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I ordered three Royal Paulownia trees out of a catalogue about three years ago and
planted them. We planted those because we needed fast growing trees. I planted one
in front of the house, one on the side of the house and one right next to the house.
They are growing but the one right next to the house is growing the fastest! It’s
about 8 feet tall, and it flowered for the first time this year with beautiful purple
blooms. This tree is really close to the house. How large is it going to grow and
do we need to cut it down if it is too close? Any pointers on care of these trees?
Royal Paulownia or Empress trees are Paulownia tomentosa. They are weak-wooded fast
growing trees that can produce enormous leaves when they are young, but then have
a more normal sized leaf as the tree matures. Even young trees bloomed prolifically
this spring, with large purple flower clusters that looked like candelabras. While
they are showy in bloom, they tend to freely reseed themselves and start falling apart
with age. For that reason they aren’t the best shade tree. They will also grow quite
large – 30-40 foot minimum in height. As with any shade tree, they should not be planted
any closer to the foundation than fifteen to twenty feet. If it is closer than that,
consider transplanting it this fall to an area where it has room to grow, or plant
another more long lived species.
Can you tell me if the Royal Empress Tree is suitable for zone 8?
Royal Empress tree-- Paulownia tomentosa will grow fine in zone 8. Do be aware that
it is a fast growing tree and can be fairly short lived and messy. It does have beautiful
purple flowers in the spring, but the woody seed capsules that result spread seed
which can grow readily in unwanted locations.
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