This steep hill slope offers you a view of both a well-drained upland slope and a bottomland swamp.  Because of the steepness of the slope, the division between the two contrasting ecosystems is quite sharp, with almost no intermediate transition.

Post_5_-_Tulip_Tree.jpgA fine stand of young Tulip Trees has established on the slope.   The four-lobed leaves of this tree are easily recognized; they look like a maple leaf with the end cut off.   The big greenish yellow flowers with an orange centre, resemble those of a Dutch tulip, hence the name of the tree. The flowers appear in June, but are easy to miss because they are so high above the ground.  Look for petals or fallen flowers lying on the ground. In winter you can see the cone-shaped clusters of seeds still attached to the tree and you may find winged seeds on the ground.

Tulip Trees grow fast, and because of this the wood is soft and not very strong, but it is easily worked and does not split.  It has many uses in making furniture, musical instruments and plywood veneers.  First Nations people called this species “Canoewood” since a dug-out canoe could be fashioned from a single trunk. The intensely acrid inner bark of the roots contains tulipiferine, said to be a powerful heart stimulant. Tea made from the bark has been used to treat upset stomachs, rheumatism and fever.