Sunday, February 17, 2008

When will my Royal Empress Tree bloom?
  • Empress Trees typically bloom in their 3rd year. They bloom for a 6-8 week period in April-May. The flower buds form in the Fall and stay on the tree all winter.
How tall will my tree get?
  • The average height for the Paulownia Kawakamii is 30-40 feet.
The leaves on my Royal Empress Tree are kind of yellow looking & it isn't growing very fast.
  • Chances are it is not getting adequate nutrition. Paulownias need to be regularly fed with a high nitrogen fertilizer for optimum growth.
    On this page there is a great, easy to make fertilizer recipe for keeping a healthy Paulownia Tree: Organic Fertilizer Mix
Something seems to be eating the leaves of my Paulownia Tree. What can I do?
  • Caterpillars love to munch on the leaves of the young Paulownia. It is best to use organic insect deterrents, as Paulownia leaves can be easily injured by chemicals.
  • BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) works great, it is sold as Safer brand Caterpillar killer.
  • Spinosad is a very good all round bug deterrent.
  • Diatamacious Earth, sprinkled on the leaves & ground around the tree help keep bugs away. All of these can be found at most garden centers that carry organic products.
I planted my tree in late summer and it only grew about 6 feet before it went dormant. Should I still cut it back in Spring?
  • If your tree has not reached at least 10 feet in the first summer it is very important that you cut it back to the ground in early spring before the new growth emerges. This will reset the growth process and allow your tree to grow much faster and stronger its second year. Empress trees can be cut back as many as 5-7 times and regenerate again from their roots.
Someone told me that Paulownia Trees are invasive. Is this true?
  • Paulownia trees need just the right growing conditions for them to spread by seed. They need very warm, damp weather to sprout. They have spread in the wild in some areas of the south eastern United States, but seem to prefer growing in open areas where the ground has been disturbed, such as along the sides of roads & construction zones. They cannot survive with much shade from other trees, so there is little danger of them actually spreading into the native forests. Most people who have planted even very large plantations of Paulownia for timber have only ever seen a few stray seedlings come up where they're not supposed to. Most of us will agree that the desolate & disturbed areas where they do choose to sprout can usually benefit from the beauty and elegance of a Royal Empress Tree.
How messy are Paulownia Trees?
  • Paulownia Trees loose their leaves every fall, so once a year they can be a bit messy. The leaves are large and easy to rake up though. If you have a compost pile, save the leaves, they are high in nitrogen and will be a great addition to the compost. If they are in an area where you don't mind a bit of a mess for a little while just leave them be. The leaves disintegrate very quickly and add valuable nutrients back into the soil.
Can they handle the high temperatures we get in the summer?
  • The Empress Tree is capable of withstanding temperatures over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. They thrive in the heat as long as they have adequate water.
Are the roots invasive?
  • One of the great things about Paulownia Trees is their root structure. They send down very deep straight tap roots. This keeps them from tearing up your sidewalks, as well as making them very beneficial for intercropping, allowing the soil around them to be tilled so crops can be planted, & the deep roots don't compete for the nutrition the crops need. Read more about intercropping with Paulownias here:
  • Paulownias & the environment
  • The wonder tree of China
  • Paulownia: An Agroforestry Gem
Are Paulownia Trees Toxic?
  • No, they are completely non-toxic. The leaves are very high in protein and are used as livestock fodder in many countries. Goats and sheep especially like them.The flowers can be used in salads and for tea. The flowers also make a wonderful uniquely flavored honey.


Jayson said...

I planted one of these early last year. it took off in about July and by august had grown to 3 ft with huge leaves. This year, it has filled in with large leaves, but has not grown in height at all. any thoughts?
any ideas would be great as i really want this tree in my yard.

my email is

Anonymous said...

I did a double take when we passed by some trees on the side of the road. At first, I thought their bright bluish-purple....Tree Nursery Co

Peta said...

Why did you cut it right back?

Primeval Gardens Paulownias said...

It is best to cut Paulownia trees back if they don't reach at least 10 feet in height the first season. This gives them more energy for their roots and they will grow much faster the second year.