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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 8:15 pm 
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Location: White Salmon, WA USA USDA Zone 6B (possibly 7A/7B/8A depending on who you ask around here, so I am sticking with the most conservative estimate for now) Elevation 700 feet Constant winds (10-20 MPH) Location Details
Heh, yet another question for the folks who try all sorts of things. While doing some more cold hardy palm research, I came across some info on Paulownia Trees, aka Paulownia kawakamii aka Empress Tree aka Dragon Tree (the latter of which is the name I found attached to a cool picture!).

Has anyone tried this? It appears to be another of those "magic bullet" fast growing trees where I have read claims of growing 12-15 feet a year, with it being 30 feet and starting to bloom in the 3rd year. According to a couple websites trying to sell them, it also is reported to survive temperature extremes from -15F to 130F depending on the type. Almost sounds like a Ty-Ty commercial? :)

In the warmer southern states it might be invasive, but it appears to be an interesting tree to try in colder climates, with the huge leaves (bigger than the Elephant Ear plants?). I like this image below found on one site (though I think this particular is a hybrid tree according to the rest of the website).

Image

Here is another site that has some info on it:
http://www.dragontrees.com/index.html

Just curious if anyone has tried this, and where in the country? What has your experience been like (good/bad)?

Thanks!
---Sven

PS, on davesgarden.com someone mentioned that the large leaves are excellent nitrogen fixers, and break down quickly, making them perfect for the compost pile!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:37 pm 
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Location: Tampa, Florida, USA,............Florida's SunCoast <Zone 9B-10A> Location Details
Here's something on it from the Virginia Cooperative Extension:

http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/forestry/446-606/446-606.html

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:49 pm 
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Location: White Salmon, WA USA USDA Zone 6B (possibly 7A/7B/8A depending on who you ask around here, so I am sticking with the most conservative estimate for now) Elevation 700 feet Constant winds (10-20 MPH) Location Details
Thanks Roy, some good info there.

Funny, as it does seem to be a big commercial crop tree, and former President Jimmy Carter had a large acreage of it growing for commerical purposes back in the day (still might?). I definitely don't have enough room for commercial production, but it seems like it might be a decent border tree to plant in between my future privacy screen bamboos, between me and one set of neighbors. Well, at least until the bamboo takes off enough that it will be preferred for that area I guess.

EDIT: Yes I know this is deciduous, but the branches will still help provide a little bit of privacy until the boo can fill in.

---Sven


Last edited by svendrix on Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:58 pm 
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Location: White Salmon, WA USA USDA Zone 6B (possibly 7A/7B/8A depending on who you ask around here, so I am sticking with the most conservative estimate for now) Elevation 700 feet Constant winds (10-20 MPH) Location Details
Oh, and here is a pic with the blooms:

Image

Interestingly enough the 5-tree hybrid that is being marketed as the Megafolia-Paulownia (tm) tree, it is also planted at Superfund sites, and "processes" pollutants into oxygen and inert byproducts (aka phytoremediation). Obviously the info at this site is geared towards the commercial uses, but still it was fun to read.

Most all sites refer to this as the fastest growing hardwood species. Again marketing speak? Who knows, but it does seem to grow extremely fast for a hardwood tree!

boonut, you need a new tree to try down on the farm? Only problem is that in your warm areas it might get a little invasive, I don't know.

---Sven


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 1:55 am 
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Location: Harlingen, TX Zone 10, Sunset Zone 27. 33' above sea level. 27 inches of rain/year. 22 Miles to the Laguna Madre. 27 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. 17 miles from Mexico. Lower Rio Grande Valley - Deep South Texas Location Details
Hey Sven,

I looked into that one a year or so ago. It does grow fast. I just don't know if it will hold up to our winds. I have several very large leaf trees. One is the Roxburg Fig. Here is a picture when it was just one year old.

Image

It is still in that pot... just way to big now to move. Still in my back yard. I will have to cut it back quite a bit to get it out to the trailer. This year sometime....

I also have a Borneo Giant.... that is one "giant" elephant ear. Here is a picture of one like it: http://store02.prostores.com/servlet/naturalselectionsexotics/the-3/elephant-ear,-philodendron,-anthurium,/Detail

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 1:59 am 
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Location: Harlingen, TX Zone 10, Sunset Zone 27. 33' above sea level. 27 inches of rain/year. 22 Miles to the Laguna Madre. 27 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. 17 miles from Mexico. Lower Rio Grande Valley - Deep South Texas Location Details
Here is another tropical tree... I don't have this one "yet". http://store02.prostores.com/servlet/naturalselectionsexotics/the-64/Macaranga-grandifolia/Detail

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 3:21 am 
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Sven,

I planted several of them last summer, in july. there were suckers from the roots of bigger plants, and you would not belive the size of a 3 year old tree.... Not much growth last summer, but I assume they put energy into root growth, then into top growth the folowing year. the leaves have a velvety feel, pretty cool overall.

not as large leaf, but they look tropical, I am not sure on hardiness though- check out "devils walking stick".

Gene


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 7:28 pm 
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I've had Paulownia tomentosa and Paulownia elongata for a couple years. Not sure if they'll just be dieback plant, or actually become a tree. Just kind of an trial and error like bamboo has been.

one in back is tomentosa with rounded leaves
foreground is elongata with its pointed tips
Image

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:11 pm 
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Location: White Salmon, WA USA USDA Zone 6B (possibly 7A/7B/8A depending on who you ask around here, so I am sticking with the most conservative estimate for now) Elevation 700 feet Constant winds (10-20 MPH) Location Details
Allen, wow, you're invoking my "Zone" envy with those plant links! As for growing the Paulownia, what kinds of wind do you get down there? Are they just gusty for a little while, or blowing pretty hardcore most of the time? It is always pretty windy here, so if I try them out I'll let you know how they work out. I found seeds off the website of a couple in Dallas, TX's dedicated to trying it out in Texas:

http://www.productionclips.com/kiri.htm There is also various links to other places (the seed site, and their myspace page promoting Paulownia, etc).

Gene, that's cool you grew (are still growing?) the Paulownia! It is definitely one of the strangest trees I have come across. It is weird to think that it is a hardwood when you look at the first year's growth. It just looks like a tall tropical plant of some kind with those huge elephant ear-like leaves. Then at the 3 year mark it is 30 feet tall or so, looking like a hardwood tree instead of a simple small upright sapling. The leaves are much smaller, like a regular tree, and it starts blooming the purple flowers. What amazes me, is that on the website listed above, they have this picture, and he claims that the tree he is taking a cutting from, is only 4 years old, and its HUGE:

Image


I just looked up "Devils Walking Stick". Pretty interesting (and painful?!!!) looking. I had to laugh though, as this picture on the Dave's Garden site reminds me of the "Thorny Bamboo" pics that I see Roy and others posting now and again on this site! :)

Image

---Sven


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:29 pm 
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Location: White Salmon, WA USA USDA Zone 6B (possibly 7A/7B/8A depending on who you ask around here, so I am sticking with the most conservative estimate for now) Elevation 700 feet Constant winds (10-20 MPH) Location Details
Lance,

When did you plant those? Do they die back every winter so far? This spring, you might want to try cutting it completely down, within 3 inches of the ground. It will grow new suckers out of the stump apparently, and it seems to kick it into high gear that year? You might be on the "too cold" end of the winter weather spectrum to see it grow into a full sized tree (dying back every winter). I do see most of the websites talk about that having been done, and the first pic in this thread was from a plant that was cut down the first winter after planting it, and it started growing again the following April.

On the link Roy posted yesterday, they have this info on the subject:

Quote:
Coppicing

A realistic management objective is that each tree produce a single log that is high-quality, straight, and 16 feet log. Cutting off young trees and allowing them to re-sprout from the root collar is called coppicing. This operation results in straighter, better formed stems. Coppiced stems will grow from 8 to 18 feet in the first year. Stems are coppiced one to three years after planting, during the spring season.


---Sven


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:56 pm 
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Location: Harlingen, TX Zone 10, Sunset Zone 27. 33' above sea level. 27 inches of rain/year. 22 Miles to the Laguna Madre. 27 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. 17 miles from Mexico. Lower Rio Grande Valley - Deep South Texas Location Details
svendrix wrote:
Allen, wow, you're invoking my "Zone" envy with those plant links! As for growing the Paulownia, what kinds of wind do you get down there? Are they just gusty for a little while, or blowing pretty hardcore most of the time?

---Sven


From March - May, we get pretty steady winds of 15 - 20 miles per hour with some days winds in the 40 - 45 mph range for a few days at a time. August - November the winds die down and it is very nice although most of us miss the winds at that time because it is soo hot. Nice fishing weather. Offshore is great at that time of year.

I think the hard thing is the changes in February/March. We will get strong cool dry winds from the north followed by very hot humid winds from the south going back and forth. Most of the plants don't like this time very much, but bamboo tend to lose their leaves and the new ones come out during this time.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:00 pm 
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Location: Harlingen, TX Zone 10, Sunset Zone 27. 33' above sea level. 27 inches of rain/year. 22 Miles to the Laguna Madre. 27 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. 17 miles from Mexico. Lower Rio Grande Valley - Deep South Texas Location Details
Sven,

The picture of the tree with thorns reminds me of a tree grown down here called "Chorisia Speciosa". Now that tree has thorns. We had a very tall one with a 2 foot trunk next to our pool at our old house. We had several days of very strong rain followed by very strong winds back in the 1980's that lifted it up and set it gently down on the ground.

Check out the flowers and thorns at: http://www.floridata.com/ref/C/chor_spe.cfm

Those are the prettiest flowers I know of on a tree. They were about 4 - 5 inches wide.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:23 pm 
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Location: Tampa, Florida, USA,............Florida's SunCoast <Zone 9B-10A> Location Details
The root growth (partly on top of the ground) reminds me of Laurel oaks: toe busting and driveway/sidewalk busting roots.

Image

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Southern Tampania de la Floridana Universidad (STFU)
STFU Motto: All Bamboos are not Created Equal; @ STFU, the Search Continues
**********
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:48 pm 
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Location: White Salmon, WA USA USDA Zone 6B (possibly 7A/7B/8A depending on who you ask around here, so I am sticking with the most conservative estimate for now) Elevation 700 feet Constant winds (10-20 MPH) Location Details
Allen, talk about Heaven and Hell all in one tree! Those are very beautiful blooms, but those spiky thorns look like they could do some real damage! Too bad that it is too tropical of a tree to grow here, that would be fun to try!

Roy: I have read that you shouldn't put the Paulownia's near a sidewalk or driveway (where I wanted to put them originally), and now I know why. I didn't even catch that, thanks! OK, back to the drawing board for my 10 foot patch between driveways. I might still try some for the novelty of it, or plant one in the local park that lost all of its trees in a massive windstorm a few years back. That'd probably really freak people out around here, heh! :twisted: Just kidding.

---Sven


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:17 am 
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svendrix wrote:
Lance,

When did you plant those? Do they die back every winter so far? This spring, you might want to try cutting it completely down, within 3 inches of the ground. It will grow new suckers out of the stump apparently, and it seems to kick it into high gear that year? You might be on the "too cold" end of the winter weather spectrum to see it grow into a full sized tree (dying back every winter). I do see most of the websites talk about that having been done, and the first pic in this thread was from a plant that was cut down the first winter after planting it, and it started growing again the following April.

On the link Roy posted yesterday, they have this info on the subject:

Quote:
Coppicing

A realistic management objective is that each tree produce a single log that is high-quality, straight, and 16 feet log. Cutting off young trees and allowing them to re-sprout from the root collar is called coppicing. This operation results in straighter, better formed stems. Coppiced stems will grow from 8 to 18 feet in the first year. Stems are coppiced one to three years after planting, during the spring season.


---Sven



I think I've had mine since 2005, first couple of years they hardly did any growing, because I had them in too much shade. Then in the 2007 pic, they were in complete sun, so they grew better. So 2 winters had completely topkilled them. It appears that they may have remained top hardy through this winter. I'll just wait and see.

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