I have a large back yard and would like to plant a fast-growing tree that will provide shade and look nice. I have been doing some research and like the look of the Tulip tree, but read that it can leave a mess when the flowers drop and that it sometimes leaves a black sap. Do you have any suggestions?

I think you would be happy with your selection of the Tulip tree. All trees require some maintenance, but the Tulip tree is not particularly messy. The dropping of flower petals is for only two weeks of the year and not a major concern. The "black sap" is actually sooty mold which results if you have a high aphid population. This could present a bit of a nuisance, but is very treatable.

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