Letter: I hope tulip tree survives

Horton House, Halifax
Horton House, Halifax

The proposed alterations for Horton House featured in the Courier (January 12) to create a new extension of the Westgate shopping arcade.

It is noted that the beautiful and unusual “tulip tree” (common name) is included in the illustration. It is likely that the tree has a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).

I hope that it will remain intact during any refurbishment to take place at Horton House. It is a rather special tree - taking a look at Wikipedia, I now know a little more about the species “Liriodendron Tulipifera” of the magnolia family.

The species are native to the Eastern United States; it is the state tree of Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.

The deciduous tree is lovely to look at all year round, with unusual bright green leaves in spring followed by flowers of pale green or yellow with an orange band of tepals (the outer part of the flower) they provide a large quantity of nectar.

In autumn the leaves turn bright yellow, followed by the fruit, a light brown cone. Long and narrow they are about two to three inches long and made up of narrow scales. The seeds in pods (samaras) are dispersed by the wind. The cones remain on the tree throughout the winter and decay. If readers haven’t taken a second glance at this tree in Horton Street, please do – even in winter it has its own attraction.

I first became aware of the tulip tree when I worked at the Courier in the media library; it featured in our “Trees in Calderdale” file.

Are there any other tulip trees locally I wonder, and who planted the one outside Horton House?

Re- the plans for new entrance to Westgate – via Horton House – the new illustration of the entrance in last Friday’s (April 27) Courier report page 7 – does the plan include the protected tulip tree?

It is a long standing feature of Horton House and a most unusual and beautiful tree – I hope it survives!