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Royal Empress/Paulownia?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 113
Location: Taylorsville Kentucky
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Pardon me if I am behind the curve, but I just discovered this tree. I am curious if its too invasive, or if it is useful as a pioneer species or a long term canopy tree? I've read online that its wood is very valuable and is one of the fastest growing trees in the world. Native to Asia. Has been cimatized to North America by the fine china trade, they used the seeds or seed pods as packing material. And of course the seed blew everywhere once it got here.

My main interestes:

Legacy Tree
Pioneer Species
Biomass accumulator
Shade
I think I read its a Nitro fixer Is this true?

I am in zone 6b, I think the wacky weather could kill blooms and limit the amount of seed pods late in the season.

Has anyone got experience with this tree??
 
Ray Cecil
Posts: 113
Location: Taylorsville Kentucky
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Well....crickets.

If anyone is interested in this tree/topic, I recently read this article below in the link. Very informative. I'm leaning towards ordering some root cuttings. This tree is viewed as invasive. However recent fossil discoveries show it has been present on the north american continent long ago. Also, the seeds almost always are destroyed by fungi. Only exposed sterile, high mineral soil will germinate the seeds. So unless you have a lot of disturbed soil around you, its probably fairly safe to use this tree. Unless some info to the contrary changes my mind, I may try this tree out. I also have Loblloly and Yellow poplar coming (100 of each) which I plan to have in a reforested area of my property, and as wind breaks. I may plant some cedar in there too. I currently have about 50 cedar trees of various ages and varieties.

http://www.paulowniatrees.org/2016-February-AmericanPaulowniaAssocNewsletter.pdf

 
Posts: 6538
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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We knew someone who used the wood from the very large tree's on his land for yokes and bowls and other things that I don't remember.  They were nice and he sold them to the public.  It is a soft easily carved wood.
He also sold seeds at the time.   Apparently the seeds blow everywhere but only establish if the conditions are right.
 
Posts: 248
Location: Ellisforde, WA
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Thanks for the article. I've always thought it was an asset. I've never found it to be invasive. Yes, the wind can blow twigs into the yard, but no more than other trees. The pros outweigh the cons.
 
Ray Cecil
Posts: 113
Location: Taylorsville Kentucky
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Thanks everyone. I can buy a pound of root cuttings for $29. I might go to the local parks this spring and see if I can find a local tree to dig roots from. I think I remember seeing a tree on the road side that had huge leaves. I rememeber thinking that it might be a rather large leafed Sycamore because it is growing near an overpass bridge going over a creek, but maybe it was a Paulownia tree....i'll investigate it, take pics and report back.
 
Liz Hoxie
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Location: Ellisforde, WA
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It might be a Catalpa tree. They are usually planted near fishing spots. The worms make good bait and they provide good shade for the fisherfolk.
 
Ray Cecil
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Location: Taylorsville Kentucky
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Liz Hoxie wrote:It might be a Catalpa tree. They are usually planted near fishing spots. The worms make good bait and they provide good shade for the fisherfolk.



Liz, I will check this out!
 
Ray Cecil
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Liz Hoxie wrote:It might be a Catalpa tree. They are usually planted near fishing spots. The worms make good bait and they provide good shade for the fisherfolk.



Liz, I am almost 100% sure its not a catalpa tree. Its branches, if I remember correctly look more similar to a Sycamore, or a Paulownia. I know those two trees have different color barks, but by the looks of it, their main trunks aren't too different. Sycamore tends to have two to three trunks typically though, and the Paulownia seems to have one to two if cut back on purpose.  I'm leaning towards this tree being a really healthy Sycomore honestly. But we'll see once I get by there.
 
Posts: 123
Location: West Iowa
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Probably somewhat invasive, as this link will mention:

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/discussions/1647307/purple-flowered-invasive-tree-in-s-ky

Also there are different species a person can grow.  I think Paulownia Elongata gets taller and bigger.  
 
master steward
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Location: Pacific Northwest
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If this is the Empress Tree that my father-in-law has, it does grow fast and puts out seedlings all over his yard. They're not too hard to manage from what I understand, though.
 
pollinator
Posts: 533
Location: Pac Northwest
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I lived in the Architectural community Arcosanti. Where we had planted paulownia in between rows in the gardens. these trees made great shade for the garden in the hot Arizona high desert. As well it helped decrease moisture evaporation from the garden, meaning less watering was needed. The leaves were great for composting. While I was not there for any wood harvest, there was plans to harvest the wood periodically.

I think paulownia trees are a great option, but they might not fit for every area. There is a definite issue of invasiveness in some regions. While others they don't seem to be invasive at all. I would highly recommend doing plenty of due diligence on the risk of invasiveness if you consider planting any.
 
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I live in southern Ohio. I have had these trees in 2 locations, where I used to live & where I am now. They did well in the last place, but moved here only 30 miles north & they die back every winter. They are nice trees, especially for a yard, nice shade fast, if it fell it might dent your gutter, but you can lift a log by yourself. The leaves are fodder for livestock, the flowers make a tea for people.

The wood I understand is expensive. It is very soft but with few defects. I heard it is used for piano keys & other instruments, but I don't know if any of it is true.

They can be grown to harvest size, cut, sold, & then just let them come up again out of the main root, cut back all but one for a new tree trunk, harvest again, start over. I heard there are trees in China 300 years old that have been harvested every few years, have not confirmed that, but I have harvested the same tree on the same stump twice & it came back for me.

I don't like heavy tress for the yard for safety reasons,  & consider these ideal, also like mimosa for the yard as they grow fast & aren't heavy either.  Why plant a 20 ton tree next to your house that might fall on it? Both of those grow fast, make shade, & are light weight. The mimosa in fall doesn't require raking the yard.

Hope this helps!
 
Ray Cecil
Posts: 113
Location: Taylorsville Kentucky
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All,
  Thanks for your replies. I believe the benefits out weigh the cons. I plan to use this tree as a quick shade for my new swales, and chop and drop it every year. If I had 100 acres and just planted a couple, that might be irresponsible. But I am only putting this near my 300' of swales to use as green manure/cover. Maybe...just maybe I might think about using this for firewood production, but seeing how light it is, it probably would burn pretty fast, but hey, it grows really fast too!!

Has anyone used this tree's wood in Hugelkultur

I will look into Mimosa, and see what benefits it might bring to my farm, and if it is appropriate in my climate.
 
Hey, sticks and stones baby. And maybe a wee mention of my stuff:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
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