In N.C., tulip trees typically flower before other deciduous trees leaf out. Look for swelling leaf buds on the branches. If you see none, that's not a good sign. Do small branches snap off when bent instead of bending? If you scratch a small, thin area of bark, do you see green tree tissue? Poor planting technique may not show up immediately. Contact the seller to see if there is a one year warranty. How to do a scratch test is covered in this article: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/tgen/tree-scratch-test.htm
Answered on March 31, 2019
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