The anatomical and chemical characteristics of reaction wood (RW) were investigated in Liriodendron tulipifera Linn. Stems of seedlings were artificially inclined at angles of 30 (RW-30), 50 (RW-50) and 70° (RW-70) from the vertical, and compared with normal wood (NW) from a vertical seedling stem. The smallest values for the wood fibre length and vessel number were observed in RW-50. The pit aperture angle was less than 10° in RW-30 and RW-50, in which reduced lignin content was observed in the S2 layer of the wood fibres. An increase in the glucose content and a decrease in the lignin and xylose content was observed in RW-50. The stem inclination angle affected the degree of RW development with regard to anatomical and chemical characteristics: the severest RW was observed in RW-50, followed by RW-30. RW-70 was similar in anatomical and chemical characteristics to NW, apparently because the inclination was too strong to enable recovery of its original position. In this case a vertical sprouting stem was formed to replace the inclined stem.