The Q&A Archives: Empress Tree

Question: Can you provide information please on the Empress Tree? I am told it will grow (from a seedling) to as much as ten feet in the first year. I need info on growing, protection, sunlight, irrigation, etc.

Answer: Paulownia tomentosa, the Empress Tree, will flower in your area and should not need winter protection. It's a fast-growing tree to 40' or 50', but don't expect 10' of growth per year! A more realistic expectation is 2'-3' per year. Empress trees grow best in full sunshine, with summer irrigation. They are not picky about soil and usually do not need feeding. The trees will cast very heavy shade, and have lots of surface roots, so place your tree where it can grow without compromise, and don't plan to garden directly under it.

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