The Q&A Archives: Identify Tree

Question: Moved to a new home in September. This spring as we where exploring the woods surrounding our house, we came upon a tree that we have not be able to identify. It had clusters of light purple trumpet shaped flowers which pointed upwards. The leaves are large simple shaped and have a soft fuzz on them. There are seed pods from lasts years (I assume) blooms and they have a vanilla/cinnamon scent. This tree was beening invaded by briars so I spent an afternoon pulling them (the briars) out.

Answer: You've discovered an Empress Tree (Paulownia tomentosa). You can start the seeds indoors or out. Trees grown from seed take about 7 years before they'll flower. Grow in average, well-draining soil in full sunshine. Expect your Empress trees to grow 40'-50' high with an equal spread. I have two in my yard that were started from seed. They are glorious!

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