Paulownia - Knowledgebase Question

Tacoma, WA
Question by LYNandKIDS
February 23, 2000
My question is about a flowering tree. I bought a Better Home and Garden magazine and in it it has an ad for a flowering tree called "Royal Paulownia". It says this tree will grow as tall as the roof in just one year. It comes with a money back guarantee. My question is can a tree grow that high in 1 year? It's a pretty looking tree with purple flowers. I wouldn't mind getting one for some shade but its one of those if it sounds to good to be true it probably is. What do you think, and have you ever heard of this tree?


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Answer from NGA
February 23, 2000

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Paulownia, the Empress Tree, is a fast-growing tree, reaching 40'-50' with an equal spread. (Keep that in mind when planting!) The tree typically grows 14'-17' high in 4-5 years, but given ample water and sunshine, it can grow 8'-10' in a single year. On the down side, if you encourage very fast growth, the wood will be brittle and could be damaged (or cause damage) in a wind storm.

The trees are very attractive, with clusters of upright flower clusters in the early spring. It's a good landscape specimen if given ample room to grow.

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