|What is the best way to start new Palongia trees? Can I grow from a shoot removed from an exhisting tree?|
|Paulownia produces millions of small fluffy seeds (formerly used as packing material), yet this enigmatic tree is difficult to propagate. It seems to prefer to establish itself in vacant lots and wherever you'd rather not have it grow. Peter Thompson's book, Creative Propagation (2nd edition, Timber Press, 2005), states that Paulownia is best propagated by seed in the spring, or by semi-mature root cuttings laid horizontally just below the surface of the soil. If you'd like to try a root cutting, you'll need to dig around at the base of the tree until you can unearth a healthy root about as big around as a pencil. Dig it out without damaging the root then lay it on the soil after scratching out a channel in the ground. Lay the root in the channel and barely cover it with soil. Keep the area moist and several new little sprouts should emerge from the partially buried root. When the sprouts are about a foot tall you can dig down between them to separate them then dig them up with the roots attached and pot them up. I've had better success just collecting and planting the seeds. The new little seedlings grow quickly and can be transplanted out into the garden by the end of the summer season. Whichever way you choose to approach your propagation project, best wishes!