Thread: I love this tree, but donít know anything about it.

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  1. #1

    I love this tree, but donít know anything about it.

    Inland Southern California.


    Largest leaves are about 12in wide, 16in long, covered in soft fuzz.


    Bark


    Fruit

    Skin is sticky. No pics of the blossoms the fruit come from but they are lavender and come in about mid spring.

    Seeds


    Thanks for your help

  2. #2

    RE: I love this tree, but donít know anything about it.

    It looks to be a type of tree in the genus: Paulownia.
    It could be Empress Tree (Paulownia tomentosa) and they are native to China. Here in the East U.S. they are a invasive tree that will pop up from the thousands of little wind blown seeds that are released every year, I don't know if they are invasive out west though.

    Fruit and seed of Empress Tree (I think the things you think are seed are really dead flowerbuds):


    Leaf of Empress Tree (leaves can vary in shape and none to many teeth).


    flowers:


    flower buds and flower:

  3. #3

    RE: I love this tree, but donít know anything about it.

    Yes thatís it. Thanks for the fast response!

    Quote Originally Posted by treeman
    . . .I think the things you think are seed are really dead flowerbuds. . .
    Now that I think about it, the actual seeds accompanied what I thought were the seeds in the pod. Maybe what I thought were seeds are actually seeds that did not mature to the point where they were able to be released (sorry, Im not savvy in terms of botany).

    Quote Originally Posted by treeman
    Here in the East U.S. they are a invasive tree that will pop up from the thousands of little wind blown seeds that are released every year, I don't know if they are invasive out west though.
    There are several dozen undeveloped acres that surround a pair of these trees. As far as I know, these are the only two of their kind in the area. I am moving five miles down the road and was hoping to grow one from what I thought was a seed and plant it. Since its considered an invasive species maybe I shouldnít

    I found more information on another blog. Not sure if it would be ok to post a link to it, but here are some quotes from other Californians on that forum:

    On Dec 11, 2003, palmbob from Tarzana, CA wrote:

    This has to be one of the fastest trees I have ever had experience with. I got one as a 2' seedling and in 4 years it's almost 40' tall (and that was even after it accidentally got snapped off at ground level after the first year)... and has the habit of a poplar- straight up and down. Finally it is starting to send out lateral branches and this last summer it finally flowered. The wood is brittle, though, and our Santa Ana winds have no trouble snapping off the branches, so careful if you plant this in a windy climate. The leaves are huge and fuzzy (almost sticky).
    I have read others comments about invasiveness, and I would think that would be a problem here in So California, too... but it's not for some reason. The trees here are so loaded with seeds, the sheer weight of them breaks the branches in the fall... yet I have yet to see a single seedling come up from beneath these trees.. not sure if it's too dry here or what. But no invasiveness here, thank goodness (we have plenty of other invasive species)

    On Nov 10, 2005, sunriselmi from Hughson, CA wrote:
    planted one in 1998. it is 40 feet tall. planted two more in 2003, now 16 feet tall. in california they do not reseed and do not set many seed pods. weak wood limited to small branchets, main scaffold is strong. my trees set 10,000 buds in fall and attract as many bees daily in spring. this is a highly underrated tree. the leaves get smaller as the tree ages and it is possible to garden underneath. spectacular in spring.

    On Jan 17, 2006, droughtlover from Igo, CA wrote:
    In regards to invasiveness, a quote from the California Invasive Plants Council "...the empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa) is a pest in deciduous forests of the eastern United States, particularly in the southern Appalachians, but it is not known to escape from cultivation in California, where it is used as an ornamental landscape tree." In Oregon, one grower is touting this tree as a fast-growing agroforestry choice. I'll be planting some this year, and I'll let you know how it goes.

    On Apr 8, 2007, Turken from Lower Lake, CA wrote:
    I have about 40 Empress Trees growing right now. I cut down all to the ground except for two this spring. They are budding out good right now. I use the cut trunks of the trees for garden poles. I also have about 75 new seedlings I grew from seed in my greenhouse. They are not invasive here. This is a great tree.

  4. #4

    RE: I love this tree, but donít know anything about it.

    Royal paulownia trees start bearing seed after 8 to 10 years and are very prolific. Each capsule contains up to 2,000 seeds, and a large tree may produce as many as 20 million seeds a year. The tiny, flat, winged seeds weigh about 0.17 mg (170,000 seeds/oz.). As the capsules break open on the trees throughout the winter and into spring, wind dissemination occurs easily.

    The seeds of this species germinate quickly and grow rapidly when conditions are favorable. The seeds are not dormant, but laboratory studies have found that light is required for germination. Cold storage reduces the light requirement, however. Germination is epigeal. Like most pioneer species, P. tomentosa needs bare soil, sufficient moisture, and direct sunlight for good seedling establishment. Seedlings are very intolerant of shade.

    The seeds need temperatures between about 68 to 86įF, sunlight, bare soil, and the right amount of moisture to germinate.

    So it looks like the dryer climate of many locations out west are the limiting factor for seed germination of the seeds.

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