking to each other, right? Okay, you’re not buying it. That is why the gallery is named Talking Trees. I expect a canoe for my bath tub on Sunday. Happy Mother’s Day to all you less fortunate.