Poplar Power: The Ultimate Guide to Growing Liriodendron tulipifera!

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Tall and majestic, the Yellow Poplar has been a beloved tree for centuries. Also known as Liriodendron tulipifera, this beauty brings striking foliage, stunning flowers, and ample shade, making it one of the most popular selections for landscaping. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced gardener, our complete guide to growing Yellow Poplars is your go-to resource for mastering the art of tree cultivation. Read on to discover everything you need to know about this magnificent plant, from planting and care tips to the best soil and growing conditions.

Benefits of Growing Your Own Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)

  • Natural source of shade
  • Reduces energy costs by providing cool air
  • Improves air quality by filtering pollutants
  • Produces heavy and durable wood for furniture and construction
  • Attracts bees, butterflies, and birds to support biodiversity

General Information About Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Plant Family: Magnoliaceae family
Plant Latin Name: Liriodendron tulipifera

Plant Variations Available

Yellow Poplar, also known as Tulip Poplar or Tulip Tree, is a deciduous tree native to North America. It is a type of hardwood that is commonly found in the eastern United States, growing up to 150 feet tall and 50 feet wide.


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The bark of a Yellow Poplar is light gray with deep grooves and furrows, while the leaves are large, bright green, and shaped like tulips. It is also characterized by its striking yellow flowers, which bloom in the spring and resemble tulips.

Yellow Poplar has long been a popular choice for furniture, cabinets, and flooring due to its durability and beautiful grain patterns. It is also commonly used for construction lumber, plywood, and veneer.

There are several variations of Yellow Poplar depending on where they are grown. Southern Yellow Poplar tends to have a more uniform and consistent color, while Northern Yellow Poplar tends to have a slightly darker and richer color. Clear Yellow Poplar refers to wood without knots, while Select Yellow Poplar refers to wood with fewer knots than standard grade.

Overall, Yellow Poplar is a versatile and reliable hardwood that can be used for a variety of purposes. Its distinctive look and durability make it a popular choice for both homeowners and craftsmen alike.

Germinating Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Preferred Zones

Yellow Poplars (Liriodendron tulipifera) thrive best in zones 4 to 9 of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Plant Hardiness Zone Map. This means that these trees can tolerate a variety of temperatures, from as low as -30°F in the chilliest regions, to as high as a balmy 30°F in the warmer areas.


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Yellow Poplars are deciduous trees that grow up to 90 feet tall, with a spread of 40 to 50 feet. They prefer full sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soils that are slightly acidic. These trees are known for their beautiful yellow flowers that typically bloom from late spring to early summer.

If you’re looking to grow Yellow Poplars in your outdoor space, make sure you choose a spot that receives enough sunlight and where the soil isn’t too soggy. These trees also require ample space for their expansive root systems, so ensure that there are no underground pipes or cables that may be damaged.

Some of the best zones for growing Yellow Poplars include the southern parts of the Appalachian Mountains, the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys, and the southeastern coastal regions of the United States. These areas provide the right mix of warm temperatures and well-drained soils that these trees need to flourish.

In summary, if you live in zones 4 to 9 of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map and have access to an outdoor space with ample sunlight and well-drained soils, Yellow Poplars might just be the perfect tree for you!

Sowing Instructions

Hello, and welcome to the world of sowing! Today, we’ll be discussing the best methods and procedure for sowing Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera).

Firstly, it’s important to select the right time for sowing. Yellow Poplar seeds are best sown in early spring, just as temperatures begin to warm up. This helps to ensure good germination rates and healthy growth.

When it comes to sowing the seeds themselves, there are a few different methods you can use. One popular option is to sow the seeds directly into the ground, either in pots or in a prepared bed. Make sure you plant the seeds at a depth of around 1-2 inches, and give them plenty of space to grow.

Another option is to start the seeds indoors, in individual pots or trays. This allows you to control the conditions more closely, and can result in stronger, healthier plants. If you choose to sow indoors, make sure to use a high-quality potting mix, and keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.

No matter which method you choose, it’s important to provide adequate care and maintenance to your Yellow Poplar seedlings as they grow. This includes regular watering, fertilization, and pruning as needed.

In conclusion, sowing Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) is a rewarding and relatively simple process, as long as you select the right time, use a good seeding method, and provide proper care and maintenance. With a little patience and diligence, you’ll soon have a thriving poplar forest all your own!

Preparation Advice

Growing Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) can be a rewarding experience for any gardener. This beautiful tree can add elegance and charm to any landscape. However, before jumping into growing it, there are some preparation steps you need to consider to ensure success.

Soil is one of the most important factors when it comes to growing Yellow Poplar. The tree needs rich, well-drained soil to thrive. It’s best to add compost, manure, or other organic matter to balance the soil’s pH level and provide the necessary nutrients. Make sure the soil is moist but not water-logged, and avoid planting the tree in areas with poor drainage.

Next, choose the right equipment for planting. You’ll need gloves, a shovel, a rake, and a wheelbarrow. A digging bar can also come in handy if you encounter rocky soil. Depending on the size of the tree, you may need a stake and a tie to support it as it grows. You can get these at your local garden center or order them online.

When it’s time to plant, dig a hole that’s twice as wide as the root ball and as deep as it. Place the tree in the hole and backfill it with soil, gently packing it down with your feet as you go. Water the tree thoroughly and add a layer of mulch around the base to help retain moisture and prevent weeds.


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To keep the tree healthy, regular pruning is crucial. Removing dead or damaged branches, shaping the tree, and thinning out crowded areas will improve its overall health and appearance. You’ll need pruning shears, loppers, and a saw to do this. Make sure to sterilize your tools between cuts to prevent the spread of disease.

In summary, growing Yellow Poplar requires rich, well-drained soil, proper equipment, and regular maintenance. With the right preparation, you can enjoy the beauty of this stunning tree for years to come.

Germination Tools and Equipment

Germinating Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it requires the right tools and equipment to ensure success. Here are some essentials to get you started:

1. Seedling trays: Starting with a good quality seedling tray is important as it will provide a controlled environment for the seeds to germinate. Choose a tray with drainage holes that come with a drip tray.

2. Seed starter soil: Yellow Poplar seeds need a specific type of soil to take root. Use fine-textured, loose, and well-drained soil for successful germination.

3. Moisture meter: This tool helps to monitor and maintain the moisture of soil. It can help to ensure that the soil doesn’t dry out or become waterlogged, which can be fatal to young seedlings that are just beginning to develop.

4. Grow lights: Yellow Poplar seeds require a lot of light to grow, so it’s essential to use grow lights to provide adequate amounts of light for germination.


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5. Heat mat: Installing a heat mat below the seedling tray helps to regulate soil temperature and speed up germination.

6. Spray bottle: A spray bottle comes in handy when it’s time to water your seeds. This is a gentler way of watering and avoids flooding the seed tray, which can damage young or delicate seedlings.

In summary, germinating Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) requires careful attention to the right tools and equipment. Investing in high-quality supplies will help to ensure a healthy outcome, and with patience and dedication, your seeds will flourish into thriving young trees.

Growing Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Light Requirements

If you’re looking to grow a healthy Yellow Poplar tree, then you should pay close attention to the lighting it receives. This deciduous tree, also known as Liriodendron tulipifera, thrives in a wide range of soil types and climatic conditions but it does have specific lighting requirements.

Yellow Poplar trees require moderate to full sunlight exposure, which means they should receive at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. This tree is quite tall, and it has a straight trunk with dense foliage, so it needs plenty of light to ensure good photosynthesis in the leaves and proper growth throughout the entire plant.


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However, avoid excessive exposure to direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day, especially during the summer months. Consistent exposure to hot direct sunlight may cause sunburn or water stress in the leaves, leading to premature fall and, ultimately, a decline in overall health.

It’s best to plant your Yellow Poplar tree in an area that gets plenty of sunlight during the morning and early afternoon, but a bit of shade in late in the day, should also be provided. Planting it in a partial shade area will also allow for a more consistent and moderate temperature, which is beneficial for the tree’s health.

To get the best out of your Yellow Poplar, you can also try to enhance the quality and intensity of the light it receives, especially if the location for planting lacks adequate sunlight. For instance, you can install a light source that provides artificial brightness or place reflective structures around the tree to redirect light. An expert or a tree specialist can help you to determine the best approach to achieving proper lighting for your Yellow Poplar.

In essence, providing proper lighting for your Yellow Poplar tree ensures it grows and remains healthy over time. With moderate to full sunlight exposure and occasional protection from excess heat, your Yellow Poplar can thrive and continue to beautify your landscape for years to come.

Temperature Requirements

Yellow Poplars (Liriodendron tulipifera) are native to North America and are known for their beautiful, tulip-shaped flowers that bloom in the spring. If you are interested in growing healthy Yellow Poplar trees, it is important to understand their temperature requirements.

Yellow Poplars are a relatively cold-hardy species, meaning that they can tolerate freezing temperatures and mild frost without suffering significant damage. However, they prefer a temperate climate with mild winters and moderate summers. Ideally, the temperature range for growing healthy Yellow Poplar trees is between 60-80°F (15.5-26.5°C).

In order to ensure your Yellow Poplar trees thrive, it is important to avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures. This means protecting them from both frost and excessive heat. During winter months, you may want to cover your young Yellow Poplar saplings with frost blankets to keep them safe from frost damage. During hot summer months, you can provide shade to the trees by planting them underneath larger trees or by using fabric shade cloths.

By providing your Yellow Poplar trees with the right temperature range, you can help them grow strong and healthy. Remember that this species prefers a temperate climate with mild winters and moderate summers, and avoiding exposure to extreme temperatures is key. With a little bit of care and attention, your Yellow Poplar trees can thrive for years to come.

My Favorite Tools For Growing Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Caring for Yellow Poplar trees is essential to ensuring that they remain healthy and vibrant for years to come. To achieve this, you need the right tools and equipment to maintain them properly. Here are some of the best tools and equipment you will need:


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1. Shears or Pruners: Whether you need to remove dead branches, cut back new growth, or shape the tree, a good set of shears or pruners is essential. Look for high-quality, sharp blades that are comfortable to hold and can make clean cuts.

2. Lopper: If the branches are too thick for your shears or pruners, a lopper is the perfect tool to use. With a longer handle and heavier blades, it will be much easier to cut through thicker branches.

3. Gloves: Protecting your hands while pruning and trimming is crucial. Look for gloves that are both durable and comfortable to wear for extended periods.

4. Safety glasses: Protect your eyes from any debris that may come loose.

5. Water hose: Yellow Poplar trees require a lot of watering, especially during times of drought. A high-quality water hose is essential to ensure that you can give your tree the right amount of water when it needs it.

6. Fertilizer: To ensure the tree gets the right nutrients, it is important to use a high-quality fertilizer when required.


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Taking the time to care for your Yellow Poplar trees properly will help them thrive, providing you with a beautiful and healthy landscape for many years to come.

Preferred Soil Type

To cultivate healthy Yellow Poplars, it is important to pay attention to the soil conditions. These trees thrive in deep, nutrient-rich soils that are well-drained and moist. Adequate moisture is particularly important during the tree’s growth phase.

Yellow Poplars also prefer slightly acidic soils with a pH level of 5.0 to 7.0. They do not tolerate alkaline soils very well, so it is important to avoid planting them in these conditions.

Additionally, Yellow Poplars require soils that are well-aerated and well-drained. The presence of standing water or poor drainage can lead to root rot, which can severely damage or even kill the tree.

Soil texture is also an important consideration when growing Yellow Poplars. These trees prefer soils with a medium texture, such as loam or silt. Too much clay can limit root growth, while too much sand can lead to poor water retention.


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In terms of fertility, Yellow Poplars require adequate levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. A soil test can help determine whether any amendments are needed.

In summary, to promote healthy growth of Yellow Poplars, ensure that the soil is deep, well-drained, slightly acidic, aerated, and fertile. With proper attention to soil conditions, these trees can grow into majestic specimens that provide beauty and shade for generations.

Watering Requirements

When it comes to watering your Yellow Poplar, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First and foremost, it’s important to understand that this particular species of tree requires a consistent and relatively large amount of water in order to thrive. This is because their deep root systems require a significant amount of moisture in order to access the nutrients and minerals necessary for healthy growth.

With that said, you’ll want to make sure that you’re watering your Yellow Poplar regularly and deeply. Aim to give them at least one inch of water per week, either through rainfall or manual watering. It’s best to water slowly and deeply, allowing the water to fully penetrate the soil around the roots. Don’t water too often or too lightly, as this can lead to shallow root systems and an overall weaker tree.

In addition to regular watering, it’s also important to monitor the soil moisture level around your Yellow Poplar. Check the soil frequently, especially during hot or dry weather, and water as needed to ensure that the soil remains consistently moist.

One final thing to keep in mind is that Yellow Poplars don’t like to sit in standing water, so be sure to allow excess moisture to drain away from the roots. With these tips in mind, you should be well on your way to growing a healthy and beautiful Yellow Poplar tree.

What You Need To Know About Fertilizing Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Yellow Poplar, also known as Liriodendron tulipifera, is a deciduous hardwood tree that is commonly found in North America. To ensure that your Yellow Poplar grows to be a healthy and vibrant tree, it is important to follow proper fertilization techniques.

Yellow Poplar trees benefit from an annual application of a slow-release fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. This will help to provide the tree with the nutrients it needs to develop strong and healthy roots and to support healthy leaf growth.

It is recommended that the fertilizer be applied in the early spring, just before the tree starts to push out new growth. Be sure to spread the fertilizer evenly around the tree, taking care not to allow any of it to come into direct contact with the trunk of the tree.

Yellow Poplar trees also benefit from mulching. Mulching helps to retain moisture in the soil, which is important for the healthy growth of the tree’s roots. It also helps to prevent weeds from growing around the base of the tree, which can compete with the tree for nutrients.

When applying mulch, be sure to spread it evenly around the base of the tree, taking care not to allow the mulch to come into direct contact with the trunk of the tree.


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If you are unsure about the proper fertilization techniques for your Yellow Poplar tree, it is recommended that you consult with a professional arborist. With their knowledge and expertise, they can help to ensure that your Yellow Poplar grows to be a healthy and vibrant tree.

My Favorite Fertilizers For Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)

When it comes to the Yellow Poplar, also known as Liriodendron tulipifera, it’s important to choose the right fertilizer for optimal growth and health. Here are some of the best fertilizers to consider for this species:

1. Nitrogen-based fertilizers: These types of fertilizers contain high levels of nitrogen, which is essential for encouraging lush foliage growth. By ensuring that your Yellow Poplar has enough nitrogen, you can help it to produce more leaves and branches, leading to a fuller, healthier tree.

2. Phosphorus-based fertilizers: Phosphorus is another key nutrient that is essential for plant growth. By using a fertilizer that contains phosphorus, you can help your Yellow Poplar to develop strong roots and a sturdy trunk, which will help it to withstand strong winds and other environmental challenges.

3. Potassium-based fertilizers: Potassium is critical for maintaining overall plant health, and can help your Yellow Poplar to resist disease, pests, and other threats. By using a fertilizer that contains high levels of potassium, you can help your tree to thrive even in adverse conditions.

4. Organic fertilizers: For those who prefer to use natural or organic methods, there are several excellent choices when it comes to fertilizing your Yellow Poplar. Compost, worm castings, and other organic materials can be applied around the base of the tree to provide essential nutrients and promote healthy growth.

Overall, the key to healthy Yellow Poplar is choosing a fertilizer that provides the right balance of nutrients for this species. By tailoring your fertilizer selection to the needs of your tree, you can ensure that it grows well and remains healthy for years to come.

Harvesting Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Time To Maturity

The Yellow Poplar, also known as Liriodendron tulipifera, is a deciduous tree that is prevalent in Eastern North America. This tree is known for its tall straight trunks and its beautiful yellow and orange tulip-like flowers. Many people love to plant Yellow Poplars in their yards or gardens because they bring an elegant and natural beauty to any landscape.

One important factor to consider before planting Yellow Poplars is the time it takes for them to mature. After you plant your Yellow Poplar seedling, it will typically take between 20 to 30 years for it to reach full maturity, depending on environmental factors such as climate and soil quality.

In the first year of growth, the Yellow Poplar seedling will sprout leaves and begin developing its root system. The next few years will see steady growth in height and thickness, with the tree reaching its adolescence by year five or six. This period of adolescence will be characterized by rapid growth in both height and thickness, with the trunk becoming stronger and more robust.

As the Yellow Poplar approaches its tenth year, it will enter a period of slower growth, where it will focus on expanding its canopy and deepening its root system. The tree will continue to grow upwards and outwards for the next 10-20 years, until it reaches its full height and width.

By the time your Yellow Poplar has reached full maturity, it will be a grand and imposing tree, standing tall and proud in your yard or garden. Its yellow and orange flowers will be even more beautiful than before, while its towering trunk and thick branches will provide shade and spaciousness for your family and friends to enjoy.

In conclusion, the Yellow Poplar is a majestic tree that requires patience and dedication to grow to full maturity. But with persistence and care, you can see your Yellow Poplar grow from a sprout to a powerful symbol of natural beauty that will last for generations.

Harvest Instructions

Harvesting Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Yellow Poplar, also known as Liriodendron tulipifera, is a beautiful hardwood tree that grows in the eastern region of North America. This tree has an attractive, yellow-green color and a straight, tall trunk that makes it a valuable forestry resource.

To harvest Yellow Poplar timber, there are several steps that you will need to follow.

1. Identify the Right Trees

The first step in harvesting Yellow Poplar is to identify the right trees. These trees should be mature, healthy, and have a trunk diameter of at least 14 inches. You should also ensure that the trees are not endangered or protected by law.

2. Cut Down the Tree


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Once you have identified the tree you want to harvest, use a chainsaw to cut it down. Make sure to cut it perpendicular to the ground and avoid damaging the surrounding trees. Be careful when felling the tree, and always follow safety guidelines.

3. Remove the Branches

After the tree is felled, remove the branches from the trunk using a pruning saw or chainsaw. This will make it easier to transport the trunk.

4. Transport the Trunk

Transporting the trunk may require a skidder or a forwarder – heavy-duty machinery that can lift and transport the trunk. Alternatively, you can use a cable system to drag the trunk to a clearing or a road where it can be loaded onto a truck.

5. Process the Trunk

Once the trunk has been transported to your desired location, it can be processed into timber. This is done using a sawmill or a portable mill. The trunk will be sawn into boards of different thicknesses, widths, and lengths.

6. Store the Timber

After the timber has been processed, it can be stored in a covered area to dry. This is known as seasoning, and it can take several months to a year for the timber to dry out completely.

By following these steps, you can successfully harvest Yellow Poplar timber. It is important to remember that proper safety equipment, machinery, and techniques should be used to ensure a safe and successful harvest. Happy harvesting!

My Favorite Tools For Harvest Time

When it comes to harvesting Yellow Poplar, also known as Liriodendron tulipifera, it’s important to have the right tools and equipment to ensure a successful and efficient harvest.

First and foremost, a good quality chainsaw is essential. You’ll want a saw with a sharp, reliable chain and a powerful motor that can handle the dense bark and tough wood of the Yellow Poplar tree. It’s also important to have proper safety gear, including a helmet with a visor, safety gloves, ear protection, and sturdy work boots.

A pruning saw or hand pruner may also come in handy for trimming smaller branches and limbs, especially if you’re working in tight spaces. A sturdy ladder or climbing gear will be necessary to reach higher branches and tree tops.

For transporting the harvested lumber, you’ll need a sturdy trailer or truck bed. It’s important to secure the lumber properly so it doesn’t shift or fall during transportation, which can be a safety hazard.

Finally, if you’re harvesting on a large scale, you may want to consider investing in a portable sawmill. This allows you to process the lumber on site, without needing to transport it to a separate location.

Overall, harvesting Yellow Poplar requires a combination of reliable saws, safety gear, transportation equipment, and perhaps a portable sawmill. With the right tools, you’ll be able to safely and efficiently harvest this beautiful and valuable hardwood.

End of Season & Overwintering

As the end of the growing season approaches, it’s important to properly care for your Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) to ensure healthy growth and vibrant blooms the following year.

One important step in overwintering your Yellow Poplar is to keep it well-watered throughout the fall season. As temperatures begin to cool, the tree is less able to absorb moisture from the soil, so regular watering is essential to keep it healthy. Be sure to water deeply and thoroughly, but avoid saturating the soil, as this can lead to root rot and other issues.

Another important consideration is to provide your Yellow Poplar with adequate protection from the elements. This may involve wrapping the trunk in burlap, covering the soil around the tree with a layer of mulch, or even wrapping the entire tree in protective fabric. This will help to insulate the tree from cold temperatures, reduce the risk of frost damage, and prevent damage from strong winds.

Finally, it’s important to prune your Yellow Poplar carefully at the end of the growing season. Remove any dead or diseased branches, as well as any branches that are crossing or rubbing against one another. This will help to promote healthy growth and reduce the risk of damage from wind and other weather-related factors.

By following these tips and taking good care of your Yellow Poplar, you can help ensure its long-term health and vitality, and enjoy beautiful blooms and healthy growth for many seasons to come.

Final Thoughts on Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Congratulations! By reading this guide, you are now equipped with the knowledge necessary to grow your own beautiful and healthy Yellow Poplar plant. With a little patience, dedication, and attention to detail, you can watch as your seedling develops into a towering tree that will provide shade, comfort, and natural beauty for many years to come.

Remember to choose a suitable location, provide appropriate nutrition and water, and protect your plant from harsh environmental factors. As your Yellow Poplar grows, be sure to prune and maintain its shape and structure to ensure optimal growth and beauty.

With these tips and guidance, you can look forward to a bountiful harvest of beautiful Yellow Poplars, which can be used for a variety of purposes, such as furniture, flooring, and other decorative items.

So go ahead, grab your gardening tools, and let’s get started on growing your own Yellow Poplar tree today!

Frequently Asked Questions About Growing Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)

1. What are the ideal conditions for growing Yellow Poplar?
Answer: Yellow Poplar thrives in moist, well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. This tree species prefers full sun exposure and can tolerate a wide range of soil types, from acidic to slightly alkaline.

2. How fast does Yellow Poplar grow?
Answer: Yellow Poplar is a relatively fast-growing tree species that can reach a height of 70 to 90 feet in 20 to 30 years. In optimal growing conditions, it can grow up to 2 feet per year.

3. What are the common pests and diseases Yellow Poplar is susceptible to?
Answer: Yellow Poplar is relatively resistant to most pests and diseases. However, it can be susceptible to stem cankers, leaf spot, and scale insects. Regular monitoring for signs of pest and disease damage and prompt treatment can prevent serious damage to the tree.

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